This article explores the factors that influence pro-poor commercial management of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in three community forest user groups (CFUGs) in the Dolakha district in Nepal. Management of NTFPs through CFUGs is an important poverty-reduction strategy in rural Nepal. National policy documents encourage management of NTFPs by CFUGs for commercial purposes, particularly by involving marginalised communities. It is therefore important to understand the existing mechanisms of their involvement. The authors followed a case study approach and collected data through key informant interviews, focus group discussions, formal and informal discussions, participant observations, and study of secondary data, such as the constitutions and operational plans of the CFUGs. Because institutional arrangements varied across the three study CFUGs, the ability of marginalised people to benefit from the ommercial management of NTFPs also differed. Results suggest that the involvement of external agencies, and the consequent conducting of NTFP-based pro-poor programs, positively influences commercial management of NTFPs and minimises elite domination. Likewise, inclusion of representatives of marginalised people in the CFUG executive committees empowers them to lobby with external agencies for pro-poor programmes. Furthermore, the geographic location of the community forest limits the involvement of external agencies and marketing of NTFPs. Therefore, because members of CFUGs in remote areas are heavily dependent on collection and sale of NTFPs for their livelihoods, the authors suggest increasing the focus of external agencies in such areas and including marginalised people in CFUG executive committees.