The NPO sector has become a dominant economic force all over the world. With a base of more than 100 000 NPOs in South Africa, this sector, also known as the third sector, has become a force with which all in South Africa need to reckon. The size of the sector alone is an indication of the critically important role it plays in the development sector in our country. I have been working in the non-profit sector for more than 25 years. With this experience as background, my opinion is that the effect of the exponential growth of the sector is that NPOs are now sharing the market with for-profit corporations and public agencies. In almost all markets, NPOs face increasing competition – competition that has intensified the pressure these organisations face to find effective management methods. For survival and self-sustainability, it is imperative for NPOs to adopt the managerial techniques and systems of the for-profit corporations. It is my view that the implementation and management of corporate branding can contribute positively to improve communications and relationships with the internal and external audiences of NPOs in the same way as for-profit organisations. To prove this viewpoint I decided to use a case study focus to allow me to analyse the content of the corporate communication strategy of the Girl Guides Association of South Africa (GGASA) as a non-profit organisation. Following this approach, I endeavoured to establish the role which branding is playing in the organisation and how it can market itself to its internal and external audiences by using the organisation’s corporate brand. Three data collection methods were used, namely, document analysis semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Based on the above, the main research question for this study has been formulated as: “How can the GGASA develop/manage its corporate brand to communicate its image effectively to internal and external audiences?” Four sub-questions were formulated, focussing specifically on: the aims of the communication of the corporate branding; identity and image programme of the GGASA; the principles on which the communication of the corporate branding, identity and image programme of GGASA are based; the characteristics of the communication of the corporate branding, identity and image programme of the GGASA and what the perceptions of the internal and external audience are of the communication of the corporate branding, identity and image programme of the GGASA. In an attempt to answer this research question I endeavoured to link three theories, namely corporate communication, social marketing and branding in order to describe their integration within the NPO sector. By following this approach, a case can be made out that social marketing and corporate communication in the NPO sector is just as important as the organisation’s core service delivery business. Secondly, if an NPO is not sure what its brand is all about, such an organisation would be unable to implement any effective social marketing and/or strategic corporate communication, bearing in mind that the brand is the core and essence of an NPO and the pivot of all these actions. I am of the opinion that should the key recommendations of this study be put in place by the management of the GGASA, it will improve the implementation of its corporate communication, more specifically the corporate identity, image and brand management processes. This will in turn lead to an improvement in the effectiveness of the organisation’s communication and the achievement of its developmental objectives, which will enable them to position themselves as one of the new superbrands in South Africa, with real power to act on behalf of a perceived common good. In my opinion, the inclusion of recommendations provided by the GGASA target audiences during the field research enriched my own conclusions and recommendations. The recommendations were further formulated in such a way, that they could form the basis of a workable implementation plan for the management of the GGASA. This factor further enhances the value of the study.
Dissertation (MA (Development Communication))--University of Pretoria, 2007.