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On Think Tanks was founded in mid 2010. It has evolved from a blog into a global platform dedicated to study and support policy research and policy research centres, or think tanks. The members of the On Think Tanks Team and its Advisory Board are spread out across 6 continents!


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Our funding

Our funding story

On Think Tanks (OTT) started as a blog, set up by OTT founder Enrique Mendizabal in 2010. At the same time, Enrique set up OTT Consulting Ltd, a small UK-based consultancy that services think tanks, funders and other policy actors, to support OTT’s mission.

From 2010-2015, Enrique used profits from consultancy projects to support all of OTT’s initiatives and to cover travel costs, website development and research assistance.

2015 was a big year for OTT as we received our first external grant from the Hewlett Foundation. Since 2015, OTT has been financed through the generous support of the Hewlett Foundation and the profits from OTT Consulting Ltd. We also are incredibly grateful to all the people and institutions who volunteer and contribute time and expertise to OTT.

Transparency about funding is important to us, and we’re always seeking to polish our Transparify stars by providing up-to-date information about our funding here. If there is anything you feel isn’t covered by this page or you have any questions about our funding, please get in touch.

Our funding

OTT has two main fiscal hosts (i.e. organisations that receive and manage funds for OTT activities): OTT Consulting Ltd and Universidad del Pacífico.

OTT Consulting Ltd is a small, UK-based, consultancy set up by OTT’s founder Enrique Mendizabal to undertake consultancy work in support of OTT’s mission.

Universidad del Pacífico is the fiscal host for funds from the Hewlett Foundation, which has supported OTT since 2015. OTT’s leadership, communications, research agenda, core roles within the OTT School, and other ongoing activities are covered by these funds – although increasingly so these roles are supported by OTT Consulting.

Institutional support received by OTT

Here’s a summary of the Hewlett Foundation funds, channelled through Universidad del Pacífico, since 2015:

  • For the period 2015-2016, OTT received USD 230,000
  • For the period 2017-2018, OTT received USD 380,000
  • For the period 2019-2021, OTT will receive USD 800,00
    • USD 300,000 for 2019
    • USD 250,000 for 2020
    • USD 250,000 for 2021

Grant and project funding managed by OTT Consulting Ltd

[Note, we will update this information on an annual basis. For up to date information visit our projects page.]

Here’s an overview of all grant and project funding received and managed by OTT Consulting for the financial year 2020/21 (1st Feb 2020 – 31st Jan 2021). These funds cover direct project expenses such as sub-contractors, travel and accommodation as well as indirect expenses:

Funder Project FY 20/21 budget GBP
Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE), Germany Development of Think Tank peer exchange  £                    30 279
International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada Think tanks and impact investing  £                    33 784
foraus, Switzerland Winterschool 2020 mandate  £                    16 424
Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH (RBSG), Germany International mapping  £                    19 724
Oxfam Novib, Netherlands Communications for Changing Narratives publication  £                      3 530
Abt Associates Pty Ltd, Papua New Guinea INA and CIMC independent review  £                    10 857
International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada Scaling evaluation  £                  137 812
Open Society Institute, New York, USA ED retreat  £                    19 580
UNICEF, Italy Evidence Mapping  £                    22 757
Open Society Institute, New York, USA EJP strategy  £                  121 380
Wellcome Trust, UK Developing an evidence base for public engagement  £                    40 815
International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada ScalingXchange  £                    14 750
Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP), Kenya PEP Comms support  £                    23 627
MISK Foundation, Saudi Arabia Y20 delegate training and development  £                    51 673
British Council, Peru Designing a scientific advisory system for Peru  £                    34 704
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, USA Evaluation and retrospective of Hewlett’s grantmaking in Mexico  £                    93 528
Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Bangladesh Support for preparing Strategic Pathway Document  £                      5 874
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, USA Evaluation and landscape scan of Hewlett’s TPA Strategy  £                  220 275
University of Glasgow, SHLC, UK Research impact webinars  £                      3 108
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA On demand research support to Gates Development Policy and Finance team  £                    71 129
Global Disability Inclusion Vereinigung (CBM), Netherlands Graphic Design for Community Mental Health Good Practice Guides  £                      2 545
Jenny Lah, USA Data2X  £                      1 707
Southern Hemisphere, South Africa SAIIA comms evaluation  £                         776
 Total     £                  980 639
OTT Consulting Ltd financial contribution to OTT  £                  107 702

Voluntary work and in-kind contributions

Much of what OTT has been able to achieve since it was founded in 2010 has been down to the voluntary work and contributions of a number of institutions and individuals. We couldn’t do what we do without them. In particular we’d like to recognise:

  • Soapbox – who developed our website and who provides some in-kind help, including technical and communications support
  • Jeff Knezovich and Nick Scott – who helped develop the first versions of the site; and Jeff in particular for leading OTT’s initial communications work ad-honorem
  • Our advisory board members and associates – who help develop OTT on a daily basis
  • Vanesa Weyrauch and Leandro Echt – who were involved in the launch of the OTT School
  • Peter DaCosta – whose support was instrumental in turning OTT from a blog into an organisation
  • Many others, including the hundreds of contributors who produce most of the content shared by OTT.

If you would like to work with us or support us please get in touch