Sharing the cup of knowledge: utilising market orientation within charities
Most marketing theory originated within the for-profit sector, with the underlying principle of the marketing concept and market orientation generating significant amounts of research. The not-for-profit sector can benefit from the transference of marketing techniques from the forprofit sector, but is relatively under-researched. The aim of this paper is to understand the process of introducing market orientation into the not-for-profit sector. This is of significant benefit to managers of not-for-profit organisations given the high level of competition for funds and demand for efficient service provision, particularly during the global financial crisis. Market orientation is regarded as the most important strategic orientation and outweighs other orientations in contributing to organisational success. The successful introduction of market orientation into four Australian charities is examined and the stages of implementation are identified. Introduction of market orientation is analysed from a change management perspective and guidelines to assist managers implement a market orientation are developed. A key finding is the need to 'sell' to existing employees and volunteers the benefits of transforming to a more businesslike mode of operation where increased levels of professionalism and efficiency are expected. The paper extends our knowledge of market orientation within the not-for-profit sector and increases our understanding of practitioner engagement in marketing activities. Introducing for-profit marketing knowledge into the notfor- profit sector is shown to improve charity performance - for the benefit of society.