How to Get Rid of Boring SWOT Analysis and Revive Your Strategic Planning

Are you not sure even what a SWOT Analysis is or how it relates to strategic planning?

Well, I am definitely not saying get rid of the SWOT analysis altogether, but I am saying the old tired way of just shoving it in your planning and not knowing how to utilize is so over.

How? Well, you do need a SWOT Analysis for your nonprofit’s strategic planning, however, it doesn’t have to be boring.

It is actually one of the most FUN activities in your strategic planning.

A SWOT Analysis

A SWOT stands for:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats (or Challenges)

And for the SWOT you analyze each of these for your nonprofit.

How to Start a SWOT Analysis

Make sure you include all your board of directors and staff for your planning. You can even take a weekend or day away from the office (or on Zoom) and do the SWOT Analysis.

  1. Strengths: Start with listing out all of the strengths of your nonprofit organization. What are the things that you are good at? What strengths do your employees, board members, volunteers, and staff bring to the table?
  2. Weaknesses: List out the weaknesses your nonprofit has. Do you have a functioning website? Does your board of directors bring in annual funding? Do you receive grants?
  3. Opportunities: What are some opportunities that your nonprofit could go after? Can you partner with new stakeholders? Is there training available for your staff? Are there funding opportunities available?
  4. Threats: What are some things that could hinder or hurt your nonprofit? Are there natural disasters in your area? Are budget cuts coming up?

How to Implement a SWOT Analysis into Your Strategic Planning

List out at least 5 to 10 items for each area: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Then have your team vote on the top 3 in each section, Make these your priorities to leverage or mitigate.

For example, if one of your top three strengths is that you have a highly-skilled and engaged board of directors but a weakness is that you have limited funding for your programs, then you may want to pull on your board members’ strengths to mitigate this weakness.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but unless you write it down – and do it together – it isn’t clearly identified, and then there is no action or buy-in.

I recommend doing a SWOT Analysis every single year and part of your strategic planning. Now that you know how to do one, remember it doesn’t have to be boring. It should be fun and engaging as your team brainstorms together.


  1. Ep. 125: How to Make Decisions Swiftly and Lead Your Organization: Click here.
  2. Ep. 126: Strategic Planning Crash Course 10 Steps To Skyrocket Your Nonprofit or Freelance Biz: Click here.
  3. Ep. 95: 3 Steps for Ultimate Self-Care for Nonprofits: Click here.
  4. Ep. 46: Why Values Are Important For Your Nonprofit: Click here.
  5. Ep. 11: Creating Credibility & Culture: Part III Doing the SWOT: Click here.

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