The year 2020 represented one of the most challenging periods for the financial health of the institution since its creation. The impact of the pandemic, caused by COVID-19, on the global economy also directly affected access to donation and financing resources, which affected the financial health of the institution.
CATIE had to take extreme measures to prevent the economic impact of the pandemic from having a strong impact on the operation of the Center. For this, a weekly monitoring system was established, which allowed a permanent assessment of the financial health of the institution and, thus, take measures in time to avoid impacts of greater dimensions. Commercial activities also suffered an important impact, especially those dedicated to the attention of visitors, such as the Botanical Garden, the lodging area, the cafeteria, and transportation.
Despite everything, at the end of the 2020 period, CATIE closes with a positive balance of USD 13,000. The entire CATIE family made a valuable contribution to avoid a greater impact on the financial health of the institution.
CATIE enters a new era by adjusting its Fundraising Strategy and modernizing its trust
In January 2020, the Board of Directors of the Tropics Foundation met in Atlanta, United States, to redefine its strategic approach to update its role within CATIE’s institutional fund management strategy. As a result of this exercise, the foundation has a clear vision and mission, as well as a consolidated strategy to regain its relevance and, once again, represent an important way of managing funds for the institution in the United States of America. Clear advances have been made in collaborative fundraising management strategies with partner universities, such as the University of Idaho and Pennsylvania State University. In addition, the Tropics Foundation, in partnership with CATIE, secured the first grant from USAID’s American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (USAID/ASHA) for almost USD 500,000 to finance the renovation of furniture and the technological update of the Graduate School of the CATIE.
Fundatropicos, for its part, began a transition towards a much more modern, agile, and efficient operating structure and corporate governance, which will allow it to improve its administration, governance, and decision-making processes. This, in turn, will lead to an increase in revenue due to the interest generated by the CATIE trust, which allows it to finance an important part of the basic budget. In addition, the Board of Directors is defining how to expand this trust to increase the economic contribution to CATIE and have a direct impact on the long-term financial sustainability of the institution.