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SWOT analysis of Oxfam (Oxfam SWOT explained)

SWOT analysis of Oxfam (Oxfam SWOT explained)

This detailed SWOT analysis of Oxfam aims to examine the strengths and the weaknesses of Oxfam. It also attempts to examine the opportunities the organisation should explore and the threats it should keep close eyes on. Oxfam is a confederation of 19 affiliate members, led and managed by Oxfam International. It was founded in1942 in Oxford, the UK.

Strengths of Oxfam

Oxfam along with its affiliates, operates in more than 90 countries to tackle the challenges of poverty and respond to any emergencies. Approximately 10,000 employees and 50,000 interns and volunteers work with its affiliates globally (Oxfam, 2020). Oxfam is one of the largest and oldest charities in the UK and has an enormous amount of market knowledge.

Oxfam works in a number of areas. Food, water, health and education, women’s rights, aid and development, conflicts and disasters, and climate change are of some of its main areas of operations (Oxfam, 2020).  Its ground-breaking work has brought about changes in the lives of many people in many countries.

Financial transparency is a good strength of Oxfam. Out of every £1 spent, it invests 84p on humanitarian, development and campaigning work, 7p to raise funds, and 9p to run its operations (Oxfam, 2020). Its openness and transparency have been praise-worthy and instrumental in building stakeholders’ trust and confidence.

Oxfam receives donations and generate revenues from numerous sources. For instance, it has over 650 shops globally (Oxfam, 2020). Likewise, it has online shops as well. Oxfam receives donations from general public, organisations, governments, and other public authorities. It received millions of pounds from the UK government and the European Commission in the last few years (BBC, 2018).

Weaknesses of Oxfam

Oxfam’s reputation was at serious risk when it was alleged that its staff had hired prostitutes while working overseas, particularly in Haiti. Oxfam was also accused of a cover-up, though it denied it strongly. Consequently, an inquire into the charity was launched and the Charity Commission (UK), concluded that Oxfam GB’s culture and safeguarding procedures repeatedly fell below the expectations (Weakley, 2019).

Though Oxfam has retail outlets both online and offline, its brand identity as a retail outlet is weak. Likewise, its existence is mostly dependent upon donations and governments’ funding which is a problem for long-term planning.

Opportunities for Oxfam

Oxfam has good opportunities to grow its retail outlets globally. It has seen rapid growth in its online shops in the last few years which is likely to grow further.

Large amount of funds can be expected from senior and affluent citizens as more and more people are becoming financially solvent worldwide. Likewise, social networking sites offer Oxfam a nice opportunity to reach out more people globally for donations and volunteering opportunities.

Threats to Oxfam

Threat is the last element to address in the SWOT analysis of Oxfam. There are so many charities of different sizes out there who compete for the same donations Oxfam targets. Likewise, there are so many online and offline retail outlets with which Oxfam must compete to survive. Apart from the competitors’ threats, operating in potentially dangerous locations is also a threat.

We hope the article has been helpful. You may also like reading Stakeholders of Oxfam (An analysis of Oxfam’s stakeholders and Definitions of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Other relevant articles for you are:

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Last update: 12 March 2020

References/further reading

BBC (2020) Reality Check: How much UK charity money goes to Oxfam? Available at: (accessed 05 March 2020)

Oxfam (2020) About us, available at: (accessed 05 March 2020)

Weakley, K. (2019) Charity Commission publishes highly critical report about culture and safeguarding at Oxfam, available at: (accessed 01 February 2020)

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Author: M Rahman

M Rahman writes extensively online and offline with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.

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