Market Segmentation for Nonprofit Organizations

Ounce of Prevention Fund’s Market Segmentation Delivers

Market segmentation for non-profit organizations must consider a complex array of stakeholders. These organizations often have a broad scope of services and interact with:

  • private donors
  • foundations
  • program participants
  • program staff
  • volunteers
  • local community members
Market Segmentation for Nonprofit Organizations

Understanding the Scope of Nonprofit Organizations

For instance, one Southern California non-profit has eighty programs, eighteen locations and over three hundred staff. Another organization in New York, United Neighborhood Houses, has a similarly broad reach.

While these organizations have a unifying overall focus area, the breadth of reach and tailored programming to specific community locations make it difficult to benefit from efficiencies, whether operational or marketing in nature.  Traditional donor segmentation models with “big fish” can be useful, but overlook important stakeholders and can be overly simplistic.

Market Segmentation for Nonprofit Organizations

Case Example of Market Segmentation for Nonprofit Organizations

The Ounce of Prevention Fund is a non-profit whose mission is;

Give children in poverty the best chance for success in school and in life by advocating for and providing the highest-quality care and education from birth to age five.”

We were asked by The Ounce of Prevention Fund to assess its brand position in several different markets.  This required examining both geographic markets and stakeholder groups.

Geographic Markets

  • Parents with children under five in the nineteen states where the organization has physical locations, e.g., Illinois and Nebraska
  • A nationally representative sample of parents with children under five in all states, including those without physical locations

Stakeholder Groups

  • Parents of children under five
  • Parents of children under five who meet a poverty definition
  • Early childhood program teachers and staff
  • Policy leaders, advocacy groups and law makers

To address these needs, we partnered with The Ounce and our sample supplier to determine how best to reach some of the more targeted stakeholder groups, along with the broader parent groups.  With the sample secured, we moved forward with conducting the brand health work. The two major areas of questioning included (1) brand awareness and (2) brand imagery.

Research Reveals Valuable Insights for Market Segmentation for Nonprofit Organizations

There were interesting findings and differences by brand. For instance, online and outdoor advertising were the most important sources of awareness among parents for The Ounce.  In contrast, word-of-mouth was a leading awareness source for Head Start. Community organizations, as might be expected, were also an important awareness driver.

After examining the brand’s performance by the geographic groups and stakeholder groups, the organization used this market segment data to drive allocation of resources for marketing programs.

If your nonprofit organization needs market segmentation analysis, start a conversation with the experts at Insight to Action. Contact us.  

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