Marketing in the Non-Profit Sector and the Growing Link With the Business World

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Marketing in the Non-profit Sector

The global economic order is primarily divided into three key sectors: the government sector, the private sector, and the non-profit sector. The non-profit sector is well-established in the developed world but penetrates the global financial and economic system. The United States of America (USA) is regarded as the origin and foundation of the non-profit sector. Other regions, such as the United Kingdom, India, Canada, Netherlands, and China, have also embraced the non-profit sector. Some of the leading non-profit organizations include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (USA), Wellcome Trust (UK), Amnesty International (USA), and Stichting INGKA Foundation (Netherlands). By definition, not-profit organizations essentially exist to provide services to the public, minus the desire to engender profits (Buffet & Eimicke, 2018). However, the current global operating environment is changing and becoming more competitive for every organization, notwithstanding their role in the social order. One of the main concerns facing non-profit organizations (NPOs) is whether they should market their activities or not. In light of this, the following sections of the paper deliberate on the importance of marketing for the sustainability of NPOs. It also evaluates the increasing correlation between non-profit management and the business world.

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Importance of Non-profit Organizations Marketing

There are many varied definitions of marketing in the literature. Marketing is regarded as the link connecting the producer and the consumer for which all parties must realize the optimum gain. Organizations must implement the connection strategically through several steps that involve planning, organizing, analyzing, and controlling. The strategies ensure that a solid and enduring bond is created between the producer and the consumer (Yalcin & Canoglu, 2021). Therefore, marketing is holistic as it involves activities over and above the usual advertisement and promotional campaigns.

NPOs regard marketing as a well-defined process used by the management to achieve organizational objectives. During the process, the non-profit organizations also aim to generate income by noting the target market’s wants and fulfilling them better than the opponents. It generally involves activities, institutions, and processes for producing, cooperating, supplying, and switching contributions of significance to the partners, customers, and community. The NPOs have enhanced the marketing profession by ensuring that the overall objective of marketing, which is to satisfy customer needs and customer orientation, is attained. Customer needs to form the central aim for every organization, which it desires to meet. Generally, people consider customer needs as only physical goods and services (Buffet & Eimicke, 2018). However, society has other needs that directly or indirectly affect people’s lives; they can be described as “social needs.”

The NPOs bear an enormous responsibility often negated by the government and private sector organizations. Most of the activities undertaken by non-profit organizations are characterized by very low or no public support and less profitability. Therefore, just like any other organization in other sectors, the NPOs need to benchmark and balance two main elements to be sustainable. The organizations must align their mission to fulfill social needs and serve the public well-being, and they must be financially efficient (Yalcin & Canoglu, 2021). For this reason, NPOs have sought to embrace different marketing strategies accustomed to the government and private entities.

Correlation between Non-Profit Management and the Business World

Business organizations play a fundamental role in the economic growth and development of individual economies and the world. The role played by the NPOs in our modern society has also expanded. Today the NPOs contribute meaningfully to the national economy. In particular, within the past two decades, the NPOs have created immense job opportunities employing millions of the young and old population globally (Osterwalder et al., 2020). The jobs in the NPOs have grown at a higher rate than those in the business sector. Even though individual employees working in the NPOs earn slightly less than their counterparts in the business world, the industry has improved overall people’s living standards. Additionally, the NPOs add billions of dollars to the economy every year in products and services that the business world and governments (federal, state, and local) consider less lucrative.

NPOs are leading in good management practices by implementing business strategies. Indeed they tend to implement better productivity and motivation strategies for enhancing the skills and knowledge of workers. They also have policies to ensure the board runs effectively and, by far, outperforms the business sector. The NPOs have also shown great effectiveness in brand management. The NPOs need to manage their brands just like the organizations in the private and government sectors. NPOs require branding to accent their development plan, although their approach may be narrower, primarily fundraising. Today, many NPOs use brand management to discover the widespread and strategic roles brands can play, particularly in driving far-reaching and long-standing social objectives. At the same time, the NPOs need to reinforce their internal structure, identity, and capacity. For example, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has a global brand and innovation director office. GBCHealth has also, in the past, undertaken measures to rebrand itself (Buffet & Eimicke, 2018). The brand managers in these revolutionary NPOs mainly devote their time and resources to social impact and organizational solidity and generate revenue.

Amid the growing role of the NPOs in society, these organizations have also experienced a parallel growth in fundraising for their diverse activities. In the business world, many cases of financial abuse and mismanagement have been reported and have been the cause of significant financial and economic crises across America and globally. Examples of financial misconduct manifest in Enron, Worldcom, Lehman Brothers, and many other business institutions. Armed with this reality, the taxpayers, concerned individuals, funders, the general public, and clients for NPOs have been prompted to ask for more transparency in the past three decades. In the same way, shareholders place demands on accountability from company management, and the interested parties in NPOs seek the same responsibility (Osterwalder et al., 2020). Not all NPOs are performing well. Hence, the need to know how the funds raised are spent, how the NPOs are run, and what they can accomplish with the funds delivered to them.

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Today there is also growing interested among people in the business world to contribute to a better and more sustainable future. There is a growing convergence between purpose and profit, with more and more millennials reporting the need to positively impact society over and above individual monetary or professional gains. Organizations in the business world also realize that apart from delivering wealth and profits to the shareholders, there is an increasing desire to engender social value. Even more, shareholders further support this plan as they demand the companies track and report on their operations’ negative and positive externalities (Yalcin & Canoglu, 2021). Hence, big and small corporations have been pushed to act for the social good, a role customarily played by the NPOs. Moreover, customers today crushingly have a preference for commodities tied to a social cause pushing more and more companies to seek certification for their social responsibility activities.

Role as a Non-Profit Marketing Director

Given the opportunity to serve as a non-profit marketing director, I will ensure I help my NPO market its activities in the best and most effective way. The task comes with a huge responsibility that cannot be underestimated in the current global operating environment. I believe the central aim of marketing the organization is to raise awareness and collect funds and ensure the NPO meets its desired goals and mission (Osterwalder et al., 2020). Effective performance of this mandate calls for different marketing tools and strategies. It will be instrumental in ensuring that I market the NPO through consumer-generated media (CGM) to reach the targeted audiences. With the increasing use of the internet in communication, CGM will enable electronic communication and expand the organization’s reach.

The messaging of the marketing efforts will be centered on our value proposition. The marketing activities will be carried out across different advertising media and will seek to engender personal persuasion. Our approach will also ensure we get involved in public and media advocacy through sponsoring talks on other areas that we believe impact society positively (Yalcin & Canoglu, 2021). All these interventions will attract more funds to push out activities to have a wider reach and grander social impact. The efforts will require the board members to ensure that the department is adequately staffed through employment or volunteers to drive the agenda.


Buffet, H. W., & Eimicke, W. B. (2018). How companies, governments, and nonprofits can create social change together. Harvard Business Review. Web.

Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., Smith, A., & Etiemble, F. (2020). The invincible company: How to constantly reinvent your organization with inspiration from the world’s best business models (The Strategyzer Series) (1st ed.). Wiley.

Yalcin, Z., & Canoglu, M. (2021). Social media marketing effectiveness of Non-Profit organizations: An analysis on environmentalist organizations. OPUS Uluslararası Toplum Araştırmaları Dergisi. Published. Web.

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BusinessEssay. (2022) 'Marketing in the Non-Profit Sector and the Growing Link With the Business World'. 24 November.


BusinessEssay. 2022. "Marketing in the Non-Profit Sector and the Growing Link With the Business World." November 24, 2022.

1. BusinessEssay. "Marketing in the Non-Profit Sector and the Growing Link With the Business World." November 24, 2022.


BusinessEssay. "Marketing in the Non-Profit Sector and the Growing Link With the Business World." November 24, 2022.