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Other player analysis

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How to find out who is helping or hindering the success of your non profit or charitable organisation.

Commercial marketing calls this analytical tool, competitor analysis, but I coined the term Other Player Analysis (OPA) in 1994 for two reasons. First there is correctly a desire among non profits to try and co-operate, especially in service delivery and sharing of resources. Second competitor analysis as a term implies quite a narrow concept – what other organisations like us are serving our market?

Other player analysis is a broader concept prompting us to ask – what other social institutions (players) are helping or hindering the effectiveness of what we offer? 


For example a non profit organisation runs a school for disabled children. Its competitors are other schools for disabled children run by other non profits. The other players include these competitors, but also everyone else who is actually or potentially offering education and care for disabled children either in partnership (at the same time as the school) or in competition. This wider group will include: 

  • the (partnership with) parents and family of the disabled child (their approach may either support or hinder the school’s educational and rehabilitation objectives, for example, the school may be encouraging independence but the parents might unwittingly be undermining this by doing everything for their child)
  • the (partnership with) the health and social workers and educational support workers from the local authority
  • the (competition with) other non profit schools for disabled children
  • the (competition with) local authority and private mainstream schools which integrate disabled children into ordinary schools.

Further information

There is more information about other player analysis including how to collect and analyse data in the Strategy section.

Have your say

If you do not take account of the ways the other players in your activity area might help or hinder the impact of your activity or even 'steal' your customer, then you and your customers will lose out. Do you agree with this statement?

Page last edited Mar 31, 2017

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