Eco Center Caput Insulae Beli: Becoming financially autonomous while capitalizing on hard assets and know-how

Case 10 in NESsT Case Study Series

Eco Center Caput Insulae Beli (ECCIB) was established in 1993 with the aim of protecting the endangered species of the Eurasian Griffon as well as the natural and historic heritage of the island of Cres. Faced with the impossibility of securing permanent financing from long-term sources and public funds, and given the difficult position held by CSOs in Croatia due to volatile fundraising opportunities, ECCIB was aware from the very beginning that it would have to rely on alternative sources of funding, self-financing being the most viable option.

The first self-financing activity, undertaken in 1995, provided accommodation for volunteers working at and groups of schoolchildren visiting the Center. Since then, self-financing activities have expanded to include consultancy work in the environmental field, provision of guided tours for tourists and groups of school children, charging of admission for guided exhibitions and the sale of souvenirs.

Designing the self-financing activities to ensure their compatibility with the organization's mission, ECCIB relied heavily on the support of the volunteers working in the Center and in-kind donations in their implementation. It's been a lot of hard work but ECCIB now pride themselves in being the self-financing success story of the Croatian civil sector. In 2004, revenue from self-financing contributed 21% of the total budget and the organization is entertaining a number of creative ideas for the expansion of these activities in the future.

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