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We are often asked what is a feasibility study, and why do so many funders insist on one before they will release funding. 

In the case of funders, they are often looking to confirm ‘need‘ for the project,  projected outcomes, and if there is a sustainable future for the initiative.

It is our view that a good community based feasibility study should carefully explore three important areas; to establish if there is a:

  • Community case
  • Social case
  • Business case

Research will be quantitative and qualitative, and in our view should be independent, to ensure that objective outcomes are achieved. 

There can be no short cuts and the consultant must be strong and experienced enough to tell cleints what they need to know, rather that what they may want, or expect to know.  It should never be a ‘given’ that the study will provide evidence that a facility or project will be taken forward; indeed, it is not unusual for us to recommend that a project or initiative is not taken forward in the format origionally anticipated, or in some cases, shelved.

Most importantly, the consultant should have in-depth knowledge, based on hands on experience of the subject, and be in a position to draw on the skills and experience of other experts where needed.  Which is why Wider Impact retains a number of skilled and expert Associate Consultants in disciplines such as finance, organisational consitutions, data analysis, IT, social media, websites and legal issues.

We also believe in a ‘coal face’ approach, with significant time spent meeting key stakeholders and ‘walking the patch’, achieving a community based focus on the key issues.  Centre to our approach is meeting and working with the key stakeholders – the local community.  A wide variety of research tools are utilised, which ensures that all members of the community are heard – young and not so young.

The business case is often overlooked, and in our view should include key issues such as:

  • Governance – will the project / initiative be effectively managed at delivery, managent and board/ trustee levels?
  • Funding – involving detailed cash flow analysis
  • Wider resources – e.g. staffing, volunteers, buildings and other capital and revenue resources
  • Duplication and replication – are others delivering similar services in the area? Will this project damage those projects in some way?
  • Sustainability – what happens when [revenue] funding runs out? What is the liklihood of sustainable revenue income streams?

Key to our work are our recommendations that form part of our reports. It is often the case that we have discovered better ways to achieve outcomes, and ways of saving money / resources, which often include stakeholders improving or enhancing colloborative partnership working.

In conclusion, a good feasibility study will:

  • Assist in making informed decisions
  • Support funding applications
  • Ensure quality services to the most important stakeholder – the local community
  • Improve / enhance collaborative partnership working
  • Save money / resources
  • Assist in delivering an effective and professional Business Plan

Want to learn more about feasibility studies, or are looking to commission such work? Check out the relevant web page at , or contact me  at

Kindest regards

Edwin :-)



Wider Impact Consultancy, Edwin Lewis