Funding and supporting think tanks

14 August 2018
SERIES OTT School Library

The effect that funders and other supporters of think tanks have on them should not be underestimated. Often, schemes to support think tanks turn out to be damaging to them and their objectives. On Think Tanks dedicates considerable efforts to study the role of funders and supporters in shaping think tanks and their contribution to policy and public life.


Crowdfunding for think tanks

Presenters:  Anita Gallagher (HIPGive), Carmen Vergara (FUSADES) and Michael Kleiman (MediaTank). Facilitated by Enrique Mendizabal (On Think Tanks)

June 2018

In this webinar the facilitators offer great advice on crowdfunding for think tanks. Anita shares her experience from working in a crowdfunding platform. Carmen shares the experience of FUSADES (think tank) on crowdfunding and discusses what they have learned so far in launching a crowdfunding campaign, she highlights the potential that crowdfunding has to engage with new, and specially young audiences. The last presentation, by Michael from MediaTank, focuses on the use of video to maximise the success of a crowdfunding campaign

Evidence informed fundraising strategy

Presenters: Chukwuka Onyekwena (CSEA) presents, Julie La France (Think Tank Initiative) and Jorge Enrique ( Fosdeh)

June 2018

Fundraising remains a challenge for most organisations, and the need to explore innovative ways to remain sustainable and competitive is imperative. Dr. Chukwuka Onyekwena (CSEA) shares how their developed and rolled out their fundraising strategy, providing examples of how it has been implemented by CSEA. Julie la France comments from her perspective, as a funder, and then Jorge Enrique comments on how this strategy could be used in Latin America

Webinar organised by ILAIP and OTT, with the support of the Think Tank Initiative.

Finding and engaging new funders

Presenter: Marc-Andre Pradervand (Fundraiser). Facilitated by: Leandro Echt (On Think Tanks)

July 2017.

In this webinar  Marc-Andre starts with a brief overview of fundraising basics, and helps listeners understand their current fundraising needs, what funders they should seek out for, what does the asking process, entail and how to engage with funders. He finalises with some suggestion on fundraising and communication tools for think tankers

Webinar organised by ILAIP and OTT, with the support of the Think Tank Initiative.

Acercarse al sector privado como Fuente de financiamiento (Spanish)

Presenters: Inés Castro Almeyra ( Director, Navarro Viola Foundation). Facilitated by: Leandro Echt (On Think Tanks)

May 2017

In this webinar Inés gives an overview of how to reach out to the private sector for funding. She discusses some to the concerns think tanks have when reaching out to the private sector: are they friend or foe? She highlights why and for what reason think tanks can/ should reach out to them, and some of the challenges it entails. She finalises with practical tips and suggestions, and how can a think tank plan for the next steps.

Webinar organised by ILAIP and OTT, with the support of the Think Tank Initiative.


Short Course: Rethinking your funding model

Facilitators: Vanessa Weyrauch ( Politics&Ideas) and Leandro Echt (On Think Tanks)

May 2016

In webinar 1 the facilitators describe what is a funding model, and what is unique about them in the case of think tanks. They lead listeners into reflecting where their organisations are at the moment and how they can re-think their funding models. The facilitators also discuss what are the implications on research, policy influence and communications of the change in the funding model.

Webinar 2 focuses on the main avenues to change a funding model, for example, re-structuring or shifting cost allocation, investing in fundraising, building income generating structures, and developing local sources of funding. They specially describe options for diversification of funding resources, for example accessing government resources and local philanthropy. Finally, they ground the discussion on what change is feasible, and that the road to sustainability never ends, it is an ongoing process.

The background note produced for this course explores these issues further and gives readers access to further resources

Short course: Re-pensando los modelos de financiamiento (Spanish)

Facilitators: Vanessa Weyrauch and Leandro Echt

October -November 2016

Course organised for ILAIP by On Think Tank. The objective of the course is to reflect on the different ways that a think tank has to mobilise and use resources, present different funding models and share tools on how can an organisation effectively re-think their funding model. In webinar 1 Vanessa and Leandro explore what is a funding model, and what does rethinking them entails.

In the second session (webinar 2) the facilitators ( with Enrique Mendizabal)  help listeners reflect on where their organisation stands in the funding landscape. Finally, they explore critical issues on the management of funding sourcing.

In webinar 3 the facilitators are joined by Juan Fernández (RIMISP) and Yeughen Shulga (Case Ukraine). The focus on this session is fund diversification and how to innovate. They highlight three different sources of funding for think tanks to explore: governments, local philanthropy and crowdfunding.

In the last session (webinar 4) the facilitators discuss and reflect on some of the main questions that listeners had, and to wrap up both participants and facilitators share relevant cases and experiences of shifts in funding models.

Selected articles and resources