Could you describe your competitors in detail?  If the idea of competition makes your organization nervous, are there organizations you consider good benchmark’s for your cause?  Do you really understand how many volunteers they engage and the techniques they use to retain donors?  Have you read their annual reports?  Does somebody from your board attend a competitor’s programs?  Do you access their financial returns online or use their compensation structure for benchmarking salaries?

Assign staff, board, volunteers to get to know a competitor better.  Encourage them to assemble a portfolio of information and make a presentation of their findings.

If your organization wants to understand its competitive advantage you need perspective.  Many organizations only engage in competitor analysis once every five or ten years during strategic planning but the opportunity to renew your understanding today only enhances your day-to-day decision making.

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