Short course: Re-thinking funding models

Organised by On Think Tanks
Event type Courses
Location Online
Start date 22 August 2017
End date 19 September 2017

Funding is a key concern for every think tank due to how it affects its sustainability, identity, relevance and performance. Funding models vary significantly but organisations often face the same challenges, regardless of their location.

There is also increasing interest from think tanks to understand how to develop and strengthen domestic support for their work, as well as how to innovate and create new sources of income.

This course is designed for thinktankers willing to re-visit their funding model and learn new ways of strengthening it. The course synthesises what we know about funding models that currently prevail in the South and analyses the implications and consequences of these models on the identity, work and impact of an organisation. Participants will learn about a wide range of practices and case studies of think tanks that can inspire them to lead innovation and change.

Objectives of the course

  • Raise awareness about the different ways of generating and using funding for think tanks and their implications for the organisation and its members
  • Share new ideas and innovative practices to improve diverse funding models

Who is this for?

This short course is for leaders and fundraisers of think tanks and research organisations interested in reflecting on their own funding model and learning from different experiences in order to strengthen their long term sustainability.

The course includes

A background note on what a funding model is, the ideal types of funding models and what a successful model should look like.

An online forum to share comments, experiences and questions with the trainers and other participants.

Two webinars:

Webinar 1: The health of your funding model

  • What is a funding model?
  • Basic and alternative models
  • Applying a stress test
  • Implications on research, policy influence and communications

Webinar 2: Developing new sources of funding

  • Why is it important?
  • Moving away from your comfort zone
  • Potential avenues for generating new income: advantages and risks/costs
  • Policies and strategies to soundly manage diverse sources of funding

A personal task: Devise a lean action plan to strengthen your current funding model.

Course dynamic

The course includes a combination of theoretical materials, webinars led by trainers, a forum for ongoing discussion with trainers and participants and a practical exercise. The course kicks off with a background note and the launch of the online forum. Two webinars will take place through an online platform and will be recorded for those participants who cannot attend the webinar dates. The online forum is available through the duration of the course for peer exchange. Participants will submit a personal task by the end of the course, which will receive personalised feedback from the trainers. Trainers will also share reading materials and other resources. Finally, a certificate of participation will be given to participants who submit their personal tasks.

Key dates

Kick-off: August 22

Webinar 1: August 29

Webinar 2: September 12

Delivery of final exercise: September 19

The time for the webinars is 3 PM GMT. Both webinars will be recorded and shared afterwards with participants.


OnThinkTank_Feb 17__CL_9815_Claudia LeisingerVanesa Weyrauch: Vanesa is co-founder of Politics & Ideas, a think net focused in the interaction between research and policy, Director of the On Think Tanks School and founder of intuit/integral leadership. She has worked in the policy and research field for the past 14 years, especially with think tanks in Latin America. She has created several online courses on topics like policy influence planning, designing policy relevant research agendas, funding models, research communications and monitoring & evaluating policy influence addressed to think tanks in Latin America, Africa and Asia, and also works as mentor with several think tanks in these issues. She has evaluated different policy influence projects/programs/organisations and has worked as Institutional Development Director at CIPPEC (a leading think tank in Argentina). She holds a BA in Social Communications from Universidad Austral (Argentina) and a Certificate of Special Studies in Management and Administration from Harvard University.

OnThinkTank_Feb 17__CL_9534_Claudia LeisingerLeandro EchtLeandro works in the policy and research field. He engages with think tanks, researchers, NGOs and public agencies interested in linking evidence with public decisions, particularly in developing countries, through capacity building, mentoring and consultancy activities including evaluation of programs and organisational assessments. His work is complemented by research initiatives. He is also the general coordinator of Politics & Ideas. Previously, he was the coordinator of the Influence, Monitoring and Evaluation Program at the Argentinean think tank Center for the Implementation of Public Policies promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC). He is Argentinean and is currently based in Florida, United States.


The short course costs GBP 125.00. You may also join by signing up to the entire series of 7 Short Courses at GBP 700.00 for the series.

Early bird registration fee for the course is GBP 105.00 (only for first five registrations) and for the entire series is GBP 600.00 (only for first five registrations)

Checkout other Courses in the Evolving Think Tanks Series 2017.

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