Growth of Non Profit Marketing

In the past, marketing has been most widely applied in the business sector. In recent years, however, marketing also has become a major component in the strategies of many non-profit organizations, such as colleges, charities, churches, hospitals, museums, performing arts groups and even police departments. Consider the following examples:

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Government agencies such as England's Health Education Authority have successfully used marketing tools to reach target audiences.

Faced with the daunting task of selling the single currency to European citizens, many of whom appeared disturbed by the economic sacrifices involved, the European Commission turned to marketing and media experts to develop a strategy to promote the 'euro', Pan-European advertising campaigns were also launched to reinforce national initiatives to influence public opinion in favour of replacing national currencies.'5

To stem the falling number of church-goers, many of Britain's church groups are seeking more effective ways to attract members and maintain financial support. Increasingly, and despite the controversy, preachers are using the press, television and radio to advertise religion to the general public. They are conducting marketing research to better understand member needs and are redesigning their 'service offerings' accordingly. Some evangelical groups are even starting their own radio and television stations. The Vatican has been known to have appointed the advertising agency, Saatchi and Saatchi, to run a £2,5m television campaign."'

Over the past decade, many charities have moved on from tin-rattling and tombolas to employing some of the most sophisticated marketing tools, to win support for their causes. For example, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is Europe's largest wildlife conservation charity, dealing with issues as wide-ranging as biodiversity, protection of wildlife sites, and marine life. The charity hired a marketing agency to run an awareness advertising campaign for them, which aimed to take their membership up to one million in 1997. They also tied in the campaign with direct marketing activity. One of the objectives is to reach a younger audience than the RSPB's traditional 55 + , the 30-somethings, who get more worried about the environment when they have kids of their own. The campaign used a message that suggested birds are a barometer of the health of the environment.

Many longstanding non-profit organizations - the YMCA, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Girl Scouts - are striving to modernize their missions and 'products' to attract more members and donors.17

Finally, government agencies have shown an increased interest in marketing. For example, various government agencies are now designing

social marketing campaigns to encourage energy conservation and concern for the environment, or to discourage smoking, excessive drinking and drug use.1N

The continued growth of non-profit and public sector marketing presents new and exciting challenges for marketing managers.

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