Analyses of environmental philanthropy tend to focus on non-profit organisations and the business sector as unrelated entities. However, the links between business and environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs) through philanthropy can be ascribed to a number of factors ranging from the pursuit of commercial interests to the nature and status of NGOs. This article argues that environmental philanthropy, as a mode of giving for the advancement of an environmental cause, can more appropriately be understood by paying attention to the interconnections between NGOs and the business sector. This argument is supported by a case study of the Southern African Nature Foundation, which, from its inception in 1968 to its demise in 1995, had strong links with commerce and industry. The paper concludes that environmental philanthropy is underpinned by shared interests that are pursued through dense networks between philanthropists and environmental lobby groups.