Using SWOT Analysis for Strategic Planning

Photo by Paul Danger Williams

An important tool that many organizations use when developing their strategic plan is a SWOT analysis.

S = Strengths
W = Weaknesses
O = Opportunities
T = Threats

When putting together a SWOT analysis for your organization, you will need to look at each of the following:

  • Strengths: These are internal factors that have helped the organization be successful (good cash flow, strong management team, etc) that you will want to leverage and grow.
  • Weaknesses: These are internal factors that are detrimental to the organization (high employee turnover, no funding, etc) that you want to stop and fix.
  • Opportunities: These are environmental factors that will help your organization (growing market for your services, demographic changes, strong economy, etc). You will want to take advantage of these factors.
  • Threats: These are environmental factors that can affect your organization negatively (poor economy, decreased demand for your services, emergence of multiple competing nonprofit organizations, etc). You will want to take these into consideration and have a plan of action for countering any negative affects of these factors.

Once you have developed a SWOT analysis for your organization, you will want to develop a plan of action that typically centers around the opportunities your organization has, while still addressing any threats and weaknesses. A SWOT analysis is an easy, effective strategic planning tool.

For more information about developing a SWOT analysis, you can click here and here.

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