Nongovernmental Organizations and the Forces Against Them: Lessons from the Anti-NGO Movement
70 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2012
Date Written: January 19, 2012
This article examines the rise and growth of nongovernmental organizations and the anti-NGO movement that has sprung up to oppose it. In addition to describing the international anti-NGO campaigns, efforts, and critiques, the article also considers the emergent dynamics between large donor organizations and smaller, grant-receiving organizations that may legitimize and exacerbate the NGO criticisms. This consideration of philanthropic donor control, micro-management of charitable projects, and funder accountability highlights important lessons that may be gleaned from a deeper understanding of anti-NGO fears and criticisms. One important insight is that as funders attempt to exert control over grantmaking activities to enhance their own accountability, they may also unwittingly weaken the accountability and legitimacy claims of the NGOs they fund. Moreover, the analysis of this understudied trend in the sector offers strategies for the philanthropic sector to deal with issues of accountability, legitimacy, governance, and donor control in ways that support NGOs without emboldening their critics.
Keywords: NGO, philanthropy, development, grantmaking, philanthrocapitalism, foundations
JEL Classification: K33, L3, L30, O19, D64
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation