Advocacy and Public Relations are more associated with one another than one might initially assume. As said by the authors of Think: Public Relations “Non-profit organizations, which are also referred to as charities or not-for-profit organizations, make up a broad area of public relations work” (Wilcox, 2013, p. 370). In order for non-profit organizations to stay alive they must constantly work to raise money, usually through fundraisers which consists of volunteers and paid employees.
Although, Public relations in the non-profit community can be different from public relations in the conventional business world, they can also be very similar. They both organize campaigns to help encourage interest in their programs. While the conventional business world receives funding through taxes, non-profit organizations must rely on fund raising to finance all of their needs, which has proven to be quite the challenge for many groups. “Most nonprofit groups have fewer economic resources at their disposal than business and government organizations, which can explain their more limited public relations programs” (Bronstein, 2006) On the contrary, the use of social media is an “instantaneous and inexpensive” way to bring light to a particular non-profit organization (Bronstein, 2006). The use of social media in the non-profit organization is represented by goodwill who, for instance uses a website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Pinterest to reach their many vast and diverse target audience.
Sadly, raising money can be so difficult for nonprofit organizations that many are forced to compete with each other rather than work together to finance themselves. “Nonprofit organizations have a willingness to cooperate but must also compete for limited or scare resources” (Wilcox, 2013, p.372) In order to counteract this issue some nonprofits have entered partnerships due to similar interests. For example “Licensing use of an organizations name to endorse a product and receiving payment for each item sold, such as the American Heart Association’s endorsement of lean beef” (Wilcox, 2013, p. 375). Concisely, although somewhat different from the business world the use of public relations has a very important and necessary presents in the nonprofit world.
Bronstein, Carolyn (2006). Responsible Advocacy for Nonprofit Organizations. Retrieved from http://www.corwin.com/upm-data/10997_Chapter_5.pdf
Wilcox, Dennis L., Cameron, Glen T., Rever, Bryan H., Shin, Jae-Hwa. (2013). Think: Public Relations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.