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In an effort to increase the effectiveness of its communications for acquiring new donors to its annual fund, Golden Gate University developed a plan to solicit a subset of its alumni using different methods such as direct mail and e-mail campaigns, during the FY11 Fall Annual fund appeals. The following is a discussion of the current product situation of the product addressed in its fund appeal plan, and a SWOT analysis of the same.
Current Product Situation and SWOT Analysis: Golden Gate University
Current product refers to the product, which a business is selling in order to gain profit. Analyzing the current product situation refers to a process of identifying the parts, which make the current product. These include separating the core product from the secondary products/services, and the supporting products/services. An evaluation of the Golden Gate University’s annual report for the year 2010 indicates that the university’s current product is a magazine. Golden Gate University’s plan is to develop a network of alumni, who can offer financial support, by making continuous contributions to its annual budget. From the plan, the main product is the magazine of Golden Gate University magazine. Copies of the magazine are sent to registered alumni through email (soft copy), and by post (hard copy). The supporting services include emails, phone messages, and direct mails to alumni, containing appeal messages for financial support towards the 2011 budget.
Golden Gate University has employed different methods for positioning its product in the targeted market. The university has created opportunities for it alumni to hold positions in the school’s board. This is a good strategy for positioning the current product in the market. This is because; the alumni seating in the university’s board can easily use their positions to lure other alumni to offer financial assistance. The other strategy is use of various scholarship programs to first-time students with financial problems. This positioning strategy allows the university to create a wider database of alumni, who will offer their assistance in the future. The university’s statement of activities for the year 2010 indicates that, the university has managed to record increased revenue from operating activities as well as from non-operating activities. Moreover, the annual report indicates that the university has been able to achieve reduced operating expenses. It is therefore clear that the university is profitable. In the year 2011, the university’s board expects increased income levels due to the anticipated enrollment increase in the number of students and that of alumni.
One of the key strengths of Golden Gate University is its long establishment. Golden Gate University has been in operation since 1901. It therefore has a big number of alumni, whose financial contributions can help Golden Gate University achieve its financial objectives. Over the years, Golden Gate University has managed to offer quality education to various people, who are currently serving in various prominent positions. Many of these alumni are willing to offer their support to the university in different ways. Availability of willing and able alumni is yet another strength that the university has in its current plan of soliciting funds from its alumni. However, the plan has one weakness; the university does not seem to consider the contribution that the entire alumni can make to its budget needs. The university only considers a specific subset of alumni (those in prominent positions and careers).
On the other hand, given the current awareness among parents and students about the importance of education, Golden Gate University has an opportunity to expand its programs in other states. Based on its performance profile, Golden Gate University has been able to create alumni not only in California, but also in other states. Therefore, it can depend on the support of its alumni outside the State of California to open new branches in different states. However, Golden Gate University faces a threat of competition from other institutions of higher learning. Nowadays, there are many private universities offering different degree programs. In addition, some middle-level colleges are being converted into universities. Therefore, the number of universities is increasing everyday. For this reason, Golden Gate University might face low student enrollment in the future.