Contracts stand between think tanks and the funds they need. But these contracts are hardly ever developed for think tanks -or with think tanks in mind. They pose enormous challenges for them, often compromising their own core asset: their intellectual capital. This post considers three typical contracts and puts forward some recommendations to improve the terms of the contracts that think tanks in developing countries receive.
Posts tagged ‘funding’
Funding think tanks requires careful consideration of a number of variable: who is funding, who receives the funding, what is it for, and how is it delivered. Think tanks should not be funded as if they were just another organisation; nor should they all be funded the same way across the board. In this post I try to outline some of the questions (and analysis) that funders may want to consider before funding think tanks.
Are all think tanks non-for-profits? It seems that many think tanks in Hungary are for-profit companies that look, talk, walk like think tanks. Should their legal status make a difference on whether they get funding or not? Should donors just accept that difference is the rule?
Hans Gutbrod analyses how 20 leading US think tanks have developed over 2012. Seven of them are doing very well, while four of them are not exactly comfortable, at least not in financial terms. Analysis and detailed spreadsheet available.
The Politics & Ideas think net has produced a Topic Guide that covers some of the most important issues on the subject: where ideas come from, funding, the politics of evidence, etc. This is an invitation to add your views and resources: make it your Guide.
Supporting think tanks series: From core and institutional support to organizational development grants
The Think Tank Fund is changing the way it supports think tanks. Its new strategy will encourage a more mature relationship with its grantees, make it easier to monitor progress, and provide the necessary incentives for think tanks to take their own development seriously. Goran Buldioski, its director, outlines the new model.
Foreign funders need proof of their grantees' influence because they do not know enough about their political contexts. If think tank funders were less like risk-adverse tourist and more like local politically engaged citizens they would not demand impact evaluations and complicated indicators of influence. But to avoid this, funding needs to be local.