Unlike other business organization, a nonprofit organization is not established to make profits but to achieve such objectives as helping its members to meet their needs, helping the poor through charity work, offering humanitarian services and so on. However, such organizations are organized almost the same way as the profit organizations entities. They interact with various economic, political and social environments comparable to those faced by profit making organization. Nonprofit making organization stakeholders include donors, staff, volunteers, management, clients, and program participants as well as the government.
The society at large, where such an organization is operating, also greatly influences the operations of the organization. The success of nonprofits organization will greatly be influenced by the interaction of all these stakeholders. The organization should also focus on giving values to its services, ensure healthy relationships with donors who are essential in sponsoring its activities as well as fostering more relationships with new stakeholders, and ensure good reputation in the society where it operates. ( Tschirhart1996; Drucker 1990) Involvement in market activities
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Nonprofit organization as a way of financing their activities offers services to their customers. They usually charge a certain fees, or a lower price which is not directed towards profits objective. Customer service in a non-profit organization cannot be separated from the market. Baker (2000) discusses about five principals a non-profit organization should employ in its strategic marketing. This includes developing customer oriented services, having a strategic plan and organization, organizing and developing resources, maintaining proper control over marketing mix, and designing the marketing mix.
Many non-profit organizations are vulnerable to decline in tradition sources of revenue, rapid changes in customer mix, and tough competition in the business environment. Thus need to rethink about organization of their entity is imperative. The nonprofit organization are subject to various market conditions which in one or another affects other business entities. Although, profit making is not an objective to the non profit organization, it cannot be able to offer services at loss. Thus revenue creation is an important issue.
A marketing strategy is therefore very essential for non profit organization. A good marketing strategy in a nonprofit organization will be designed to cater for interaction with the recipients of the services, win donors and ensure a good community support. Customer orientation concept employment will be indispensable. The marketing strategy should first establish the value of the intended customers and then decide how to reach them. The second step is to establish a fund development strategy.
Much of fund to non profit organization is derived from donors-people who want to participate in the cause although they are not the beneficiaries. A second strategy in ensuring good customer service is developing a strategy for each factor of production. Nonprofit organization staffs are one of these factors. The management should place each staff at the place one can really produce. Non profit organization also enjoys support from volunteers who are ready to offer free services to the organization. Such stakeholders are very important to the organization. Their services are a form of donation.
The management should come up with good plans that will enable them cowork with the organization staff in the best way possible. Well placed staffs, with the best team of volunteers who has a passion for charity work will achieve a lot as far as objectives of the non profit organization are concerned. (McLeish 1995; Baker 2000; Zimmer & Stecker 2004). The stakeholder relationships management .The interested groups to a non profit organization are many. Therefore, their management and relationship will greatly influence the services offered by such organization.
Their management is very essential in ensuring success of the organization. Drucker (1990) asserts that the management to non-profit organization should be focused to maintaining a balance to cater for all stakeholders to the organization. The management need to ask, are the adequate results on efforts achieved? Are resources well allocated? Are interests of all stakeholders catered for? Will these policies be embraced by the stakeholders? Does this policy conflict with the expectations of the stakeholders? What need to be done to solve the conflicting issues?
The management also needs to set productivity goals high, ‘not too high, but high enough to utilize the full potential of the organization given the available resources. The management to nonprofit organization should be well informed of what to achieve in a specified period, what is expected of the organization, what implementation of such goals should borrow from the past experience and how can they be well achieved. What is no longer useful should be abandoned and focus on constant improvement be emphasized.
According to Tschirhart (1996 p18), non-profit organization should have a well planned stakeholder management strategy. There are a number of approaches of formulating stakeholder management strategy for non profit organization. One approach focuses on ensuring society’s conferral of legitimacy on an organization. This will involve conforming to society’s definitions of legitimacy. This can be achieved by adapting the organization’s activities, norms and values to conform to stakeholder’s norms and values. Usually, many nonprofit making organizations objective is to offer certain services to the society.
It will be ironical to offer assistance to the society while at the same time dying some of the most valued norms and behavior in the very society. The organization is likely to face objection and its success may be threatened. E. g. a non profit organization offering free college education to the bright poor students, but also funding alcohol business near such a college may be unacceptable to the society where alcohol is greatly condemned. (Tschirhart 1996; Kinzey 1999). The management should be able to manage conflicting interests from all stakeholders and foster good relationships with them as much as possible.
However it is usually difficult to satisfy all stake holders. Thus any non profit organization should seek to satisfy the key stakeholders who greatly affect its operations. Although, a risky strategy, it will ease the stakeholders dialogue and relationship management and ensure that the nonprofit organization management is at a good position to make optimal and quick decisions concerning the activities of the organization. (Tschirhart 1996; Anheier 2005) The management should seek to develop a good picture of how the organization is perceived by the stake holders.
Role performance which involves meeting the stakeholders’ performance expectations has a great part to play in stakeholder management. Coercive isomorphism, which means conformity of the organization to the norms, values, and expectations of the stakeholders, should be emphasized. The donors, staff, volunteers, board members and the society at large are likely to offer their full participation and support in such an organization where the norms, values are compatible to what they believe and encourage. They will positively reciprocate to organizations which are eager and determined to meet their expectations.
Nonprofit organization should also encourage resource dependencies alterations to ensure their services reliability and consistency. Usually this entails increasing organization freedom through changing dependency relationships mix with stakeholders. The strategy will involve attracting more donors and involving other stake holders apart from the traditional ones. Such a strategy will ensure that a nonprofit organization is not vulnerable one stakeholder’s demands since an alternative stakeholder will be readily available. (Tschirhart 1996; Kinzey 1999).
The organization can further embark on espousing the socially acceptable goals and ignore the less acceptable ones. This can also be complimented by reframing of means and ends so as to influence the stakeholders’ interpretation about the organization. The organization should also offer accounts so as to explain situation in ways that will justify organization outcome or activities. Apologizing and even acknowledgement of partial responsibility of a negative occurrence will also be of great help in establishing good relationship with the stakeholders.
The non profit organization should also seek implementation of highly visible practices for stakeholders while at the same time keeping intact its core technologies. . (Tschirhart 1996) The organization should be professional and up to the current trends in dealing with the stakeholders. Grantmaking procedures usually changes-may be due to severe funding cuts, desire to empower the target recipient of grants, demands for accountability, and so on. This is an example of change in donors’ demands which a non profit organization will severally be required to respond to.
The organization should perceive this as an opportunity to enhance its relationship with such stakeholders by conforming to their norms and values. Confrontation and careless attitude by the organizations towards such demand will not work out to desirable results. The need to foster mutual relationship should be emphasized-receive the donations to achieve the organization goals which includes helping the recipients of the organization services while at the same time meeting the demands of the donors. (Tschirhart 1996; Carter 2006).
Nonprofit organization also has a role to ensure public service and trust. This is basically based on moral accountability of the organization. Morality is a wide study and usually interpreted in various ways. Each society has its own interpretation of what is morally good and wrong. Laws governing in the area of operation also play a big role in determination of the moral standards. Religion, beliefs and culture also plays a big role in judging morality of an action. Non profit making organization management should understand all these factors and respond to them as per expectations of the society.
This will ensure its operations acceptability to the society and good reputation. (Tschirhart 1996 p 21). Board of directors is also a key player in the non profit organization. The leadership to these stakeholders usually depends on a coalition of actors. The management should work hand in hand with the board of directors. It should always be represented in board meeting so as to brief the members about the progress and the critical issues facing the organizations since it is the management which get involved in day to day decision making in an organization.
By attending such meetings, the management will be able to share ideas with the board members on the way forward to issues facing the organization. Well informed decisions will also be reached at. (Tschirchart 1996 p 21) The management to non profit organization must also deal with political conflicts which arise among the stakeholders. Bargaining issue in one way or another affects these organization. Different interests exist as there are different stakeholders. Management has to plan how to deal with negotiation issue with the donors, so as to gain more of their support.
Some non profit making organizations are also sponsored by political entities. Political influences are most likely to conflict with interests of other stakeholders. It is the role of the management to ensure it responds to this in alignment with the norms and values of the organization while at the same time seeking good relationship with other stakeholders. (Tschirchart 1996 p 21). Nonprofit organization should also take advantage of new and advanced technologies in its operations.
The nonprofit organizations should also embark on use of internet for the purpose of winning the donors and building lasting relationships with stakeholders. This will reduce the cost involved and also increase the participation of it stakeholders as well as enhance its efficiency. (Grobman (2001)) Non profit organization should seek to be involved in activities that tap the interests of many stake holders so as to have the possible support. This will ease introduction of and implementation of new policies which are acceptable to almost all stakeholders.
The individual’s stakeholder should be tapped to pursue a common good. The board and executive to a non profit organization also should play critical role in ensuring good relationship with the external and internal stakeholders. (Bryson 2004; Tschirchart 1996). Conclusion There is a need to ensure good relationship among all stakeholders to the non profit organization. This will ensure reliable and smooth flow of the services and achievement of the goals. Where the organization is involved in market operations, employing a suitable marketing strategy will be very imperative. References
Anheier, H (2005). Nonprofit Organizations: Theory, Management, Policy. Routledge Baker, M (2000). Marketing Theory: A Student Text. Cengage Learning EMEA. Bryson, J (2004). Strategic Planning For Public And Nonprofit Organizations: A Guide To Strengthening And Sustaining Organizational Achievement. John Wiley and Sons. Carter, S. (2006). The Interaction Of The Top Management Group, Stakeholder, And Situational Factors on Certain Corporate Reputation Management Activities. Journal Of Management Studies, 43(5): 1145-1176. Drucker, P. (1990). Managing the Nonprofit Organization: Practices and Principles.
Gulf Professional Publishing. Grobman, G (2001). The Nonprofit Organization’s Guide To E-Commerce. White Hat Communications. Kinzey, P (1999). Using Public Relations Strategies To Promote Your Nonprofit Organisation. Routledge. McLeish, B (1995). Successful Marketing Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations. J. Willey Tschirhart, M (1996). Artful Leadership: Managing Stakeholder Problems in Profit Arts Organizations. Indiana University Press Zimmer, A. , & Stecker, C (2004). Strategy Mix for Nonprofit Organizations: Vehicles For Social and Labor Market Integrations. Kluwer Publishers.
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