Academic journal article Journal of Case Studies

An International Social Marketing Strategy for a Non Profit Organization: Determining the Path for Continued Success?

Academic journal article Journal of Case Studies

An International Social Marketing Strategy for a Non Profit Organization: Determining the Path for Continued Success?

Article excerpt

This case was prepared by the author (McGovern) and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. The views represented here are those of the case author based on his professional judgment and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society for Case Research. The views are based on professional judgment.


In 1979 Co-operation Ireland (COI) was founded to advocate for peace and reconciliation to be established between the Nationalist and Unionist communities in Northern Ireland. Almost 20 years later the Good Friday Peace Treaty was signed and the widespread violence in Northern Ireland started to decline. In 1998 a total of 55 security-related deaths were recorded. By 2010 that figure had dropped to 1 security recorded death. This significant decline was viewed as a sign that quieter and more peaceful times had arrived in Northern Ireland. The first objective had been accomplished, i.e. a peace treaty was signed. Now COI had to focus on an even harder task: to build a lasting reconciliation between the Nationalist and the Unionist communities and seek to restore friendship and harmony across Northern Ireland. Over the years COI had build a strong organization and presence in Ireland and had offices based in Belfast and Dublin. It also had reached out abroad and opened an office in New York in 1995.

In 2011, as the global recession extended into another year, COI faced difficult choices. The level of charitable donations collected was in decline especially from the USA, an important source of funding. International public opinion had also considered the conflict resolved, evidenced by the lack of public disorder on the streets of Belfast and Derry. The administrators of the New York office had reached a crossroads: should they continue to operate as a small nonprofit organization with staff and offices utilized on a year-to-year basis'? Or should they expand their reach and target partnerships as the way forward, leveraging their brand identity and messaging across various platforms with different non-profit organizations?


The Irish conflict had a long history that dated back across two centuries. Todd (2009) suggested that the conflict could be broken down into three distinct temporal origins. The first was based around the seventeenth-century plantation of Ireland by the English monarchs. During this time the whole of Ireland was under English rule. Ulster, the most northerly province consisted of nine counties, was occupied by English and Scottish settlers brought in to live and work the land (see Appendix 1 for Map of Ireland).

The second distinct origin was identified as the early twentieth-century partition that began with the Union of 1800. A new political dynamic took place as the country was subjected to direct rule from Westminster, London. This period of time left the original antagonisms intact and reinforced the nationalist desire to break free from British rule. The third and final origin began in 1920 when the Government of Ireland Act was signed enabling the six counties of Northern Ireland to be partitioned off from the rest of Ireland but still remain under British rule. The remaining 26 counties of Ireland became a "Free State" in 1922, decoupled from British Rule. However the conflict was left unresolved in the six counties of Northern Ireland between the Ulster Protestants unionists on one side and the Irish Catholic nationalists on the other (see Appendix 2 for Background Note: Ireland).

A turning point occurred in 1969 when the Civil Rights marches that demanded equal rights between Unionists and Nationalists made world headlines. The time between 1969 and 1998 became a period of intense fear for the population of Northern Ireland as a violent power struggle ensued in the name of Irish nationalism. The intensity of the conflict can be gauged by the fact that 3,568 people were killed during this period including members of the security forces and innocent civilians, see Figure 1 below (Appendix 3 provides a breakdown by year). …

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