By Andi Newton, Treasurer for FOB Board of Directors
Safeguarding the gifts of our donors is of utmost importance to the Friends of Batahola (FOB) and the Cultural Center of Batahola Norte (CCBN). Since the beginning of the political crisis in April 2018, FOB has partnered with the Center’s Finance Coordinator and General Coordinator to closely monitor the banking situation in Nicaragua and co-develop new processes in response to the uncertain political climate.
FOB holds video conferences with the Center at least quarterly to obtain updates on the status of banking in Nicaragua as well as the Center’s financial results and cash needs. The Center also keeps FOB apprised of any updates as they occur. As certain local Nicaraguan banks have been closed, we monitor the status of the financial institutions utilized by the Center to ensure they remain operational. In addition, the Center is focused on responding to all government requests expeditiously to ensure it is in compliance with regulations and reporting requirements.
A key operational change that has been implemented since the crisis is the frequency in which funds are transferred from FOB to the Center for operating support, grants, and other restricted gifts. Historically, funds were transferred approximately quarterly. Given the heightened risks surrounding the political environment, the Center maintains relatively low cash balances, and we now transfer funds on a monthly or as needed basis based on the Center’s cash needs. We believe that this is the most appropriate way to ensure the Center’s funding needs are met while safeguarding its assets.