Capital appeal feasibility study

Weston Park Cancer Charity

"The piece of work that David did was in some ways for me a game changer because it gave a very objective view of actually where we stood. That was a great supporting document, very well written, very cogent argument, which I could then take to trustees and others and say, ‘My concerns are validated."


Weston Park Cancer Charity supports Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield, the region’s only specialist cancer hospital. With a new Chair and Director in place, the charity had worked through its strategy and wanted to gain clarity on the feasibility of a new capital appeal, The Transformation Programme. The programme was nebulous and potentially huge and could have been the sort of thing that would break an organisation if not approached in the right way.

Action Planning was asked to provide an objective view on how prepared Weston Park was as an organisation and what it was capable of delivering. The brief was essentially to answer two questions: 1. What could Weston Park raise for the project? and 2. What would it need to put in place in order to do that?

Through a series of stakeholder interviews and primary research into funding sources, we carried out a thorough assessment of the charity’s structure and resources. We submitted our findings in a document that highlighted the obstacles to embarking on the capital appeal – including ‘marks out of 10’ for various aspects of the Case for Support, and set out the essential prerequisites for achieving the funding target.

Our report enabled Weston Park’s Director Samantha Dixon to take her case to the trustees and argue that the charity should not commit resources until certain criteria had been satisfied. It also provided a framework for the charity  ask for greater detail about how much funding was required by the hospital, and for what purposes.

Consultant's Insight:
There comes a point in the process of planning every major redevelopment, when ‘aspirations’ have to be translated into firm and costed plans. Without this detail, fundraisers face an impossible task.

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