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Marketing for Non-Profit, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 604

Essay

We often associate marketing with for-profit organizations because the general understanding of marketing is that it is intended to increase profits by promoting the organization and its products/services among the targeted customer groups. Similarly, many business people also believe the purpose of marketing is only to help the organization increase sales (Brenner, 2012). This conventional understanding of marketing may be the reason why many will dismiss the idea of non-profit organizations engaging in marketing. This is because while for-profit organizations exist for the purpose of earning financial benefits for their owners/shareholders, non-profit organizations primarily exist to advance the greater good of the community, society, or the world (Fritz). The opposition to marketing by non-profit organizations is also influenced by a limited understanding of the marketing purpose and, in fact, the importance of marketing for non-profit organizations could not have been greater today due to changing trends and realities on the ground.

The first reason why non-profits should engage in marketing is because they are increasingly being run like for-profit organizations. The case specifically mentions that today over 90 percent of a non-profit healthcare organization’s income comes from billable services. The demand for their services often exceeds the resources they have, thus, they are being forced to manage their limited resources more efficiently and identify new streams of funding. Organizations like Red Cross now have operations almost all over the world and they cannot afford to ignore marketing efforts to raise funds. The purpose of marketing is not just to promote the company to increase profitability but instead it has numerous purposes one of which is to raise awareness about an issue or a cause.

Charitable giving in the U.S. has remained constant at about 2 percent of national GDP. One of the functions of marketing is to encourage a particular behavior in consumers and this alone justifies marketing by non-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations could appeal to the average individual’s altruistic side through marketing and encourage him/her to contribute more to the social causes. We have already seen the power of marketing/promotion in encouraging charitable giving over the last few years. For example, the national coverage of Hurricane Katrina led to billions of dollars of donations which might not have happened, were fewer people aware of the hurricane and its consequences (Pallotta, 2009). Another great example is Susan G. Komen Foundation (Susan G. Komen) whose success could not have happened without a well designed marketing strategy.

Non-profit organizations should also engage in marketing because the competition within the non-profit industry has also increased and more and more organizations are competing for donors’ funds. Marketing can help organization increase awareness about its mission, activities, achievements, and brand and help attract greater funding. Many for-profit corporations often ask their stakeholders to nominate a non-profit organization for donation and, thus, greater brand awareness can be quite beneficial in such scenarios.

Marketing is not only intended for increasing profitability but also increasing awareness of a particular issue or cause. More and more non-profit organizations are being run like for-profit organizations because the demand for their services is often greater than their resources and many non-profit organizations generate most of their income through billable services. In addition, marketing can also be used to positively influence the general public to be more generous towards charitable giving.

References

Brenner, M. (2012, August 9). What Is Marketing? Retrieved May 19, 2013, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2012/08/09/what-is-marketing/

Fritz, J. (n.d.). How Is a Nonprofit Different from a For-profit Business? Retrieved May 19, 2013, from http://nonprofit.about.com/od/qathebasics/f/nopvspro.htm

Pallotta, D. (2009, May 26). Why Nonprofits Should Invest More in Advertising. Retrieved May 19, 2013, from http://blogs.hbr.org/pallotta/2009/05/why-nonprofits-should-spend-mo.html

Susan G. Komen. (n.d.). About Us. Retrieved May 19, 2013, from http://ww5.komen.org/AboutUs/AboutUs.html

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