When was the last time you analyzed the ‘health’ of your non-profit? We’re not referring to the financial position of the organization but its overall strategic success. If you can’t remember when then it’s probably a great time to do a SWOT analysis.
The SWOT serves and a planning tool that seeks to identify and assess your organization’s internal Strengths and Weaknesses and the external Opportunities and Threats. It is crucial for your non-profit to routinely evaluate its position as the environment in which it operates is always changing.
The process of the SWOT analysis doesn’t end there, it is actually a continuous three-pronged approach that involves planning/strategizing and monitoring and control.
Everyone should be involved in this forward planning exercise as various stakeholders will see your non-profit in a different light. They should be as honest and realistic as possible as the issues identified by each group; employees, volunteers or donors will form the core of the strategic plan.
Being able to identify items or issues under each subheading isn’t enough. We encourage your NGO to go beyond that and figure out how each item is going to be managed. This analysis provides the important information needed to develop a strategy that best develops your NGO through capitalizing on any strengths and opportunities and mitigating threats and weaknesses.
For instance, what does your NGO intend to do to mitigate an identified weakness of heavy reliance on government or grant funding? Or, how does your non-profit capitalize on have a strong volunteer base/network? These hard questions must be prioritized and addressed to secure the future of your organization.
Part of strategy development should include implementing methods for evaluation in order to monitor success. This allows you to be able to identify any expected or unforeseen challenges in your strategy and quickly respond.
Once operation SWOT is carefully and regularly conducted it will serve to save your non-profit time and money.
So tell us, has your non-profit ever conducted a SWOT analysis? We’d love to hear about your experience and any suggestions you may have to help make this process a success in the comment section below.