Publication Details

This article was originally published as Dolnicar, S., Irvine, H., Lazarevski, K. & Randle, M. (2005). Mimetic marketing in environmental volunteering organisations. Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy (ANZMAC) Conference, Perth, Western Australia: Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy.


The last decade has seen increased competition amongst voluntary organisations. This has resulted in a number of changes to the nonprofit sector, such as increased levels of scrutiny and accountability. Voluntary organisations compete not only for limited numbers of volunteers but also for limited grant funding made available at local, state and federal government levels. Increased competition has placed pressure on organisations to take a more commercial approach to the management of their organisations and to adopt what have been previously considered ‘for profit’ business practices such as marketing. This empirical study uses neo-institutional theory to investigate the marketing of nonprofit organisations, specifically the concept of “mimetic isomorphism”. The ‘Bushcare’ program in NSW is examined to determine the extent to which competitive pressures are forcing nonprofit environmental volunteering organisations to copy each other and grow more homogenous in terms of their marketing strategies. Since the most commonly accepted marketing practices are not necessarily the most efficient, managers of these organisations are faced with the challenge of attracting new volunteers and need to assess their current strategies and motivations for recruitment programs.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy