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Commercialisation of the not-for-profit sector

Historically, many charities in the United Kingdom have benefited from council grants and government money in order to provide services. However, grants have been cut drastically and economic environment has led to dips in individual and public donations. The charities are facing a situation where they need to become more commercial in order to continue to function.

How can charities become more commercial?

Fundraising efforts within the sector will need to increase with more advertising and more direct mail (which means an increase in marketing budgets). However, charities will also need to focus on generating further commercial activities in order to increase their financial independence. A number of charities such as Sue Ryder, Save the Children, Scope and Oxfam have decided to up their retail activities, selling luxury products as well retail products bought wholesale, like Christmas decorations.

Where does recruitment come into it?

With the charity sector’s increasing need for greater commercialisation and innovation, the need to recruit the best commercial talent has become more and more apparent. Realistically, many smaller charities don’t have the existing management teams to do this and are the most in need of commercialisation. Larger, more established charities have been investing in recruiting commercial talent for a number of years and they have the advantage of being able to offer competitive salaries.

How can Michael Page Marketing help?

Over the years, we have invested a huge amount of time into helping commercial candidates move across into the not-for-profit sector. We have been able to offer advice on the inherent cultural challenges, different management styles and general team inclusion that sometimes doesn’t happen in the commercial sector. Generally, candidates transitioning from the commercial sector to the not-for-profit sector have found it tough, certainly tougher than they were expecting and while salaries in the sector are improving, they still can’t compete with the commercial sector.
If you are interested in speaking to a specialist consultant in the Michael Page Marketing not-for-profit division, get in touch with Jael Woolley.
T: 020 7269 6223