The Feasibility Study: It’s About More than Just the Money

Jason Lewis June 16, 2016

Presented at:
SCL Conference 2016


The purpose of a campaign feasibility study is generally intended to provide an answer to the questions of whether or not an organization is ready to proceed with a capital campaign and the extent to which a campaign can be successful. More often than not, the organization’s leaders expect an affirmative response and a specific fundraising goal that they can aim for. Whether or not the desired outcome is achieved, conversations about an organization’s mission and vision, strategic plan, leadership, program, and current and future facilities, matched with the current economy, inevitably stir emotions, elicit honest opinions and raise important questions about confidence and commitment. Regardless of the fundraising outcomes, a feasibility study can be one of the most productive and enlightening undertakings an organization can commit itself to. Gathering the honest feedback from a strategic group of constituents offers an organization an invaluable reference point for the formation of a strategic plan, the creation of policies and procedures, decisions about hiring, and program delivery. During this session, Jason Lewis will summarize the outcomes of three recent feasibility studies and the mechanics of the BetterSchools process. Jason will describe the personal and professional experiences that each school experienced through the study process. Jason will introduce the 3C analysis and offer examples of how capacity, commitment and confidence are assessed in the feasibility study process.


Capital Campaign Fundraising Strategic Planning


Jason Lewis
As BetterSchools’ fundraising leader, Jason Lewis currently assists classical, Christian school leaders in designing and implementing their strategic plan; hiring, training and coaching fundraising professionals; and evaluating their readiness for and execution of multi-million dollar capital campaigns. As the head of school and chief development officer at a classical, Christian school, Jason transitioned fundraising efforts from a conventional, arms-length approach to a high-touch, major gifts approach with clearly defined performance expectations for the school’s advancement officers. The centerpiece of this strategy—a performance management dashboard - has gained recognition among private school and nonprofit leaders as an effective tool for evaluating and increasing fundraising performance. In 2008, Jason received his initial certification as a Certified Fundraising Executive (Recertification, 2015); and, in 2011, he was recognized as a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Master Trainers. As a complement to his undergraduate studies in business, he completed his Master of Science in Nonprofit Management in 2010.

Other Contributions by Jason Lewis

Demystifying Effective Fund-Raising

Article - SCL Conference 2013

Demystifying Effective Fundraising

Article - SCL Conference 2012

Recommended Resources

Web Tools for Schools
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Standards and Accountability for Christian Schools
Article by Timothy Wiens in - SCL Conference 2011
Common Core, AdvancED, and Changes in the Works
Article by David Goodwin in - SCL Conference 2015