Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 4-30-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Integrated Marketing Communication

First Advisor

Christina Sparks

Second Advisor

Tyler Barnes

Third Advisor

Marquita Smith

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to explore the need for marketing resources among North Mississippi nonprofit organizations and apply the findings to develop and launch a website based on primary and secondary research that connects local North Mississippi nonprofit organizations with University of Mississippi graphic design, marketing, bachelor of fine arts and integrated marketing communication (IMC) students seeking experience to complete various marketing and graphic design- related tasks and develop and implement an integrated marketing plan to promote and raise awareness for the website.

Nonprofits face the challenge of allocating funds from donations to create functional and creative communications that can include websites, social media presence, and fundraising messaging/campaigns. Concurrently, UM students majoring in graphic design and content creation-related majors obtain these necessary skills during their collegiate years. A gap exists which could be addressed through establishing a resource that matches the needs of a nonprofit to the skillset of a UM student. A review of secondary publications will examine nonprofit organizations and the communication challenges they face in today’s digital world. Additionally, primary research was conducted through interviews with multiple nonprofit organizations operating in Northern Mississippi as well as surveying of groups of students who fall into those creative disciplines. Seven interviews will be conducted with non-profit organization leaders to identify communication and creative barriers they face on a local level. 76 skills survey were conducted with University of Mississippi students to assess attitudes, interest and likelihood of participation in a creative resource platform to gain real-world experience.

Application of the research was in three parts, 1) To understand and verify the needs of multiple local nonprofit organizations from a marketing perspective, 2) To measure and gauge University of Mississippi student interest in participating with a platform that allows them to complete marketing and graphic design- related tasks for North Mississippi nonprofits, and 3) To develop and launch the website and then implement an awareness campaign based onindustry principles. This investigation will address the overarching research question: what is the current need for marketing materials for Northern Mississippi nonprofit organizations, and would University of Mississippi students participate in a resource that allows them to donate their time and talents towards developing marketing and graphic-design related materials for these organizations?

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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