Comprehending the Contemporary NGO and its Approach to Altruism, Competitors and Supporters

Kaisa Simmering

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


The number of non-governmental organisations have been steadily increasing for several decades, and this would typically be an indication of a competitive market. However, it quickly became clear that the competitive behaviour in the market of NGOs differs from other markets, and thus, this thesis was initiated. This thesis aims to concretise the contemporary NGO and how it positions itself on the market. This mainly involves developing an understanding of modern NGOs’ affiliation with altruism as well as two significant external stakeholders: namely, current customers and competitors. This thesis relies on a mono-method qualitative study consisting of seven semi-structured interviews. These interviews were conducted with employees from seven different NGOs. The final transcriptions were then thematically and narratively analysed to detect relevant patterns. Furthermore, concerning research philosophies, the thesis has a social constructivist and interpretivist approach as well as a hermeneutic approach. Concerning the findings in this thesis, the contemporary NGO was first confirmed to be highly affiliated with altruism, and it is altruism that motivates both the modern NGOs and their supporters, depending on the societal and economic circumstances. Moreover, it has become clear that the NGOs’ positioning strategies tend to involve little or imitable differentiation, and their segmentation is quite vast and similar as well. Lastly, it has been suggested that, with the primary data in mind, the typical behaviour of contemporary NGOs is both collaborative and competitive. They most commonly cooperate in order to emphasise their cause and reach mutual goals. Meanwhile, they may also compete for funding as well as supporters’ attention since the NGOs tend to share each others’ customer groups. In conclusion, the contemporary, altruistic NGO collaborates as well as competes concerning funding and supporters with the help of traditional, tradigital and social media marketing. Meanwhile, their competitive positioning strategy and segmentation may need alterations. This thesis presents three theoretical suggestions: a cause-oriented distinction between NGOs, optimal conditions for altruistic encouragement, and market favouritism as a way of identifying potential industry leaders. Additionally, another approach to future research has been suggested.

UddannelserOther, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
Antal sider84
VejledereHenrik Køhler Simonsen