“Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty…ninety-five, one hundred. Ready or not here I come!” This is the start of the classic game of “Hide-and-go-seek”. Most of us played this game when we were kids – sometimes for hours on end. But, you’ve probably never thought about how this game relates to Feasibility Studies and capital campaigns at The Salvation Army.
How You Play Hide and Go Seek
In case you’ve never played, here’s how the game works: Each player hides within certain “boundaries”.. The person who counts is the seeker or “it”. After the person who’s “it” finishes counting, they are on a mission to find all of the hidden players. The last player to be found wins the game and becomes the new “it” for the next round.
The players who were the first ones found:
- Didn’t quite fit into their hiding space (inadequate planning or execution)
- Couldn’t decide where to go (indecision or lack of focus)
- Didn’t understand the rules for hiding (unaware of their surroundings/community)
It’s not good practice to look at Feasibility Study preparedness as a “Ready or not”situation. The Salvation Army itself defines a Feasibility Study as a natural precursor to a Capital Campaign. The information produced in the study report helps campaign leadership and volunteers to begin with a strong understanding of the steps to a successful campaign. The report will also show challenges that need to be addressed before moving forward.
Ready or Not for a Feasibility Study?
Take a look at these “five key indexes”. They will help you know whether or not you’re ready for a feasibility study:
- The Strategic Plan – Includes a sustainable revenue plan for the current year through 3 to 5 years. It should also include a comprehensive development, marketing, and communications plan.
- Corps and Commanding Officer support – The Corps and the Officer must be engaged with the mission both in the community and the capital campaign process The Salvation Army has put in place.
- Advisory Board – Understands their role, is well-trained, have active committees in place, embrace the case for support, and understand the requirements of the campaign commitments. There should be a high awareness of the impact of The Salvation Army ministry and mission within the community and be positioned to consider financial support, leadership for the campaign, or both.
- The Community – Everything else can be in place, but if the community is not ready, the campaign will not move forward and your study will be a bust. For example, what is the reputation of the Corps in the community or is there a crisis or issue that hasn’t been adequately resolved?
- The Consultant – Must have a high level of engagement with the Officers and Advisory Board, help develop a strong case for support and present a clear plan, timeline, expectations, training, and overall structure for the study process and possible next steps for a capital campaign.
Are You Ready for a Feasibility Study?
If any of these components is lacking or absent, you might as well shout “ready or not, here I come” just like in the game of hide-and-go-seek.
Ideally, the feasibility study should launch with “Ready! Here we come.” When one of the five indexes isn’t well established, The Salvation Army command should first address the exposed issues. This is much like the player in hide-and-go-seek who didn’t plan or execute their hiding location well, pausing the game to reconsider their options. Planning for the Corps and Command really needs to begin two-to-three years before the launch of the feasibility study.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “failure to plan is planning to fail.” With advance strategic planning and execution, the key indexes for feasibility study readiness can be firmly in place.
When the players plan well in the game hide-and-go-seek they have the best chance to be the last one found and to become the next “it.”
And when you plan well for your Feasibility Study you will have the best chance for a successful capital campaign. In the end, a successful campaign will lead to more significant outcomes in ministry and mission. Oh, and for the record, we’re never too old to play a great game of hide-and-go-seek!
Let’s talk more about whether or not you’re ready for a Feasibility study. Contact us here to start the conversation >>