At this point, some of you will be thinking about the green and gold but the surprise for you is that viability is not just about financial viability. Sure, it’s part of what we are talking about but remember that – it’s only a part of it and we’ll deal with that part last.
Viability questions if the project has the right elements to ensure it can be delivered and if it can achieve successful outcomes (1).So where do we start? We need to take off the blinkers and really take a good hard look at what we are doing and why we are doing it.
Ability 3: Viability (Vi-a-bil-i-ty)
Some questions to ask about the project:
Do you have a track record of delivering similar programs?
Is the program you are proposing really going to work in your community? Just because it’s worked in another community well, doesn’t mean it will work well in yours.
Is the project right for the target users, have you forgotten or missed any user groups that would benefit?
Is there really a demonstrated need from the target users?
How have you measured the need to determine the demand?
Some questions to ask of your organisation:
Are you a financially viable organisation?
Are you the best organisation to be delivering this – does it align strategically with your objectives?
Do you have any ‘skeletons in the closet’ like funding projects that have previously gone awry or ones you haven’t acquitted on?
Do you have enough cash at bank to cover liabilities – are you solvent?
While we are talking about financials, another consideration for us is do we have too much money in our bottom line or reserves that might actually hinder our chances at the decision table. If we look to cash rich the funder will just think ‘Organisation A has the money to do it vs Organisation B who doesn’t so we’ll fund Organisation B’. There are some things you can do to protect against this risk of course, but to tell you more we’ll have to have a chat to discuss the specifics.
An effective way for thinking about this like an assessor is to consider what you would want to see if you were going to contract the development and delivery of the project out. Make up a Need, Want and Wishlist and see how well you perform against it.
Natalie also writes, trains and mentors others and has a personal best with a 92% success rate due to her strategic analysis and approach to the world of grants and tenders.
Check out my other 3 abilities;
Part 1. Capability
Part 2. Sustainability
Part 4. Accountability
Written by Natalie Bramble
*The Four Abilities is Trademarked by Natalie Bramble
As a speaker, trainer and community development consultant I assists non-profits and small businesses to establish better governance practices and operational procedures, identifying new revenue and leveraging existing opportunities, community engagement, brand management and stakeholder communications.