Raymond Struyk, author of Improving Think Tank Management, writes about think tanks’ indirect costs and how sponsors are often reluctant to pay for them as part of their grant funding. However, these costs are necessary to ensure an organisation’s vitality and sustainability. The balance of this post first explores indirect cost rates, how donors limit them, and the highly questionable practices the limitations induce think tanks to adopt in response. It then argues for donors to work together in an “association” and with think tanks to approve technically valid indirect rates for think tanks with whom they work when it is the first participating think tank to make a grant to a given think tank.
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