Since the 1990s, the worldwide non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are faced with critical developmental challenges. Their survivals and finance resources per se have been influenced by drastic change in global economic recession. For international NGOs (INGOs) in particular, it is critical to make a balance between competing for external resources with other similar organizations by strengthening self-financing strategies, on the one hand, and maintaining a certain degree of publicness to ensure their core values. The study argues that the key to this is whether these INGOs are able to develop appropriate self-reliance strategies by recalibrating their rationale of sustainability in correspondence to dual goals. Therefore, this study is thus prompted to re-explore the theoretical rationale of such process which has been neglected in related literatures by contextualizing the causes, the challenges and the synergic model of self-reliance (SMSR) as best practices for international NGOs and non-profit organizations. A further analysis of the implementation and challenges faced by Peace Boat, founded in the 1980s with special focus on the global peace agenda and advocacy network, will be elaborated.