What Does Marketing Mean to Japanese NPO Managers?

  •  Hiroshi Ito    


For the past two decades, the number of nonprofit organizations (NPOs) in Japan has notably increased. As competition for funding is tougher than ever before, marketing plays a crucial role for NPOs to seek financial and human resources and deliver social services. Previous research regarding Japanese nonprofit marketing identifies that NPOs that are oriented more toward marketing face fewer issues and perform better than those who do not invest in marketing activities. As the existing literature suggests, however, many nonprofit managers do not understand the rationale of marketing and are often biased in believing that it is a business activity for making profit that is irrelevant to NPOs. The situation may be similar or even worse in Japan as some Japanese nonprofit managers appear biased against business and may regard marketing as a means of manipulating customers and selling products. In this context, the present study examines how nonprofit managers in Japan view marketing, as their views on marketing may affect their organizations’ marketing activities.

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