Take a Look Around
The trend to reach out to new markets clearly is driven by standard marketing practice in the commercial sector. But in the nonprofit sector it all began with international nonprofits growing their portfolios of country offices to serve programmes and build funding markets. It’s interesting to look at many of the existing “blue chip” international organisations to see whether the centre created the regions or the regions created the centre — a key factor to understanding the culture, drivers and structure of many of these charity organisations.
Surprisingly, despite the success of household names like Greenpeace, Amnesty International, UNICEF, Save the Children, WWF International, Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and World Vision, you will struggle to identify more than a dozen that are truly global, which might indicate an opportunity. The other important thing to note is the dominance of humanitarian causes in these brands, with a heavy emphasis on children. While the environment is quite prominent, there are many gaps with other causes that you might expect to be thinking and operating internationally — the glaring gap being cancer and other medical/scientific causes.
While HIV/AIDS has a world-recognised symbol, it doesn’t have a single global body that most people can name or, worse still, support.
Like international companies, these international nonprofit organisations have surged ahead, transferring knowledge and successes between markets, building up global investment funds to follow through on successful test programmes, and, above all, building teams of global experts who support local markets and build global income sources. At a global level, the three key sources used to be foundations, corporations and global citizens; as of recently, it is clear that digital can add a whole new opportunity area at this level. All of this activity, over the last decade, has opened up new markets, rapidly moved developing markets forward, and stimulated developed markets further with new thinking and fresh propositions.