Developing a Marketing Strategy for Nonprofit Organizations: An Exploratory Study

Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing 04/2009; 21(2):184-201. DOI: 10.1080/10495140802529532


Nonprofit organizations have grown tremendously in the last three decades. With this growth has come a greater interest from the nonprofit sector in the importance of marketing. Nonprofits did not apply marketing techniques until 1960–1970, but it is now a well accepted practice. Traditional marketing strategies do not work for nonprofit organizations, and this study proposes the development of a new marketing strategy specifically for this sector. Through the use of interviews and surveys, the authors examine issues of marketing strategy that are distinct for nonprofits. Unlike previous studies, this study examines these issues from the viewpoint of the nonprofit organization. The perception of marketing is different in nonprofit organizations, and the strategic implications of this finding are discussed.

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    • "Consequently, RitC has over the past fifty years found themselves facing not only " business-like " challenges, but also challenges unique to voluntary organizations. These challenges have surfaced in RitC's development as they have struggled with a lack of marketing resources and poor brand recognition (Pope et al. 2009) after rejecting its affiliation with ARC; grappled with questions involving board size and mix and clarity of roles, responsibilities, and mission (Cornforth 2001); strived to balance its volunteers' needs with those of the organization (Bussell and Forbes 2006); and, developed ad hoc strategic thrusts to adapt to everchanging funding sources and a turbulent, external environment (Kramer and Grossman 1987). "
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    ABSTRACT: Competing Values Framework (CVF) has attracted attention in the organization literature but little is known about how competing values can inform development of voluntary organizations. Against this backdrop, we present an action research study into Right in the Community (RitC), a voluntary agency which provides services to developmentally disabled in Cobb County, Georgia. Collaborating with researchers and agency management, staff, and board, the study had a dual purpose: 1) develop agency’s identity, organization, management practices, and ability to plan for the future, and 2) adapt CVF to support development of voluntary organizations. Thus, we demonstrate the value of CVF for developing voluntary organizations by revealing how its dimensions of organizational focus, structural preference, and managerial concern positively informed the efforts at RitC. Also, tensions between heart and head were important and, therefore, in the context of voluntary organizations we propose to extend the CVF with a dimension of motivational trait.
    SSRN Electronic Journal 06/2011; DOI:10.2139/ssrn.1839832
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    01/2009; 22(1):92. DOI:10.7202/039662ar
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