Organizational Health January 05, 2021

Local community funding: what’s possible in Latin America?

Gastón Chillier

Former CELS Executive Director Gastón Chillier tells the story of how CELS, after decades dependent almost exclusively on foreign donors, built a community of local members providing substantial revenue through small donations.

Former CELS Executive Director Gaston Chillier describes structural adjustments to CELS revenue model after facing reduced commitments from the international donor community. 

Chillier saw the reduction in funding as an opportunity for CELS to reimagine its institutional funding model and embrace a broader type of social mobilization that was more in keeping with the times. In response, CELS launched a digital campaign, as well as a telemarketing campaign, to recruit local supporters and educate Argentinians about the role of human rights within their society. Chillier details the tactical decisions faced by his staff: how to handle local collaborations; how to embrace a new form of digital communications; how to update records and manage local relationships. 

After celebrating CELS 40th anniversary in 2019, Chillier is confident that the organization’s new base of local donors will be key to preserving CELS long-term financial sustainability. 

Full article available on Open Global Rights.