Master of Environmental Studies Capstone Projects

Author(s)

Rebecca RossFollow

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

12-2020

Abstract

Collaborations between Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) or non-profit organizations and corporate entities can offer benefits to both types of organizations. Organizations interested in realizing the benefits need also consider the trade-offs or downsides. Smaller non-profit organizations or for profit companies exploring potential NGO and corporate collaboration will be able to gain some insight from this project based on a synthesis of key literature as well as the knowledge imparted from interview results from NGO and corporate executives. This project will explore whether NGOs have “sold out” or have acquired benefits from the arrangements, and if so, what sorts of benefits have been realized? What about the corporations partnering with NGOs; what has been their primary motivation and have they been interested in public relations benefits or increased profit only, or something more? This project will offer a centralized location to gain insight into these types of collaborations to act as guidance for smaller non-profits seeking to enter into a collaborative effort with a corporate entity as well as a smaller corporate entity considering an NGO collaboration. By reviewing available literature and interviewing executives from the organizations in the case study profiled in this paper, conclusions regarding the important points and lessons will be offered to a suggested audience of organizations that are potentially exploring a collaboration between an NGO and a corporation. Among other important points derived from this research applicable to both NGO and corporate partners include the need for transparency, complementary goals, managed expectations and the willingness to shift business practices. Among other findings, a goal specific to the corporation includes seeking the skills, abilities and content expertise that the corporation does not possess in house and cannot readily obtain by other means, while a specific goal for the NGO is to seek collaboration with a corporation amenable to change on an operations level for the most impact.

Keywords

environmental sustainability, NGOs, corporations

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Date Posted: 23 August 2021