Selling social change: it’s not enough to have a “good cause”

The idea of selling social change is a vital link in the social sector’s quest to achieve breakthrough results, so says an article in this quarter’s Stanford Social Innovation Review

And only when non-profit organization have the ability to help their organizations and funders see past the needs equals demand fallacy where they get comfortable with this idea.

One of the important steps highlighted in this article is non-profit’s and social enterprise’s ability to build sales and marketing capabilities. It’s not enough to create a service that people want, the article says. The target of the service is the people most likely to use it, and organizations need to reach out to those people to entice them to use the service.

This is something that for-profit businesses have understood for decades. The article uses the example of our pharmaceutical industry, a paradigm of both innovation for social good and of marketing savvy. Funders can help non-profits to overcome insufficient demand of their good will and services by viewing demand-generating activities as extensions of programs or services, and funding them in the same way.

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