Consider Goal Differentiation and Specialization

Competition among NGOs pursuing essentially identical goals in the same area is rarely positive for the environmental NGO sector, as it involves unnecessary duplication of administrative and fund-raising efforts and can leave most of the NGOs underfunded and unable to accomplish very much. We observed, for example, that some communities are host to several small, underfinanced organizations that emphasize environmental education or small-scale nature protection activities, such as tree planting or teaching apiculture. In some cases, organizations with similar goals and programs might do well to consider a merger to increase their effectiveness. If a merger is not possible, NGOs should consider differentiating their goals to avoid duplication of effort and to make joint projects and proposals more effective and appealing to funders. Steps to differentiate goals can be initiated by individual NGOs, but they are best implemented by mutual agreement. Goal differentiation is most likely to be effective if the new goals are a subset of existing goals or closely related to them.

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