BUILDING COMMITMENT IN THE CHARITY SECTOR
The paper introduces a model of brand community development that is extended to the nonprofit sector; a sector that has just recently begun to embrace relationship marketing. It is believed that brand communities represent a unique form of relationship marketing, with benefits that are particularly compelling for nonprofits. Indeed, the paper reveals that many of the characteristics of brand communities already exist to some extent within the culture and/or fundraising efforts of charitable organizations. The article offers a number of research propositions for research into the influence of brand community markers and mechanisms upon donor and volunteer support of charities.
“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” Blanche DuBois
Based upon recent activity in nonprofit sector journals and publications, it is apparent that this sector has moved beyond marketing techniques and finally begun to embrace the marketing concept. Although slow to discover relationship marketing and its associated benefits of closer, longer term relationships with patrons, volunteers and perhaps most importantly donors, the nonprofit sector seems poised for full-scale conversion to a market orientation. For example, in the past few years, articles focused on: the marketing concept (Liao, Foreman and Sargeant 2001), donor lifetime value (Sargeant 2001a) and donor loyalty (Sargeant 2001b) have begun to appear in the academic fundraising and voluntary sector literature. The practitioner literature has been a bit quicker to embrace the relationship marketing concept and is currently awash with articles related to applications of customer relationship marketing (CRM), database marketing, relationship marketing, direct response marketing, fundraising marketing,
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