Testing a Shockingly High Goal

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In the fund raising feasibility study phase, we have always tried to test a goal that is clearly aligned with the project — a realistic dollar amount.


Recently, we tested a goal that caused donor prospects and community leaders to raise their eyebrows and remark at the size and scope of the project. They asked for more specifics as the proposed goal amount fell outside their comfort level. Donor prospects and community leaders then offered ideas describing how that goal could be reduced, refined or phased. The goal size caught their attention, interest and prompted a challenging study . . . a study that yielded more ideas than most projects we regularly see.


The end-result recommendation encouraged a goal lower than the amount tested but still significant, with numerous other recommendations, suggestions and ideas on how to successfully move forward.


Some might say that we threw the large goal idea on the wall to see what would stick. What stuck is more interest and involvement by the right people than we ever expected. What stuck was a format for funding that the organization hadn’t considered in the past . . . but one that offers great opportunity. What stuck was inquiries from the donor community.


Testing a shockingly high goal has reinforced the ability to “think big” and to garner the attention of many others. Good move!





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