Early on in my career I received some good advice. My supervisor asked me to put together a Development Plan for the new fiscal year. Being new to the organization, I asked where the plan from the previous year was located.
Why? She asked.
Well, so I know where to start, I replied.
She told me she wanted to start with a SWOT analysis. At the next Development Committee meeting we took time to get feedback from our trusted volunteers. They shared what they thought were the organization’s Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. We shared our own insights as staff.
From that conversation, the Development Plan was born. It wasn’t a “save as” document where fiscal years were updated but strategies remained the same.
Instead a variety of new topics emerged and rose to the top. Even better, we involved our volunteers in the process. They shared openly and had buy in with the ideas.
This was a valuable lesson and one I hope you will implement.
Our team steered the activities of the organization over the next year in a creative way that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. We realized the need for new committee members, the need for a second appeal letter, and implemented a strategy to increase online giving.
So next time are planning for your organization take time to do a SWOT analysis first. It’s time well spent.
by: Michelle Jimenez, Senior Consultant HUB Philanthropic Solutions