We finance our work and sustainability programs through diverse sources of income. The largest of them are participation royalties from certification, grants from governments and foundations, and individual donations.
2018 Revenue, Support by Source, and Expenses
Participation royalties (participation agreement revenue)
Participation royalties are paid by companies that buy and sell goods produced on Rainforest Alliance Certified™ or UTZ certified farms. The Rainforest Alliance uses the royalties to support and sustain our certification programs. We invest these royalties in developing standards and policies, training farmers and auditors, managing a quality control system for auditors, tracing certified products throughout the supply chain, measuring impact, and more. This revenue source on average makes up 63 percent of our total revenue.
Grants and contracts (foundations, governments, corporations)
Foundation, bi-lateral government, and multi-lateral government agency grants fund a variety of our on-the-ground programs to accelerate the adoption of more sustainable agricultural and forestry practices throughout the world.
These grants also fund global partnership initiatives designed to advance new solutions to systemic sustainability challenges. These partnerships demonstrate the power of working as an alliance. Examples include the Accountability Framework initiative and LandScale.
In addition, we work with international companies in agriculture and forestry on tailored programs to make their supply chains more sustainable. Each of these programs is funded by the company that the program is for.
Grants and contracts cover direct project costs as well as operating costs. In 2018, these two revenue sources accounted for 28.8 percent of our total revenue.
Donations (major donors & individuals)
The Rainforest Alliance has a long and robust history of individual philanthropic relationships. Individual donations to the Rainforest Alliance range from $5 to more than $1,000,000. These contributions come from people committed to taking action on some of the most pressing social and environmental challenges of today. They play a critical role in making our work possible as they fund a spectrum of the Rainforest Alliance’s organizational needs—from general operations to distinct sustainability programs in agriculture and forestry. Donations made up 5.4 percent of our total revenue 2018.
Our annual Gala is attended by generous donors and business representatives. We invest the revenue from this event in our work and sustainability programs. In 2018 it made up 0.9 percent of our total revenue.
We also receive donations of goods and services such as legal advice, space, and consulting. These donations accounted for 1.6 percent of our total revenue 2018.
More detailed financial summary and our funders list are available in our annual reports and financial statements here.
 The equivalent of “participation royalties” in the UTZ program is “volume-based fees.”