Recent developments in the Netherlands have encouraged a shift in the focus of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from maintaining links with the public sector towards forging new links with private actors. Although businesses increasingly shape society, their potential contribution to nature conservation has not been fully explored. This article outlines the incentives for collaboration between businesses and nature organisations at regional and national levels. This study is based on interviews held with business representatives and fund-raising officers. The results show that the limited awareness of one's own identity is a hindrance to the development of alliances from a sponsor into a partner relation. Nature organisations are unable to recognise their appealing aspects for businesses, while businesses are not always outspoken about their desired societal role. Further, businesses at regional and national levels differ in their motivation for collaboration with NGOs. To improve the collaboration, each party has to identify which resources they can offer in a relationship, and what they would like to gain in return.