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In order to meet the demands for today’s youth to be both socially conscious and culturally savvy, the number of organizations providing programs for high school students to travel abroad to perform work in community service has increased. Some long-standing operators have begun marketing outside of their local regions and into other parts of the country where demand is believed to be growing. It would seem that there would be room in the market for new organizations to establish themselves in areas less touched by some of these existing operators. New players would be faced with the challenge of selling a service product to students, parents, and schools (the three most targeted clients) with which they might not be so familiar. To explore some of the marketing realities of attempting such a challenge, the question was posed: “Which marketing structure is best suited for a start-up business to recruit high school students for community service abroad (CSA) programs?” A literature review is presented providing background on the current industry and marketing demands for both internationalization and performing community service. Next, two case studies of organizations that recently attempted to find their niche in the market are presented. One of which is the author’s own business which serves as an active case study. Data collected from interviews with various individuals played an important role in creating the first case study, as well as providing other information throughout this capstone paper. Two frameworks are applied to each case study. The first framework is a theory-based application using a redefined 4 P’s of marketing. The second is a more practical application dissecting some of the process in creating a start-up with a major focus on image and credibility. Conclusions extracted from these cases show that the model heavily targeting parents proved to be more effective than the model heavily targeting schools in a twelve-month period. These findings are potentially useful to both existing operators and newcomers considering entering the market and want to gain a better understanding of the its three targeted clients.


Community Psychology | Economics | Growth and Development