In 2016, the INTO Secretariat was approached for support in setting up a National Trust in Georgia. INTO supported the Georgians in this establishment, with Secretary-General Catherine Leonard mentoring the team closely through the first steps in establishing a new Trust.
Over many meetings, Catherine drew on her extensive knowledge of best practice in Trust establishment globally, including in previous INTO success stories like the Czech National Trust. For example, the Georgian team followed Czech advice in looking to acquire a property as soon as possible so as to put activity into practice, and are now in the process of renovating their new headquarters. Key conclusions from this process are included in the INTO HandbookINTO HandbookINTO Handbook, a document which INTO has prepared to support establishing trusts.
More recently, the National Trust for Georgia reached out to INTO for technical support in the ongoing restoration of the headquarters building(pictured). Drawing on its bank of international experts, INTO was able to secure a pro bono visit from a senior restoration architect and structural engineer, who visited Tbilisi for two weeks and drafted a series of recommendations for the new trust there. INTO made a contribution to the costs of having these experts in country, a good investment considering that the National Trust for Georgia continues to use the reports that were generated to determine its ongoing priorities for restoration.