Volunteerism and Marketing Mix

The market is a potent concoction of ethical and mildly unethical insights covered in a sheath of an in-depth understanding of people and their actions. We regularly visit numerous social media platforms and interact with a bunch of people who allude to us about their lifestyles and preach about the good things they are doing, which rejuvenates us to follow suit. By weighing our pros and cons, an overarching sense of social desirability takes top gear and pushes us to participate in activities.

Volunteerism and Marketing Mix

Social marketers aim to influence individuals to make voluntary decisions by making them aware of the specific advantages of their actions. According to the functional approach, persuasive messages can help direct volunteers to tasks that would allow them to achieve their goals. However, both strategies also call on behavioral choice to result in real advantages. For the functional paradigm, this entails making sure that volunteer environment characteristics genuinely offer affordances for motives to be satisfied.

Conversely, social marketers place particular emphasis on the "marketing mix," taking into account the given product (such as the action itself and its related advantages), the cost it espouses from the actor, the setting in which it can be carried out, as well as the content template for the affliction of the action.

The Product

The product in issue constitutes one of the most diverse there may be when it involves advertising volunteerism. Around the world, several organizations provide a wide range of activities, from practical work to corporate politics. So, businesses must identify their specialty and aggressively sell to that particular market segment. According to the functional approach, this entails outlining the advantages of the volunteer activity. A regional volunteer placement organization in Minneapolis polled 1,388 volunteers.

Volunteers who worked for organizations in a variety of fields—including curriculum, social work, wellness, social welfare, cultural affairs, the habitat, and youth development—scored differently on the six scales of the Volunteer Functions Inventory's assessment of volunteer motivation, especially about principles, comprehension, and career intentions. This finding suggests that people with various aspirations are drawn to various service fields. Also, volunteers from various groups said their activity allowed them to meet various needs (i.e., received different functionally-relevant benefits).

To attract volunteers interested in the advantages of an organization's activities, volunteer jobs can be effectively publicized using such material. With this method, organizations can alter volunteerism so that it now offers functionally pertinent advantages. Giving volunteers access to seminars or retreats where they may discover more about the cause or the people who will benefit from their contributions, for instance, can go a long way towards assisting them in achieving their understanding of function-related goals. Giving "thank you" dinners or awarding volunteers may help volunteers driven by the enrichment function feel more confident.

It has been demonstrated that framing similar activities differently to emphasize how the activity can be viewed as matching a primary motive can impact the desire to volunteer. It may be possible to market volunteerism to a group divided based on their primary motivations by paying close attention to the product's affordances. The product can sustain volunteers over time if these affordances satisfy these primary motivations.

The Price

Volunteering requires time, emotion, and effort, and these expenses must be considered when determining the cost of the product when developing a marketing strategy. Organizations may need to carefully weigh the rewards provided to volunteers and the investment needed of volunteers because these prices fluctuate.

Another aspect of the marketer's job is to be open and honest about volunteering expenses and help potential volunteers get beyond financial obstacles. Any promotion of advantages in a persuading statement may be matched with an open account of potential drawbacks. This easy tactic, which involves ensuring that volunteers have adequately considered the benefits and drawbacks of the action before signing up, may prevent eventual dissatisfaction.

Untenable turnover rates may result if organizations do not inform potential volunteers about the costs associated with particular forms of volunteering. For instance, many AIDS volunteers talk about being stigmatized (i.e., made to feel humiliated, uneasy, or undervalued) due to their volunteer work. These emotions act as obstacles and repellents to volunteering. However, even when individuals sign up to volunteer, stigmatization appears to be a barrier and a discouragement to continuing and enticing service.

The Place

The location of the activity or the "distribution channel" via which "the product is made accessible to members of the target audience at the moment and location that makes it of most benefit to them" is referred to as "place" in the third component of the marketing mix. The distance to travel and convenience of access may be crucial deciding considerations when selecting an activity or organization for many volunteers, making "location" identical to "price" in the context of volunteerism.

Nevertheless, one lesson that may be gained from the network marketing strategy is to seek potential volunteers and, if possible, deliver volunteer work to them. Youth mentoring programs at schools may offer a secure, comfortable, and convenient setting for volunteers to meet with difficult children, cutting prices for volunteers, guardians, and students. Minimizing travel time to an organization's headquarters and expanding the hours and days of the week when activities can occur, allowing volunteers to complete some chores from home (such as fund-raising and mailing preparation), makes volunteering easier.

Programs for corporate volunteering make it simpler for employees to participate in service by lowering the cost, facilitating the location, and selecting a good that aligns with the objectives and interests of the employees. Volunteerism by many people may be enabled by using an appeal specifically targeted to a corporation's mission sentence or the critical motives of their employees, exploiting a corporation's core structure to encourage and foster service. A company's contribution to community service is frequently perceived as improving its public image (and maybe its profit margin), solidifying the relationship's exchange nature, and underlining the social marketing strategy.


The marketing mix theory suggests taking note of the platforms used to distribute messages. Therefore, social marketers would be wise to consider not only the socioeconomic or psychographic traits of the intended audience but also the locations where crowd members mingle, the other actions in which they participate, and the preferences they preserve when deciding how to promote volunteerism.

The marketing mix theory suggests taking note of the platforms used to distribute messages. Therefore, social marketers would be wise to consider not only the socioeconomic or psychographic traits of the intended audience but also the locations where crowd members mingle, the other actions in which they participate, and the preferences they preserve when deciding how to promote volunteerism.

While the functional approach may apply to using traditional marketing tools like television and print media to reach a big audience, different tools, and channels may be more effective for certain types of marketing. According to research, it will probably work for current volunteers to find new volunteers through their social networks.

Such initiatives, if formalized in procedures like "recruitment evenings," where volunteers introduce intrigued friends to the organization, may capitalize on social ties and preconceptions and offer a chance to discuss the actual advantages and disadvantages of volunteering with fresh members from the standpoint of an authentic volunteer and in terms of their own goals. Depending on social connections to encourage participation serves as a reminder that marketing and persuasion do not always take place in large-scale efforts but rather frequently on a one-to-one basis. In addition, another instance of how volunteers can help build social capital is the ability of social ties to encourage it.


Volunteers are aware of the elements that support or obstruct their objectives for contributing and that these factors directly affect the emotional experiences they have while volunteering daily. Indeed, whether volunteers stay at an organization may depend on the obstacles and opportunities to goal fulfilment in the volunteer environment and the emotions they cause in the volunteers. Volunteering in that "location" may become more appealing when volunteer organizations focus on the neighbourhood and seek to develop a psychic sense of community.

Updated on: 31-Mar-2023


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