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 +Feasibility study
 +One way to plan the start up process and resolve many of the issues is
 +to carry out - or commission - a formal feasibility study. This may well
 +be appropriate when creation of a trust depends on making a bid to one
 +or more funders. This sheet consequently describes a 'top down' process.
 +Each situation will be different, but here are some guidelines which
 +should help ensure the feasibility work leads to a well structured bid.
 +The eventual feasibility of a Development Trust depends on a number of
 +key factors which correspond to areas of good practice or competence.
 +-   A well-conceived start up process involving key interests in
 +    developing a bid to funders based on an outline business plan.
 +-   ​Recruiting high-calibre people from public, private and voluntary
 +    sectors for the Board to develop a shared mission. They will be
 +    responsible for the governance of the Trust.
 +-   ​Establishing sound management practices
 +-   ​Making communications a two-way process - both presenting ideas
 +    well, and listening to others
 +-   ​Planning for financial sustainability from the start
 +-   ​Following sound project management practices
 +The Competence summary sheet, and other main competence sheets, provide
 +more detailed checklists. Any feasibility work should, therefore, aim to
 +answer the question: How can we create a competent Development Trust?
 +From the above it should be clear that feasibility is more than a
 +question of identifying project opportunities and funding sources. It
 +also involves finding people with commitment and skills, and ways of
 +working with existing organisations. This means that establishing
 +whether a Trust is feasible or not is a process with a number of
 +strands - not a snapshot technical study. The main strands are:
 +-   ​Understanding what funders may offer
 +-   ​Developing and discussing a concept, or vision, of what the Trust
 +    may be like with a number of interests
 +-   A local audit, or appraisal, of the problems and opportunities in an
 +    area, who is doing what, and the resources that may be available
 +-   ​Identifying possible projects - some of which will earn income for
 +    the Trust
 +-   ​Recruiting key interests who may sponsor, support, or play a part in
 +    the Trust
 +-   ​Testing different packages of projects, staffing and funding which
 +    may form the basis of the bid.
 +The elements of the feasibility study
 +These strands of work are set out below in more detail. They relate to
 +the early stages described in the Start Up summary sheet.
 +### Understanding what is on offer
 +Funders who may be inviting a bid will brief the '​champions'​ who want to
 +promote a Development Trust on what they can offer, and what is
 +expected. These terms may well be formalised in some form of agreement.
 +### The initial concept or vision
 +After one or more meetings with funders the initial champions will
 +develop their first concept or vision of what a local Development Trust
 +might be like, and discuss that informally with those who may be
 +sponsors. A development officer should be appointed to carry through the
 +next stages of the process.
 +### The local audit
 +The development officer, perhaps working with a consultant, should:
 +-   ​Understand the boundaries of possible Development Trust activity:
 +    what may be funded, what is realistic, what performance measures are
 +    used.
 +-   ​Identify the main problems and opportunities in the area which will
 +    establish the need for a Development Trust.
 +-   ​Identify projects or programme areas which could meet these needs,
 +    and would be appropriate to the work programme of the Trust whether
 +    it is directly implementing or playing some other role.
 +-   ​Review what other organisations are working in the area, and
 +    consider how the Trust could complement their activities and work in
 +    partnership with them.
 +-   ​Identify what support may lie in the public, private or voluntary
 +    sectors in terms of funding and participation in the Trust.
 +### People and project
 +Some project opportunities may be obvious - and so may some supporters.
 +However, the key to a successful Trust often lies in linking projects
 +and people. On the one hand projects are more like to be supported if
 +they are '​owned'​ by key interests. On the other hand one of the easiest
 +ways to recruit people is to offer them a way of following their
 +enthusiasms. The way to make the link is a three-stage process.
 +-   ​Networking:​ making informal contact with a range of interests
 +    identified in your audit, one contact often leading to another.
 +-   ​Workshops:​ running informal sessions at which your contacts can
 +    brainstorm project ideas and reach a consensus on priorities
 +-   ​Feedback:​ presenting the results of the workshops and any subsequent
 +    research back to participants.
 +It is often most productive to run separate workshops or presentations
 +with public, private and voluntary interests to see how far their
 +'​pictures of the future'​ differ or overlap, then bring those interested
 +together at a seminar. It may be appropriate to produce some simple
 +leaflets or newsletters during the process to keep people informed and
 +### Preparing the bid or proposal
 +The proposal or bid for funding should be developed as a draft business
 +plan. See the information sheet on this in the Management section.
 +In undertaking a feasibility assessment, consider:
 +-   ​whether you understand from the outset what funders offers, and what
 +    may be expected.
 +-   who you should talk to informally before starting the process
 +-   what skills and funds you will need for the feasibility process
 +-   ​whether you will be able to find a development officer within your
 +    own organisation
 +-   which local organisations might host workshops and presentations
 +-   at what stage it will be appropriate to form a steering group
 +-   how you will communicate with people during the feasibility
 +    assessment
 +-   ​whether there are any fixed points which should influence the
 +    timetable
 +© David Wilcox <​>​. Tel +44 (0)1273 677377.
 +Fax: +44 (0)1273 677379. These information sheets may be freely
 +distributed with this attribution,​ but not republished as a whole.
 +[Partnerships Online](../​index) : [The Guide to Development Trusts
 +and Partnerships](../​pguide/​index):​ [other
partnerships/azp/feas.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/12 10:20 (external edit)