We had a good thread on the Collab list the other day, wherein I explained my model the public/private cooperation might involve private firms sponsoring employes to work in NGOs, with an eye towards field testing equipment and building skills.
Project Renaissance attempts to recreate a synergy we find in defense contracting. Private enterprise invents new weapons, and gets politicians to start wars in order to test them under realistic conditions in theater (and to generate new orders). However, I'm thinking a civilian focus would be less misanthropic all around.
My own private consultancy, 4D Solutions, subsidizes my participation in Collaborative Technologies in this way as well -- it's mostly about skill building, including management skills. Thanks to my time with Free Geek, I'm much more attuned to the ways in which open source solutions might fit the bill in NGO world (and in GO world as well, for that matter).
I syndicate a lot of my bookmarks by the way.