Applying the brand community concept in the nonprofit sector : the case of junior achievement Ireland
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- Master Thesis 
In this paper, we aim to investigate the benefits of the application of a brand community strategy into a nonprofit organization (NPO), as well as the strategies that the NPO could adopt in order to facilitate the creation of such a community. We review the challenges and opportunities of using marketing strategies in the nonprofit sector. With increased competition in the “third” sector, it has become ever more important for nonprofit organizations to engage in branding and marketing activities, which traditionally has been reserved for for-profit enterprises. We study the brand community concept presented in the paper by Muniz and O‘Guinn (2001) and aim to see how a brand community can be beneficial for a volunteer based nonprofit organization. We extend the brand community concept to the nonprofit sector by using the charity brand community model introduced by Hassay and Peloza (2009). We study the case of Junior Achievement Ireland, an educational volunteer-based NPO. By gathering data from in-depth interviews and attending brand events, we found promising traces of the brand community markers from our analysis. Combining interviews with volunteers and theoretical research, we argue that a brand community will lead to an increase in brand awareness as well as assisting in volunteer recruitment and retention. Moreover, we believe that such a strategy will increase brand equity and will facilitate the creation and preservation of strategic partnerships. Finally, we provide practical suggestions in how volunteer based NPOs can facilitate brand community creation.