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Journal cover: International Marketing Review

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Online from: 1983

Subject Area: Marketing

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Marketing in non-profit organizations: an international perspective

Document Information:
Title:Marketing in non-profit organizations: an international perspective
Author(s):Sara Dolnicar, (School of Management and Marketing, Marketing Research Innovation Centre (MRIC), University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia), Katie Lazarevski, (School of Management and Marketing, Marketing Research Innovation Centre (MRIC), University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia)
Citation:Sara Dolnicar, Katie Lazarevski, (2009) "Marketing in non-profit organizations: an international perspective", International Marketing Review, Vol. 26 Iss: 3, pp.275 - 291
Keywords:Australia, Marketing, Non-profit organizations, United Kingdom, United States of America
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/02651330910960780 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors thank the Australian Research Council for supporting this research through the ARC Discovery Grant DP0557769 and also thank Paul Collins for his contribution to this paper as a research assistant.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to tests three hypotheses: non-profit organizations follow a customer-centered approach to marketing; marketing is run by marketing-trained staff; and cross-continental differences in the adoption of marketing in the UK, the USA, and Australia exist due to differences in the operating environment.

Design/methodology/approach – A survey study was conducted with non-profit managers. The sample contains 136 respondents; 36 from the UK, 33 from the USA and 67 from Australia.

Findings – Non-profit managers indicated that the most important marketing activities are promotional in nature. The importance of market research and strategic marketing was acknowledged only by a small proportion of non-profits, supporting Andreasen and Kotler's assertion that non-profit organizations have an “organization-centered” mindset. Only one fifth of marketing staff are trained in marketing. Non-profit organizations in the UK, the USA, and Australia did not differ in their use of marketing and marketing operations, suggesting that the similarity of market pressures may be more influential than the differences in operating environments.

Practical implications – Shifting from an “organization-centered” to a “customer-centered” approach to marketing represents a key opportunity for non-profit organizations to increase their competitive advantage and improve their outcomes in terms of the organizational mission. The primary strategy to achieve this aim is to make increased use of formally trained marketing staff.

Originality/value – To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to assess the state of marketing practise in non-profit organizations since Kotler, the first to test the organization-centered hypothesis and the first to test differences across countries.

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