Strong procedures / Capacity Building

Published: 26 September 2018
Last edited: 01 April 2019

FONCET was one of many financial mechanisms that were created for different natural protected areas as part of TNC´s Parks in Peril Program. FONCET started out only for El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve and was the only local fund to succeed. Later on, FONCET started to invest in other protected areas trying to replicate the model.

First donations were used to create strong bases for the organization, carefully selecting, hiring and training high skilled and committed individuals, as well as developing legal and operational manuals, transparent administrative procedures, strategic plans, strong communication, fundraising and technical capacitates, among others. FONCET invests in having the best team since the success of an NGO strongly depends, among other, on the people in charge.


Education, training and other capacity development activities
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution
Planning phase
Inception phase

Enabling factors

  1. Board willing to invest: to have a strong financial mechanism in every aspect
  2. Professional team: to successfully manage the fund
  3. Mentors: who can help in the process, whether is another NGO, or individuals with different capacitates. A mentoring program will enable strong procedures.
  4. Manuals: administrative and legal manuals with clear values like austerity, subsidiarity, equity, creativity to create the framework of the financial mechanism
  5. Transparency: will give confidence to donors and attract more finance

Lessons learned

Most environmental NGO’s in Mexico do not invest in having a strong and secured staff; many do not give competitive salaries or even legal benefits to their employees, like social security, even when these spend most of their time in the field being more susceptible to accidents. These practices generate a negative atmosphere in the staff that eventually can be reflected in their work. Some NGO’s boards assume that by saving money in the salaries and legal benefits, they will invest more in conservation, without noticing that by not investing in the staff safety they are compromising their mission. It is hard to convince some of these members to invest in these procedures, but it is definitely worthy. So, a lesson learned is to have a board of directors willing to invest in their people and in strong procedures that in turn will permit to have a strong and successful financial mechanism and of course results in conservation.  

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