Embrace the Power of Market Orientation
Good shouldn't be commodified, but to raise funds for your cause, organizations must embrace a market-oriented approach. Studies have shown that market-oriented non-profits are more successful in attracting funding and building relationships with donors.
The Research is Clear
Studies by P. Kotler, D. Hessekiel, and J. Roberto in the Journal of Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations, A. Javalgi and C. White in the Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness, D. Stone and G. Woodall in the Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing, J. G. Narver and S. F. Slater in the Strategic Management Journal, and R. A. Kotler and K. L. Keller in the Journal of Marketing all support the notion that a market-oriented approach improves non-profit performance.
The 4 Ps of Marketing for Non-Profits
Non-profit managers can use the marketing mix, or 4 Ps of marketing, to design effective fundraising plans. These include Product (the cause or idea supported), Price (the budget asked from donors), Promotion (communication methods to inform stakeholders), and Place (the channels used to reach donors).
Examples of Successful Market-Oriented Non-Profits
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) focuses on protecting endangered species and their habitats, and The American Red Cross is a non-profit organization that provides disaster relief and assistance to those in need. Both have a clear and distinct product and transparent pricing structure that sets them apart from other non-profits in their respective fields.
The Bottom Line
While it's important to note that results may not be generalizable across different non-profits and contexts, the research is clear: a market-oriented approach can greatly improve non-profit performance and fundraising success. Additionally, the use of social media, position papers, and webinars as a marketing approach have been proven to be effective in fundraising and increasing awareness for non-profits.
The Journal of Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations (https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/wjmo20/current)
The Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness (https://www.inderscience.com/jhome.php?jcode=jmdc)
The Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing (https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/wnps20/current)
The Strategic Management Journal (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10975253)
The Journal of Marketing (https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/jm)
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) (https://www.worldwildlife.org/)
The American Red Cross (https://www.redcross.org/)