Before you jump into the copywriting, design and implementation of your online fundraising campaign, you have to do some ground work.

In Part 1 of this series, I suggested conducting a SWOT analysis before readying plans for online fundraising. Let’s talk about the benefits of this quick exercise.

A SWOT analysis sounds a lot more intimidating than it is. Actually, it could be a really fun exercise in many projects and simply requires a little bit of reflecting.

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. A SWOT analysis is just a report of each of these factors (strengths and weaknesses being internal factors and opportunities and threats being external) that can help you greatly when you begin plans for your campaign.

Conducting a SWOT analysis gives you a better understanding of your organization, how your audience views it and how they might respond and engage during online fundraising. A SWOT allows you to identify both strengths of your organization and past campaigns and the weaknesses that can be improved on. Then opportunities and threats can be identified.

Take advantage of what the SWOT reveals about your organization and implement those findings. The strengths and weaknesses help reveal and understand the opportunities and threats. In particular, when you’re conducting an online fundraising campaign, consider the opportunities that online mediums present, as well as the threats.

Now that we have a better understanding of a SWOT analysis and its benefits, let’s talk about what you need to consider when conducting your own SWOT.

  • Begin by taking a look at the past. Evaluate existing online fundraising campaigns and plans, and identify those internal factors: strengths and weaknesses.
  • Now, set some goals. Do you want more funds or engagement? More monthly giving or more first-time donations? Think about your goals and how your strengths and weaknesses influence them. This is where you think about those opportunities and possible threats.
  • Now, begin planning your online fundraising campaign. Discuss the SWOT Analysis with your team and start moving forward on strategy. Put it into writing form and let this be a reference tool for your campaign.

It won’t take long at all for you to complete this and you’ll have great guidelines to work from. If you need any more help, here are some great references:

SWOT Analysis for Fundraising

From the Expert: Developing Your SWOT Analysis

A Fundraising Organization SWOT Analysis for 2014