How to Use a SWOT Analysis for Nonprofits
The term SWOT analysis can be seen coming up in company reports, conversations and business strategies, but what does it mean?
And how can you apply this type of brainstorming method of using a SWOT analysis for nonprofit and event planning?
A discount for nonprofits
Purplepass offers all their nonprofits
S.W.O.T stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This analysis is commonly used in business for determining areas that are lacking attention or for identifying improvements and marketing opportunities.
Start With Your STRENGTHS
What is your organization good at? Where do you shine, while others, not so much? What makes you better or different from the rest of your competition?
Identifying a company’s strengths is a significant starting point when building any marketing or strategic business plans. Start by recognizing what you are good at and push that in your sales and marketing efforts. Also, acknowledge what you are best at and how you can become even better at it.
Ask yourself the following questions when determining your strengths:
- How are you different from your competition?
- What is one thing you think your company is the best at?
- What service do you take the most pride in? Why?
- How are you unique?
What are your WEAKNESSES?
Now the hard part. What are you bad at? Don’t sugarcoat this, be honest and real in identifying the places your organization really lacks. The more honest you are, the more useful your SWOT analysis will be.
It’s important to know your weaknesses. If you can’t identify where your company is slacking, how can you fix it? Dig deep into your services, goals, reports, and see what isn’t working. Look at your competition and see what they offer that you aren’t.
Start by writing out everything you find and when you’re done look back at the list to see where you can start making improvements.
Maybe your website needs work or is too slow. Your customer service isn’t responding fast enough. Or you have no social media presence.
For example, lets go back to the website being slow. By taking the time to analyze your website, you could potentially identify why online sales are slow or not completed… maybe you find out that your website speed is too slow. People were losing patience and ditching their carts before completing a purchase. Because you’ve identified this problem, part of your business plan can be to optimize your overall site speed and SEO for better conversion rates.
Where to look for weaknesses:
- Website speeds and SEO
- Social media and online presence
- What your competition is doing
- Services being provided
- Customer service
- The checkout/buying process
- Sales workflows and following up with leads
- Marketing campaigns and advertising strategies
- Team communication
With every business, there are always opportunities being overlooked, you just don’t see them. Conducting a SWOT analysis makes you take the time to look in every crack and hole to uncover any missed opportunities.
What are some examples of opportunities companies are missing?
- Partnerships and vertical integrations
- Sponsorships and working with local vendors
- Community involvement
- Ad opportunities
- Brand awareness through guest posts or links
- Lead magnet opportunities on your website
- Using call-to-actions before people leave your site
- Expanding brand awareness with different platforms
- Social media engagement
I guarantee there are several opportunities for brand growth and revenue streams you are not capitalizing on.
Taking the time to recognize these opportunities and how you can incorporate them into your business plan ensures that you’re taking advantage of all your options.
Finding your THREATS
Threats are probably the easiest to spot. Most companies already know their threats, but do nothing about them. Having a list of all your competition and obstacles will force you to look them in the eye and do something about it, rather than avoiding them.
Threats don't always mean other companies that are providing similar services as you. Everyone experiences unique challenges in their business that could lead them down a dangerous road.
For example, having a limited budget could be a threat to your business. You know this is an issue, but rather than avoiding it, your SWOT analysis is going to make you face it. How can you fix this problem and stop it from being a threat?
You could fundraise or start a GoFundMe for your company. Find cheap or free ways to promote your business online. Look for help from sponsors. You have options. The important thing is that you are addressing the issues and coming up with a plan of attack.
Using a SWOT Analysis for Nonprofits
Using a SWOT analysis for nonprofits is great for those organizations looking for an alternative way of doing things or if they’re struggling to receive donations and funds. Conducting an intensive analysis of your nonprofit and the current strategies being implemented might help you answer exactly why your organization is struggling and/or what needs to change.
To make this easy, we’ve put together a list of SWOT analysis questions for nonprofits to answer when creating their report.
- Why is your mission/nonprofit so important?
- What makes your nonprofit unique from others out there?
- What are you offering to your community and to the world that is so special?
- Why is it crucial that you get donations to your cause? What are people supporting?
- What is your favorite thing about what you do?
- With marketing, what is one thing you do well that has gotten results?
- For sales, what is one effective channel for reaching donors (networking, calling, social media, etc.)?
- Why do people donate to your cause?
- What would make someone not be able to donate to your cause right now (website issues, payment options limited, no registration process etc.)?
- Do you have an online presence?
- Are you on social media? Do you have a decent amount of followers and interaction?
- Is your brand well established?
- How many people are on staff or on your nonprofit’s board? Do you have enough help?
- Have people in your community heard about your nonprofit?
- If I asked you to tell me about your marketing campaigns, could you?
- Do you have any ads or marketing campaigns running?
- How are your website speeds and SEO? Do a site audit
- Are you attending local events and networking opportunities? Schools? Businesses?
- Do you put out daily press releases or do PR?
- Are there any partnerships or local vendors you can partner with? Have you reached out?
- Do you have at least 4 ways you are advertising your nonprofit? And these can be free.
- Have you considered internship or volunteer opportunities for extra help?
- Do you have any merchandise sales or offer anything online?
- Have you thought about using a registration for collecting donations?
- Are you hosting events and fundraisers for boosting donations?
- How do you stay connected to donors? How do you thank them?
- Who are your top 3 competitors?
- Are there other companies offering similar services and support?
- Are you a unique operation, or are there a lot of nonprofits like yours?
- Are you taking advantage of all the free resources and advertising opportunities out there?
- Does your budget hold you back?
- What is stopping you from doing that one thing you’ve always wanted to do to help your organization? Why? How can you overcome this?
Think of this as your SWOT analysis template for nonprofits. As you answer these questions, write other ideas that might go with them. After, you can implement everything you’ve discovered.
Nonprofits and Events
You might have found that one thing your organization is lacking is proper fundraising events. Events are a straightforward way to boost brand awareness in your local community and for collecting donations. Hosting an event doesn’t have to break the budget either; you can plan a community picnic, run a silent auction with pieces donated by local vendors, or go back to the basics with community car washes.
And collecting donations doesn’t have to break the bank. Purplepass offers a discount to all nonprofits using our registration. But why would you need a registration for nonprofit events?
- For collecting funds and donations online (credit cards, third parties like PayPal)
- An online registration for people attending your events
- For giving out print-at-home or mobile tickets
- Selling merchandise - learn more
- A place to promote your event and include the required details
- Selling other ticket add-ons like drinks and food
- Creating a volunteer sign-up page and dashboard - learn more
- Advertising your events and increasing discovery rates
- Getting access to extensive reporting in any event
Ticket discount for nonprofits
Purplepass offers all their nonprofits