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Challenges for NGOs Partnering with Corporations: WWF Netherlands and the Environmental Defense Fund

Mariette van Huijstee, Leo Pollock, Pieter Glasbergen and Pieter Leroy

Environmental Values 20 (2011): 43-74. doi: 10.3197/096327111X12922350166030


As the market and civil society sectors reflect different core logics, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that partner with companies need strategies to cope with these differences. This paper seeks to provide insight into the coping strategies of environmental NGOs that partner with corporations. We present an assessment framework to analyse the strategies of the Environmental Defense Fund and the World Wildlife Fund for Nature Netherlands as case studies. The analysis demonstrates that the strategic options for a partnering NGO are guided and constrained by the choices the NGO makes with regard to its action strategy towards companies. Although individual NGOs manage to cope adequately with the challenges that the partnership trend poses to their organisations, we argue that the partnering trend also creates challenges for the NGO field as a whole.


NGO, strategies, partnership, market, civil society, corporate power

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Environmental Organisations in New Forms of Political Participation: Ecological Modernisation and the Making of Voluntary Rules. Magnus Bostrom
The Role of NGOs in Environmental Policy Failures in a Developing Country: The Mismanagement of Jamaica's Coral ReefsMichael Haley and Anthony Clayton

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Environment Inc. and Panda Logos. Mark Whitehead

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