Trans-national Advocacy Actors: Time to return to core competency?

Recently, there were media reports last month criticizing the Greenpeace Executive who was flying between Brussels and another EU Capital for work every week whereas the commute could be done via a carbon effective route. So, much positive press for being environmentally aggressive on the high seas of the Arctic that Greenpeace is so known for. Last year, the esteemed UK based Charity Oxfam had advertised for an employment position for its Head of Communications with a price-tag of 75K Pounds. Staggering I would contend for a non-profit. But as the tribe of global, corporatized non-profits would retort they need to pay top pound for the best talent in the house. Partially true, but it would certainly not buy sympathy from a college going kid, donating his pocket money to satiate his green conscious. An industry executive whom I to spoke last week was point blank direct in labeling Greenpeace as ‘extortionist’ and questioned about the fuel bills and mobilization costs for the much publicized arctic expeditions. Genuine question indeed raised; which doubts the credibility of the moral entrepreneurship of Greenpeace.
Media Reports of Non Profit Training Seminars in Star Hotels where folks bleed their heart out on poverty while sipping chardonnay is simply not done. Well, one does not have to behave like an acetic, though this does not bring good press to the sector which depends on reputational capital and funder sympathy. Poverty porn creates cynicism and ultimately donor fatigue. In the effort to create ‘Shared-Value’, the non-profit movement has sold its soul to the devil that they so love to mock. The Social Entrepreneurship set-up is commercially not sustainable as there is too little real impact rather than fashionable fluff. They are good souls, but they tend to lose out in the crowd of wannabe do-gooders.
The lack of accountability and transparency in funding as informed by the leaked Indian Governments internal intelligence department report on foreign funding of Activist Non Profits that almost undermined so called developmental progress such as the nuclear power plant in power hungry Tamil Nadu. After Fukushima, the paradigm of risk and nuclear capitalism came to fore and a lot of activists rode the wave against nuclear power. A freshly churned MSF report on developmental interventions in crisis areas indicts non-profits as gunning for funding rather than concentrating on delivering the goods: creating an impact where state actors have failed.
It is time that Non Profits return to their core competence of creating impact, rather than rhetoric and function as true Force Du Resistance in empowering communities to realize their potential.


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