A Fundraising SWOT Analysis for 2014
As the Christmas tree still stands and the wrapping paper is now in the trash, we must turn our attention to a brand-new year. Welcome to the year 2014. I still miss Dick Clark!
The life of a resource development professional never ends. Whether it is a fiscal year or calendar year, all numbers roll back to zero at some point in time. The key to our jobs is simply metrics. The race for dollars, donors, gifts, number of solicitations, volunteers and so on continues.
Our quest for victory is never ultimate. It is just a series of layering exercises that continually build until we are replaced with another person who continues the process. One important metric is always number of people served!
So, welcome to a new year and many challenges. Before you jump on the treadmill, take a deep breath and determine areas of personal focus for the upcoming year. Here is a blueprint for you, though each personal SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis differs. It is always wise to evaluate personal progress as we grow in our career paths. Look in the mirror, and create your own template.
- Maintaining good health and energy to meet demanding job
- Ability to critique programs and see best-of-class program replacements
- Attending Association of Fundraising Professionals events and just renewed CFRE for three more years
- Keeping practitioner and consulting perspective fresh
- Participating in a national conference as a speaker — something I love to do
- Not enough time to accomplish goals
- Need new, talented volunteers to engage with organization
- Need transformational gift to affect culture of organization
- Would love additional staff to meet additional prospects
- Need to instill philanthropy as a team sport through organization — not there yet
- Many annual-fund donor prospects exist for major-gift possibilities — build relationships
- Eliminate current silos to integrate team approach via annual, major and planned gifts
- Many potential prospects are unaware of what the organization actually does — educate and communicate
- Organizational leadership ready for new directions to help with philanthropy
- Talented and willing young staff ready to learn and grow
- Tremendous competition from thousands of excellent 501(c)(3)s
- Uncertain economy and uneven perception of excess to give
- Government funding cutbacks placing stress on priorities
- Long-term individual health care funding concerns affecting prospects' willingness to part with large donations
- Uncertainty regarding long-term tax deduction implications for charitable giving
As you enter 2014, prioritize areas where you can obtain immediate short- and long-term success. Strive to continue to learn from peers, seek best-of-class examples, stay focused and seek continuing education. Also, build partnerships with organizations and better understand funders' needs and wants. Strive to maintain a positive outlook, and make your career the best it can be. Finally, consider volunteering in an area of your passion, and enjoy philanthropy from a different point of view.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-224-1029.