Central America Donors Forum
Date & Venue TBA
The Central America Donors Forum (CADF) is the premier multi-sectoral networking and learning space to advance philanthropy and development efforts in Central America. Each year, CADF brings together the international philanthropic community with hundreds of civil society, corporate and government leaders in Central America.Learn More
Mobilizing funding to Central America
Connect with 350-450 senior-level leaders
Convened over 4,00 changemakers
Catalyzing co-investment of initiatives
Developing common agendas across sectors
Reclaiming the narrative
Decolonizing and democratizing philanthropy
Each year, CADF brings together hundreds of leaders and experts from more than 20 countries, and receives support from dozens of organizations committed to developing Central America.
Check out highlights from our most recent CADF in Honduras! Explore session summaries, quotes, photos, recordings, and more.View CADF 2022 Wrap-up Report
Feminist Activist & Human Rights Defender
Regional Director, Office for Mexico and Central America, Ford Foundation
CEO, Foundation for a Just Society (FJS)
Board President, Seattle International Foundation and President, Truveta**
UN Resident Coordinator in Honduras
U.S. Congress, Co-chair, Central America Caucus
Seattle International Foundation’s (SIF) Central America Donors Forum (CADF) began in 2010 as a small meeting of donors in the Pacific Northwest of the United States supporting the region, and connected them with Central American members of business, government, academic and civil society. The event’s initial goal was to exchange information about the region and explore possibilities for collaboration and co-investment.
As CADF traveled to new cities throughout Central America, the event brought together a greater number of leaders across sectors and began receiving support from other organizations committed to the region, eventually expanding both its presence and impact to become one of the most prominent development conferences in Central America.
With 12 years of history and having united over 3,500 leaders, CADF has transformed into the premier space to discuss priority issues in Central America, create alliances and expand networks, and facilitate innovative solutions that promote development and create opportunities in the region.
The founding event of CADF was a modest conference organized by Seattle International Foundation (SIF) called “Collaboration & Poverty Alleviation in Central America”, which was held at the PATH headquarters in Seattle, Washington. On April 8, 2010, the conference brought together 66 representatives from foundations and NGOs interested in Central America development. After a successful experience sharing information and building networks, a primary conclusion of the event was to hold an annual conference on Central America dedicated to priority issues in the region—the next CADF would subsequently be held in 2012.
CADF 2012 took place at the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington on June 9. The event brought together 117 donors and development experts from both the United States and Central America. The event featured a series of panels on the prevention of gender-based violence, access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and opportunities for collaboration and investment in Central America for youth development and public safety.
The third iteration of CADF was held at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, D.C. on October 25. Throughout the day, 124 participants joined discussions on economic empowerment of women, gender-based violence, investment in young women and opportunities for collaboration with the private sector, as well as a roundtable for donors.
CADF 2014 took place on December 2-3 in Mexico City, Mexico—the first Forum held outside of the United States. The 1.5-day agenda revolved around the Alliance for Prosperity Plan in the Northern Triangle of Central America, the role of philanthropy and civil society in the region, inclusive business models, public safety and sexual health and reproductive rights. In total, 101 participants joined CADF 2014, where SIF announced its newest program, the Central America and Mexico Youth (CAMY) Fund.
CADF 2015 was held in San Salvador, El Salvador on November 18-19. As the first Forum held in a Central American city, and in addition to nearly tripling the previous year’s attendance (266 participants joined), the event offered an agenda spanning two full days with the support of a dozen sponsoring organizations. CADF 2015 addressed topics such as U.S. and international co-investment, philanthropy and immigration policy, corruption and transparency, education and youth, human rights, public security, child marriage and adolescent pregnancy. One of the primary results following the Forum was the creation of SIF’s Independent Journalism Fund.
Beginning in 2016, CADF added both a third day to the agenda and incorporated simultaneous sessions, which tripled discussion spaces. CADF 2016 was held in Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala on November 28-30, featuring nearly 30 panels, workshops, networking spaces and site visits for its 272 attendees. Sessions focused on education, migration, climate change, journalism, the role of the private sector and philanthropy in regional development, security, women and adolescent girls.
From October 25-27, Panama City, Panama served as the venue for the 7th annual CADF. The year’s theme, “Reimagining Alliances”, led to conversations about and proposals for gender equality, education, environment, philanthropy, youth and corporate social responsibility. The program featured 85 speakers and over 40 unique sessions and activities for 297 participants.
By 2018, CADF had positioned itself as a unique regional convening to form partnerships and expand networks. CADF 2018 united nearly 400 leaders in the city of San Salvador, El Salvador on October 22-24. Under the theme, “Creating Space for Everyone”, sessions delved into a wide array of topics including corruption and impunity, migration, independent journalism, femicide, access to reproductive health, and impact investment.
The first CADF in Honduras was held on October 23-25 in Tegucigalpa and included three full days of sessions, with additional days of site visits and social activities. The central theme, “Progress at a Crossroads”, responded to a moment in Central America where three topics of development remained crucial: democracy, migration and social movements. These topics were featured in all sessions, and were complemented by presentations with artists and leaders from the region. Over 400 attendees participated in CADF 2019.
For the first time in 10 years, CADF took entirely to the virtual stage. While the Covid-19 pandemic caused the event to transition online, it allowed the CADF platform to connect with a broader audience that ultimately enriched conversations about an evolving new reality. The event included 700 attendees from across 20 countries. The CADF 2020 theme, “Reinvention & Resistance in Times of Crisis”, set the tone for over 30 interactive sessions on September 1-3. This event included the launch of the CADF Awards, a recognition of six civil society organizations for their reinvention and resistance efforts in the midst of crisis.
The 11th annual CADF remained as a virtual event for the second year in a row. Following a year of the Covid-19 pandemic, the destruction of two hurricanes and increased authoritarianism in the region, the fight against corruption by civil society, youth movements and independent media faced unprecedented challenges. CADF 2021, under the theme, “Alliances to Heal and Rebuild”, gave voice to 152 speakers on October 26-28. For the second time, the CADF Awards recognized and funded six civil society organizations that contributed to social healing and reconstruction in the region.
CADF 2022 was held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras on October 26-28, 2022. The first in-person CADF since the pandemic began brought together 490 attendees and featured 52 unique sessions, the most in the event ‘s history.
CADF 2022 gathered hundreds of leaders to engage in dialogue centered on emerging trends in philanthropy, discuss and address closing civic space across Central America, seek out collaborative efforts to foster economic empowerment, explore innovative approaches to reduce structural inequalities in society, and hear the stories of defenders protecting the sustainability of our environment and human rights.
The CADF 2022 audience arrived from 18 countries and included over 150 speakers, panelists, moderators and facilitators, as well as featured 25 sponsors. One third of sessions were streamed for free via social media.