CIEM Aconcagua: Furthering organizational mission through self-financing

Case 5 in NESsT Case Study Series

CIEM Aconcagua is a community development institution that supports local development efforts in the Aconcagua region of Chile, focusing on microenterprise, conservation and promotion of the local natural and cultural heritage, and capacity-building among young people and artisans in traditional arts and trades.

Through a special arrangement with the bishop of the San Felipe diocese, the organization was given the lease to a Roman Catholic convent, which it restored into a Center for the Arts and Trades. There, the director and his resourceful team have initiated a series of self-financing activities, including courses in the arts and trades; a small art gallery and movie theater; a café and handicrafts shop; rental of the grounds for events; and a community extension program. Revenues from these activities have allowed CIEM to diversify its funding base and decrease its dependence on government contracts.

The activities that are most closely linked to CIEM's mission have been most financially successful and have created less tension in the organization’s internal culture.

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