Last June, it was revealed a scandal that involved more than 50 foundations that, according to their objectives, should promote the common good of our country’s society.

However, the non-transparent and unethical methods with which these organizations were awarded millionaire funds came to light. We’re talking about figures that exceed the CLP 2,000 million awarded in the last two years.

That is something completely unattainable for organizations whose work depends on donations from individuals and applications for State funds.

As Fundación Glaciares Chilenos, our objective was born from a personal purpose of our founders that focuses on the dissemination, education, and protection of glaciers and seeks to provide society with tools and learning about the more than 26,000 glaciers in the national territory. In our 5 years of work, we have formed a trustworthy team of volunteers, in which obtaining funds to develop our projects has always been the main challenge and a stumbling block to move forward on a larger scale. We don’t receive private funds from any financial institution, and currently, we haven’t obtained any state funds.

Cases such as the ones published not only discredit organizations that strive every day to achieve their goals honestly and transparently for the common good but also expose the unethical mechanisms and the use of networks of influence and power that these organizations use to obtain multi-million funds to achieve their objectives. Without a doubt, many of these organizations have carried out works that have benefited thousands of people; however, as Fundación Glaciares Chilenos we ask ourselves: Does the end justify the means? The awarding of funds of unattainable figures and immoral magnitudes makes public an awarding criterion that turns out to be a breeding ground for corruption.

What organizations do have access to this information? Why do some organizations know about the existence of these agreements, whom to request them, and under what conditions?

The fact that this information isn’t public knowledge and that even today, the existence of a “handpicked” designation in the clearest sense corresponds to a level of corruption that as an organization we reproach.

We declare emphatically that we have always been a transparent organization that reveals how we access funding and finance our projects. In 5 years, we have never even glimpsed a financing of such magnitude. We understand the alert and sense of mistrust this case has caused in the population, as it discredits the hard work we have done to create bonds and a level of trust.

We don’t want the dishonest, unethical, and ambitious work of other organizations to sully those like us who have put our time and even personal resources into raising a purpose that only seeks the common good of society and nature.

As an organization, we demand to progress on the following points:

  • Toughen the requirements for organizations that apply for funds, such as demanding minimum years of work, demonstrable experience, and, above all, transparency in the use of resources.
  • Direct funding should be the last resort to carry out a project. Prior to that, there should always be the possibility of accessing this type of funds through a tender portal.
  • Create new laws that regulate the transparency of foundations, for instance, the origin of their financing, whether public or private, their financed projects, the salary of their directors and team, among others.

Board of Directors Fundación Glaciares Chilenos

Column published in El Desconcierto [digital newspaper]

Featured Image: Agencia Uno.