PurposeThis article sets out to examine the market orientation construct within the context of the non‐profit sector. Given the specificity of non‐profit organisations and the increasingly demanding resource environments in which these organisations operate, the adoption of the concept of marketing is viewed as an adaptive strategy for ensuring that organisations receive the necessary resources for accomplishing their missions and carrying out their activities. In line with this, the present article aims to investigate the extent to which the type of revenue strategy is related to the organisation's market orientation, towards donors and/or users.Design/methodology/approachDrawing from a resource dependence conceptual framework, the article reports findings from a quantitative study of a representative sample of Portuguese non‐profit organisations (NPOs). This approach was complemented by qualitative research methods. Combining these two approaches has given access to different levels of reality and provided a more holistic understanding of the phenomena under study.FindingsThe results from the present study demonstrate that Portuguese NPOs favour a market orientation towards users/beneficiaries, revealing a less proactive behaviour in relation to their donors. In the present study, the resource dependence theory has proved to be an important theoretical tool for understanding market orientation strategies within the non‐profit sector. The link between the type of resource strategy and the organisation's market orientation stands out as an important finding derived from the present study and is particularly visible in relation to donor market orientation. In addition, empirical data partially support the conclusion that diversification of revenue sources is likely to favour a higher degree of market orientation. Further refinement of the adequacy of the MARKOR scale within the context of the non‐profit sector stands out as an avenue for further research.Research limitations/implicationsAs the sample used for analysis was drawn from Portugal, the generalisability of the results to other countries remains to be tested.Practical implicationsThe findings of the present study may assist public policy‐makers in the design of more adequate policies in the allocation of resources to non‐profit organisations.Originality/valueThe study contributes to a better understanding of market orientation in the specific context of the non‐profit sector. Moreover, this is done through applying the market orientation scale to two different stakeholders (i.e. donors and users/beneficiaries) in the evaluation of market orientation and in its relationship with resource strategies.
scite is a Brooklyn-based startup that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students and researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.