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Start Up Program Management Program Enhancements  Accountability


Toolkit Welcome

Program Evaluation Overview

Reporting to Stakeholders

Starting a Program Evaluation

Data Tracking

Tutorial on Assessment Plans

Program Renewal Through SWOT Analysis

Reporting and Records Retention


Program Renewal Through SWOT Analysis

Maggie Pugh of the Community Foundation of Sarasota Florida has conducted SWOT analysis and SWOT analysis workshops. SWOT is the acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It is a helpful process for scholarship providers who seek to improve their programs or check on the vitality of their programs. Maggie suggests these steps when conducting a SWOT analysis: 

Explain the Process. Why are you doing this?

A SWOT Analysis takes time – and time is precious to most of us. It is important that everyone participating understands why they are at the meeting and what the expect outcomes are so that the time together is well spent.

  • Explain the purpose of the meeting.
  • Define SWOT Analysis as the process of documenting the scholarship program’s Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats.
  • Explain how you will use this information, stressing the importance of the results – that they will serve as a foundation for strategic business planning within your program.
  • Don’t forget to establish meeting ground rules; everyone needs to agree upon these before the meeting is conducted. Ground rules help promote meeting efficiency and participation.
Sample Meeting Ground Rules
  • Be prepared for the meeting by reviewing materials distributed beforehand.
  • Respect each other and refrain from personal attacks.
  • Acknowledge that it is acceptable to disagree.
  • Listen and do not interrupt.
  • Everyone participates. All members have value and their thoughts are important.
  • Honor time limits; be on time, start on time, end on time. Stick to the agenda and stay on track.
  • Keep an open mind; recognize that all ideas are potentially good ones.
  • Respect confidentiality – what happens in the SWOT stays in the SWOT.
  • Turn off all cellphones – NO distractions! 
List Strengths

Strengths – characteristics of the business, team, or program that give it an advantage over others in the industry. Develop a list of all the internal strengths of your scholarship program. Discuss the strengths and clarify any questions. 

Identify Weaknesses

Weaknesses – characteristics that place the business, team, or program at a disadvantage.

Develop a list of all internal factors that impact your scholarship program negatively. Discuss and clarify. 

List Opportunities

Opportunities – external chances to make the business, team or program better.

Develop list of external factors that could provide new opportunities to your scholarship program. Discuss and clarify. 

Identify Threats

Threats – external elements that could cause trouble. Develop a list of threats that could have a negative impact on your scholarship program. Discuss and clarify.






Offer a mentoring program to students

Paper application

Use social media to reach students

Taking the application online using new technology could challenge staff

Experienced staff

Staff is close to retirement

Alumni program

Stock market fluctuations – less money to give

Establish Priorities

Once you have made your lists and identified your Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats use a prioritization process to reduce the lists to top priorities. 

Discuss Next Steps

The goal is to turn the SWOT into something actionable. The goal is to develop an action plan and move towards improvement. 

  • How can you maximize your strengths?
  • How can you overcome the threats?
  • What do you need to do to overcome the weaknesses?
  • How can you take advantage of any opportunities?

A copy of a SWOT Analysis presentation is included in the resource guide.

Source: Maggie Pugh, Quality and Innovations Manager, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Florida


 TGThe Scholarship Program Toolkit is made possible by a TG Public Benefit Grant.

Thank you to the following organizations for their generous support!

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