January 19, 2017


Short course: Re-thinking funding models

On Think Tanks Online
start date: August 22, 2017 end date: September 19, 2017

Funding is a key concern for every think tank due to how it affects its sustainability, identity, relevance and performance. Models vary significantly but many of the challenges are the same, regardless the think tanks´ location.

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

This course is for those willing to re-visit their model and get exposed to potential ways of strengthening it. For that, it systematises what is known about the funding models that currently prevail in the South and analyses the implications and consequences of different models on the identity, work and impact of the organisation. It also presents a wide array of practices and case studies of think tanks that can inspire participants to lead innovation and change.

Objectives of the course

  • Raise awareness about the different ways of generating and using funding of think tanks and their implications for the organisation and its members
  • Socialise 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 is a funding model, the different ideal types and what a successful model should look like

An online forum to share comments, experiences and pose 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 the comfort zone
  • Potential avenues for generating new income: advantages and risks/costs
  • Policies and strategies to soundly manage the 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 Echt: Leandro is the Coordinator of the On Think Tanks School and Editor for Latin America at On Think Tanks. He is also the General Coordinator of Politics & Ideas. He works on the policy and research field, engaging with think tanks, NGOs, and public agencies interested in linking evidence with public decisions, particularly in developing countries, through a mix of capacity building, mentoring and consultancy activities (such as evaluation of programs and organisational assessments) and complemented by research initiatives. 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).


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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