Blurring Lines – the Case for a Marketing Mind Set Within the Third Sector



Blurring Lines – the Case for a Marketing Mind Set Within the Third Sector


Sheerman, Janette,Brown, Nancy


Classification JEL



Many studies suggest that third sector organisations need to identify and grasp opportunities related to fund-raising, commercial trading activities, the acquisition of volunteers (including voluntary employees), collaboration with for-profit businesses, and so on, in order to compete with others in the marketplace (Cooney, 2011; Gainer & Padanyi, 2005; Macedo & Pinho, 2006). The aim of this study is to investigate the importance of marketing activity within Northern Ireland third sector organisations (Charity, Community and Voluntary and Social Enterprise). The organisations and leaders selected for this study will be current and past participants of the part time Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Sustainable Investment for the Third Sector (AdDipSITS) developed by Ulster University Business School in partnership with Atlantic Philanthropy and Charity Bank. Approximately 75 third sector leaders have completed the programme, with 50 currently studying. Leaders on this programme demonstrate their commitment to helping their organisations rise to the new challenges that are emerging in the sector. This study is designed to investigate the: • Marketing mind set of leaders • Role and marketing needs of third sector organisations • Marketing perceptions/misconceptions held • Strengths and weaknesses of existing marketing activities and identify potential gaps • Impact of the AdSITS marketing module on marketing practice and mind-set. Timescale: March 2016 Pre-knowledge audit questionnaire gain understanding of the marketing mind set of leaders, identifying perceptions/misconceptions, role and marketing needs, and potential gaps in marketing activity • March 2016 – April 2016 Literature review • May 2016 – Focus group to explore key findings from pre knowledge audit • June 2016 – Post knowledge audit questionnaire to understand how marketing mind set has changed from involvement on course, engagement with other students and reading literature with reflection on marketing practice. • July – 2016 Dissemination . This study will make recommendations on how senior leaders within the third sector in NI can implement purposeful marketing practices to support sustainability.


Marketing, Social Enterprise, Third Sector, Leadership, Business Development, Stakeholder engagement

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Please cite this article as: mbd (2016) Blurring Lines – the Case for a Marketing Mind Set Within the Third Sector. International Conference on Marketing and Business Development.