Library Opens Doors with the Right Capital Campaign Feasibility Study

Library Opens Doors with the Right Capital Campaign Feasibility Study

When the Missoula Public Library began to study the challenge of raising capital to build a new $35.65 million facility, they uncovered a problem beyond fundraising: what to do with the current library while the new one was being built? If they used their existing land to build on, this vital community resource would have to, at best, offer limited services or, at worst, close during construction.

As we conducted the library’s feasibility study, we helped them identify and articulate the current needs that would be met by a new library and, beyond those, the even greater benefits that the new library would bring to the community. The interest and excitement created by the study and the project quickly spread throughout the community. People loved the library’s “All Under One Roof” vision.

Developing Capital Campaign Champions

As it is designed to do, CampaignCounsel.org’s feasibility study discovered and developed project champions, people who voluntarily shared the library’s vision, and its potential pitfalls, with their friends, neighbors and fellow philanthropists. One of these philanthropists was Terry Payne. He owned the city block immediately east of the library. As he came to understand the project, he was inspired to agree to a land swap that would place the new library across the street from its current location and keep the existing library open during construction. An amazing and generous solution!

With the library construction under way and on track for wrapping up in 2020, Payne now has announced that he will donate the land that the existing library sits on to the city of Missoula to use as it wishes. "I have confidence in Mayor Engen and his team to utilize this property in the best interests of the Missoula community,” Payne wrote in a statement sent out by the city. “It is in this spirit of cooperation and trust that my family was inspired to transfer this block to the City.”

Opening Doors Though Feasibility Studies

The benefits of conducting feasibility studies run well beyond establishing the viability of your capital campaign. They have a special way of generating interest and excitement and of capturing important data. You never know what they will produce, but when correctly run, they almost always open unexpected doors. 

CampaignCounsel.org feasibility studies are designed to open those doors. How?

  • We place no limit to the number of interviewees or the time it takes to conduct face-to-face, private meetings with them. 

  • We don’t conduct confidential interviews, as some consultants do. It simply is not true that confidentiality is important to the interviewees. To gather the best data, we focus on face-to-face meetings and encourage interviewees to share their knowledge and opinions. 

  • We take the time to learn about clients, their community and their donors. This makes all the difference.

Are you considering a capital campaign feasibility study? Contact us to learn more about our approach. 


Melissa Sais is a consultant and communications director of CampaignCounsel.org, specializing in capital campaign planning and management. Melissa has 15 years experience in nonprofit fundraising and development communications. Reach her at melissa @ campaigncounsel.org or visit www.campaigncounsel.org.

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