The development and application of not-for-profit marketing

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In chapter 2 the theoretical foundation and literature review was provided to form the basis of chapter 3 in which the research problem and four research questions are formulated.

Problem Statement

In the decades since the idea of applying marketing principles to the NFP sector was first introduced, researchers have concluded that, mostly due to the reasons outlined in Chapter 2, NFP marketing has become more accepted and adopted. Research was, however, often adapted from original research intended for use in the commercial sector without consideration for the uniqueness of the NFP environment. Andreasen and Kotler (2003) point out that the transferability of research developed in the commercial sector is not always clear. Bennet and Sargeant (2003) emphasise that the general volume of research on NFP marketing is low and the quality variable. Most of the research relating to marketing by charities has focussed on the surveyed opinions of managers working for the larger charities, in most cases the biggest organisations receiving the bulk of donor support. Other stakeholders, like donors and employees, have received almost no attention. The experiences of smaller organisations remain un-researched. Despite the fact that there has been considerable research in particular areas of NFP marketing, much more research is required in order to understand the phenomenon and how it is truly taking effect in the wider NFP sector. Grounds (2005) and Hankinson (2001) point out that branding in the NFP sector remains under researched. Research on the brand management practices of smaller charities is virtually non-existent. This study investigates the effectiveness of NFP marketing as perceived by donors and smaller charities with special reference to the role of branding and reputation.

Measuring instruments

Leedy and Ormond (2005) highlight that two techniques are available that facilitate both evaluation and quantification of behaviours and attitudes. A checklist is a list of behaviours and characteristics or other entities that a researcher is investigating. A rating scale is more useful when a behaviour, attitude or other phenomenon of interest needs to be evaluated on a continuum. Rating scales are sometimes called Likert scales. In compiling the questionnaire a combination of checklist and rating scales is used due to the variation in data required. The questionnaire results are both metric and non-metric in nature. The results from the focus group have some frequency dimensions but as this is not the aim of the research, more emphasis is placed on the individual responses of participants. Research measurement instruments have to take note of reliability and validity. These aspects influence the extent to which results are significant, and meaningful conclusions can be drawn from them (Leedy and Ormond, 2005). The validity of a measurement is the extent to which the instrument measures what it is supposed to measure. Reliability refers to the consistency with which a measuring instrument yields a certain result when the entity being measured has not changed. Reliability is a necessary but insufficient condition for validity. Both aspects reflect the degree to which error in measurement might exist. In general validity errors reflect the biases in the instrument being used and are relatively constant sources of error. Reliability errors reflect the use of the instrument and vary unpredictably (Leedy and Ormond, 2005). Diamantopoulos and Schlegelmilch (2000) emphasise that the extent to which a particular measure is free from both systematic and random error indicates the validity of the measure and the extent to which a measure is free from random error indicates the reliability of the measure. The validity of an instrument is in essence the extent to which the instrument measures what it is intended to measure. In the current study the use of both a focus group and questionnaire to measure the NFP marketing practices of charities and their use of branding satisfies the requirements of criterion validity which “is the extent to which the results of an assessment instrument correlate with another related measure” (Leedy and Ormond, 2005:92). To measure the role of reputation in the NFP sector inferences are made from responses to the questionnaire pertaining to the giving behaviour of respondents therefore aiming at meeting the requirements of construct validity. The construct validity of the focus group is promoted by requesting specific examples of behaviour from participants. The content validity of the focus group is promoted by applying rigorous selection criteria for participation ensuring that participants are in fact competent to judge the state of the sector due to their personal experiences and length of involvement. The content validity of the questionnaire to a large extent depends on the response rate. A total of 419 questionnaires from the 431 submitted were completed accurately and utilised for analysis. The face validity of both instruments remains dependent on the subjective judgement of respondents. The reliability of the instruments is dependent on the extent to which they yield consistent results. Reliability is pursued through a process requesting participants in the focus group and respondents to the questionnaire to answer questions seeking to test the same variable more than once in different ways. Through repetition the consistency of opinions and responses is tested. The equivalence requirements are promoted in this manner. The reliability and validity of the questionnaire method was promoted in the design of the instrument itself. The questionnaire was designed in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) format and posted on an internet website hosted in the United Kingdom. It was decided not to send out paper questionnaires due to the low rate of response often received and the cost involved. This was particularly relevant as an international perspective was required. Requests to complete the questionnaire were sent out electronically to a contact list made up of professional and personal contacts. A request was also placed on a specially created internet social networking group site to increase the response rate. The often-used electronic approach requiring respondents to duplicate the questionnaire and then complete it (“copy” and “paste”), was avoided as it is time.


Data collected from the survey indicate that 83% of those surveyed give support to charities, they give frequently (37%) and sometimes (37%) in equal measure, they tend to give monthly donations (58%) and they still prefer to give money (70%). The public is very aware (82%) that marketing techniques are applied by charities and they recognise which techniques in particular are used. The traditional channels such as television, newspapers and magazines are still the most successful but friends, family and colleagues (16%) have a significant influence.
Donors stay fairly loyal (37%) but they prefer to vary their support (57%). They need to believe in the issue they are supporting or it will prove difficult to persuade them to care for something outside of their traditional area of support. Respondents repeat their support to organisations they supported in the past. When choices are made between similar organisations, knowledge of the organisation (30%) and support for their areas of work (29%) are the deciding factors A charity’s most valuable (59%) asset is its reputation and through its associations a charity has the power to influence product decisions.


In chapter 1 the orientation of the study was outlined, in chapter 2 the literature review was provided, in chapter 3 the problem statement and individual research questions discussed, in chapter 4 the research design and analysis provided and in chapter 5 the results were presented.The outcome of the study is discussed in this chapter. The results of each research question will be discussed in more detail, conclusions drawn and recommendations presented.

Discussion of results

The results of each individual research question, presented in the previous chapter, are discussed in more detail in the next section.

How   successful    is   NFP   marketing   at   encouraging   the   public    and
stakeholders to “pay” the required “price”?

The results of the survey indicate that the success of NFP marketing very much depends on the form of “payment” organisations require. Those organisations seeking “payments” other than financial contributions, are faced with considerable challenges as giving money appears to still be the favoured form of donor support. The current study differs from many previous studies in that it presents the views of the stakeholders themselves, rather than the point of view of the management of the larger organisations. By being less in touch with their markets charities might in effect be completely miss-directing their marketing efforts, spending marketing budgets on areas such as charity events that have a very low uptake and possibly even a low return on investment. Smaller charities with limited resources should take note of donor preferences as many devote considerable time and effort in arranging a variety of events while direct appeals might, in fact, yield a higher return if the aim is fundraising rather than the creation of awareness.

1.1 Introduction
1.2 Objectives of the study

1.3 Importance of the study
1.4 Scope of the study
1.5 Clarifications of concept
1.6 Plan of the study
2.1 Introduction
2.2 The development and application of not-for-profit marketing
2.3 The awareness and use of branding in the not-for-profit sector
2.4 Reputation as an element of brand equity
2.5 Summary 

3.1 Introduction
3.2 Problem Statement
3.3 Research questions
3.4 Summary 
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Research approach
4.3 Sampling
4.4 Measuring instruments
4.5 Data analysis
4.6 Summary 

5.1 Introduction
5.2 Demographic information of survey respondents
5.3 Research results
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Discussion of results
6.3 Conclusions
6.4 Limitations
6.5 Recommendations

Not-for-profit marketing: branding, brand equity and marketing of smaller charities.


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