Today I received in my LinkedIn inbox an invitation/email to a new group. If you can get around the grammar and spelling issues, the premise is interesting. Below is the text verbatim -
'Development' or Crises; Whose sustainability? Created: May 04, 2010 | Type: Non-profits | Members: 6
The massive movement of early and mid-20th century for alternative practices as against top-down state-led development, has got intertwined with the state and its collaborators. Result: Non-proft organisations have largely been reduced to mere intermediaries for self-styled and meaningless social projects.
If I understand correctly, they make the argument NGOs and non-profit organizations have been reduced to intermediaries by "the state" and by corporations.
First of all I don't think so. However, their make up, focus, and "product" may be adapting to meet the demands of the their stakeholders (foundations, donors, partners, constituents, and their target of their cause.)
In Peter Senge's latest book Necessary Revolution
, he discusses the revolution and evolution that is occurring in Corporate and NGO relationships. The drive for sustainability and corporate social responsibility and environmental issues have got corporations looking at their adversaries (NGOs who often boycott or sue them) as potential allies. The need for greater impact, resources, and business savvy are getting those same NGOs to see corporations as the tool to achieve their goals.
Senge lays out a great example of the work CocaCola and World Wildlife Foundation have been doing together. It is not all roses and sunshine. These two organizations had it out for each other and fundamentally distrusted each other. Through conversation, collaboration, and education, they have each learned how to grow with each other and leverage the relationship. Coca-Cola radically reducing their water consumption through both awareness and efficiency. WWF through use of Cokes global value chain infrastructure to get messaging and understanding to parts of the world that out rejected them, but love coke.
So have NGOs "sold their soul" so to speak as the linkedin group suggests or have we all been adapting to the modern needs of the world to find collaborative solutions?
Matthew Rochte - CSR/Sustainability Consultant
for trends in CSR and Sustainability.