Unworkable private sector ideas 'too often used in the not-for-profit sector'

Charity marketers are losing out by borrowing ideas from the commercial sector that are unworkable in a fundraising context, according to Professor Adrian Sargeant, who will be speaking at the International Fundraising Congress this week.

"The good old Boston Box makes an annual appearance at sector conferences, yet the whole model is based on the for-profit assumption that profit is driven by market share," Sargeant said before the event. "Neither profit nor market share are relevant to what we do, yet this doesn't stop some folk from applying it."

Derek Humphries, creative strategist at fundraising consultancy Think, who is also speaking at the conference, said charities often borrowed inappropriate brand value models. But he added: "The corporate sector can teach us about innovation and serious research and development, and shows us that lots of new initiatives will fail."

  •  The Boston Box shows the impact of market share and growth on product profitability. The 'problem child' or 'question mark' stage describes a new product requiring investment. As market share increases, it becomes a profitable 'star'. If market growth slows it becomes a 'cash cow'. If market share also drops, it becomes a 'dog'.

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