So What Happens to NGOs?
So What Happens to NGOs?
By Ashley Coale
There’s no question that the CSR and business responsibility fields are alive and growing – with clear signs that they’re here to stay. We’ve seen many companies adopt whole systems approaches to retooling their business model. We’ve seen executives like Unilever’s Paul Polman turning away investment from sources that don’t buy into Unilever’s equitable and sustainable model. Furthermore, we’ve seen corporations shift from sources of philanthropy to active participants in implementing and participating in projects that give back.
So, you may be asking, what’s wrong with all this? Well, in some ways, not much. But increasingly, as we’ve heralded the blurring of the public and private, I have to ask, so what happens to NGOs?
The rise of civil society in the latter half of the 20th century dramatically changed the landscape of social and environmental activism. In fact, the pure numbers of NGOs grew astronomically from 176 in 1909 to nearly 5,500 in 1996. When you think of some of the most successful campaigns for everything from dolphin-safe tuna to non-discriminatory hiring, somewhere there is an NGO to thank.
Ashley Coale has a long-standing passion for business sustainability and the impact that strong, effective communications campaigns can have in catalyzing change. As the Social Media Editor, Ashley manages social media and communications outreach at CSRHUB. She is responsible for crafting and implementing content and strategy. Her communications experience includes a wide range of causes including international development, human rights, and federal and municipal sustainability policy. She holds a bachelors degree from Wellesley College and a masters degree from the London School of Economics. A native of Portland, Oregon, she now makes her home in Brooklyn, New York.
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