Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Competing claims: should NGOs go head to head?

6 March, 2013 - 11:35 -- John Burton

Mark Avery (formerly of RSPB) writes possibly the best known and most widely read wildlife blog.

A few days ago he wrote: 'My view is that wildlife NGOs aren’t very good at collaboration or competition amongst themselves. They very rarely compete against each other openly. No NGO markets itself as having "saved more water voles than any other UK NGO" or even "having the best nature reserves in East Anglia". They don’t put themselves forward as the best place for our money. Is that odd?'

I posted a response. I said that WLT may have helped purchase and protect more land than the Wildlife Trusts and RSPB combined. We are working on the data. But are there any other claims that you think WLT would be justified in making?

Read Mark's blog and comments »


Submitted by Robert Burton on

I am not sure I like the idea of competition between NGOs as it could lead to the waste of resources through aggressive advertising campaigns etc. But if one NGO can show that it saves more water voles per pound donated, then it deserves to thrive while inefficient competitors, perhaps spending too much on admin., go to the wall. That should benefit water voles in the long run. On the other hand, NGOs should co-operate if have different, complementary, ways of saving water voles.
This sounds rather trite, and ignorant compared with some of the statements on Mark's blog. Incidentally, I agree with Derek Moore's comment about trustees not knowing their responsibilities. The Charity Commission makes it clear that new trustees should be thoroughly briefed.

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