Opportunities & Threats as part of a nonprofit SWOT analysis

SWOTs are a common way of evaluating where an organization stands, what are its greatest attributes and greatest areas of improvement are. SWOTs can be a powerful tool for organizations and communities. Last time we looked at the internal factors under your control – Strengths and Weaknesses, today we look at the external factors affecting your organization that can be both positive and negative – Opportunities and Threats.

External factors can include things like legislation, changing trends, and the topic foremost in everyone’s mind –  pandemics like COVID-19. Not all external factors are negative and it is in the best interest of your organization to be able to look at upcoming and predicted external factors, weighing them to determine if they are opportunities or threats.


Opportunities are created by an environment that allows you to accomplish a task or goal. An organization that can recognize opportunities and plan on the best way to position itself to take the fullest advantage of such, places itself on good footing moving forward.


Similarly, threats are external factors that can cause damage to your organization. The threats can be large and small but at their heart they have the potential to either hold back or push back your organization’s ability to work and accomplish its mission in some way.

Sometimes an external factor can be both an opportunity and a threat, the outcome is determined by your organization’s ability to judge the facts, plan for the future and move forward with your plan. This is why it is important to be as prepared as an organization as possible for any and all outcomes. SWOT analysis is the first tool in your planning kit. By carefully analyzing where your organization is today, you can work on creating tactical and strategic plans. These plans are the map to your future success, a set course on your journey and the route you need to take in order to get to your end destination or goals.

Would you like to learn more about SWOT analysis, organizational planning and how urbanASKEW can help you? Please feel free to contact us here with any questions you may have or to arrange a call.


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