Tows Matrix

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The TOWS Matrix: Putting a SWOT Analysis into Action|

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Shawn Kendrick, VolunteerHub.comLast month's article concentrated on utilizing a SWOT analysis to identify your organization's strengths and weaknesses. Now that you've done this, you may be wondering what to do with the information. This is where the TOWS matrix becomes a useful tool. It is a simple but effective way to brainstorm specific strategies to address the results of your initial SWOT investigation. Below we'll give you an overview on the basics of utilizing this exercise in a volunteer management context.You've probably noticed that TOWS is simply SWOT spelled backwards. Remember from our last article that these letters are just an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. For the TOWS matrix, simply create a chart where your internal pieces (Strengths and Weaknesses) intersect with the external aspects (Opportunities and Threats). The graph below shows an example of how your table should look. .| Opportunities (external)| Threats (external)| .| Opportunity 1| Threat 1|

.| Opportunity 2| Threat 2|
Strengths (internal)| S-O Strategies| S-T Strategies|
Strength 1| S-O Strategy 1| S-T Strategy 1|
Strength 2| S-O Strategy 2| S-T Strategy 2|
Weaknesses (internal)| W-O Strategies| W-T Strategies|
Weakness 1| W-O Strategy 1| W-T Strategy 1|
Weakness 2| W-O Strategy 2| W-T Strategy 2|
Weakness 3| W-O Strategy 3| Remember, you don't have to fill every box but you should at least give it some thought!| Now that your matrix has been created, it’s time to put your brain to work and come up with some strategies. Remember, the point is to come up with many ideas for each box. Since you'll have lots of strengths, opportunities, etc. listed, there's plenty of fodder to come up with multiple solutions. Here is a more detailed description of each section.SO - Use internal strengths to capitalize on external opportunities. For example,...
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