Otto Hospes describes and illustrates five dilemma's of influencing policy via private development organizations. Influencing national and international policies with a view to reduce poverty is not only carried out by the Dutch Minister for Development Co-operation but also by private development organizations via the Dutch Co-Financing Programme. The main aim of this programme is to reduce poverty in a sustainable way; its core philosophy is that poverty alleviation without strengthening civil society and without changing policies that sustain or aggravate poverty, makes no sense. Hence influencing policies is one of the three intervention strategies of the Dutch Co-Financing Programme. The five dilemma's relate to the following tension: on the one hand these organizations have to show to the Minister for Development Co-operation and Dutch Parliament to what extent the annual budget of 50 million euro's for policy influencing has been spent effectively; on the other hand they have to deal with the complexities of policy processes and with lobby targets (government entities and corporate bodies) that are reluctant or resistant to changing their policies.