The extent of use of marketing in not-for-profit organizations: the case of non-governmental organizations in Kenya
Gathuo, Anne W
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Marketing writers often emphasize the universality of the marketing process as it applies to all organizations in our society, whether profit or not-for-profit, government or private, professional or nonprofessional, international or national, industrial or consumer-products companies. The not-for-profit sector constitutes an important economic sector consisting of "a wide variety. of organizations including universities, charitable organizations, hospitals, government agencies, and foundations. The study reported here was an exploratory study whose objective was to find out the extent of the use of marketing" tools in Not-For-Profit Organizations, with special reference to Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Kenya. The data was collected by use of a structured and nondisguised questionnaire. The questionnaires were administered on a "drop-and-pick-Iater" basis where possible while the rest were mailed "to the respondents. Eighty-one organizations were surveyed of which fifty-one responded. According to the findings of this study, most administrators of the NGOs seem to believe that marketing is a process peculiar/ to business organizations. Indeed, this came out very clearly in some of the notes that accompanied the questionnaires that were mailed back blank. One of the respondents, for example, had written: "We are sorry your questionnaire is not relevant to our organization since we are not a business enterprise. Another had written "We are a charity organization, we cannot be involved in marketing •••" Clearly, the notes suggest that the attitude of the administrators is that marketing is not only inapplicable but also a process to be shunned by Not-For- Profit Organizations.' Indeed, the extent of the use of marketing planning and development of new products/services were found to be very rare. Advertising in various media types was also found to be very .rare. One interesting finding was that religious organizations use marketing tools more extensively than educational institutions. In general, the extent of the use of marketing in NGOs ) was found to be very limited. There is therefore need to educate the administrators, on what marketing is all about and .show them that the goals and problems of Not-For~Profit Organizations can be dealt with most effectively by applying marketing approaches.