Academic journal article Advances in Management

Marketing Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations

Academic journal article Advances in Management

Marketing Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations

Article excerpt


Main purpose of this study is two folds. First, reviewing results of previous researches in nonprofit organizations' marketing strategies to show the feasibility of adopting for-profit's marketing strategies to nonprofit organizations and second, to show the necessity of separating for-profit marketing strategies from nonprofit marketing strategies based on the distinctiveness of characteristics of nonprofit organizations. This study shows and reviews marketing for nonprofit organizations and then the previous studies for nonprofit organizations marketing strategies are followed by distinctive nonprofit marketing strategies such as fund raising strategy and cause related marketing (CRM).

Keywords: Nonprofit Organization, Marketing Strategies, Fund-Raising, Cause-Related Marketing, Nonprofit Organization Marketing.


The idea of applying marketing to the nonprofit organization has its origin from series of articles published during late 1960's through early 1970's. In an article 'Broadening the concept of marketing', Kotier and Levy11 argued that "marketing is pervasive societal activity that goes considerably beyond the selling of toothpaste, soap, and steel." They concluded that the choice facing those who manage nonprofit organizations is not whether to market or not to market rather whether to do it well or not. In the same research lane, Kotier and Zaltman10 explained the applicability of marketing concepts to social problems as same aspect as that of Kotier and Levy's11. The authors showed how social causes could be advanced more successfully through applying principles of marketing analysis, planning and control to problems of social changes. They believe that specific social causes could benefit from marketing thinking and planning.

As the same kind of idea, Shapiro24 identified the nonprofit organization manager's three major marketing tasks; resource attraction, resource allocation and persuasion. And he described the use of the various components of the marketing mix in the performance of these tasks. The author concluded that realistic marketing and planning can enable private organizations to substantially improve their operations. The acceptance of this idea grew rapidly through decades and it has now matured its life cycle.

Nonprofit Organization

Several articles talked about the unique characteristics of nonprofit organizations and their strengths and weaknesses. Octon'3 classified the UK nonprofit organizations into two types; public sector and voluntary sector. By carefully examining both public and voluntary sector UK organizations, certain characteristics can be seen which differentiate them from commercial organizations and which are important when discussing marketing theory and practice. In the voluntary sector, the exchange process is often confused by separation of those providing financial resources from those receiving the benefits. Additionally, voluntary and many public sector organizations can best be described as intermediaries between this two rather than as direct participants in the exchange process.

Selby23 argued that the unique characteristics of nonprofit organizations should be sources of strength, not weakness. The diffusion of accountability and the absence of systematic monetary rewards based on group performance are two features of nonprofit organizations particularly volunteer groups that distinguish them at the managerial level from coiporate enterprises. These characteristics often lead to frustration and poor results in pursuing objectives. Other qualities of such organizations are rich personal resources and strong motivation to contribute service and these can form the basis for superior and creative performance by administrators, professional staffs and volunteer workers.

Yorke" analyzed the similarities and differences between profit and nonprofit organizations. Managers in both sectors are elected by some process to be responsible for the efficient handling of assets through a chief executive. …

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