Working to make government more effective

IfG audience


Find out more about the range of funders the IfG has worked with.

The Institute for Government is a registered charity (No: 1123926) and a company limited by guarantee (No: 6480524). 

Core funding 

The Institute was set up by David Sainsbury, with the purpose of making government more effective. Most of our funding each year comes from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, set up by David Sainsbury to realise his charitable objectives. Gatsby focuses support on a limited number of areas: public policy research and advice; science and engineering education; economic development in Africa; neuroscience and plant science research; and the arts. The Gatsby Foundation takes a long-term view, funding organisations and larger programmes of work, rather than short, one-off projects. 

For 2021/22, the Institute received a core grant of £4.6 million from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation towards our charitable work.  

Other sources of funding of charitable work 

The Institute seeks financial and in-kind support for its work from a range of organisations that share our commitment to making government more effective and bring complementary expertise and insight. These include academic institutions, charitable trusts, corporate partners and consultancies.  

Our arrangements with partners comprise funding for specific research and sponsorship of events. Our research is rigorously independent and we always retain control of the scope, content, conclusions and recommendations of all work to which funding and sponsorship is attached. More detail on this can be found on our partnerships pages.

The Institute helps civil society, academia and corporations to understand and engage with UK government more effectively via learning and development courses provided through the IfG Academy. We often work with academic researchers, improving their ability to inject evidence into policy making. 

Commercial venue hire 

Through its trading subsidiary, IFG Enterprises Ltd (No: 07240242), the Institute seeks to support its charitable work by commercial hire of its premises for meetings and events. IFG Enterprises Ltd donates its surplus to the main charity via gift aid. 

Further information is available from our consolidated annual accounts.  

How the Institute uses its funding 

The funding that the Institute raises is used to support the research work it undertakes and the dissemination of that work to produce impact and increase government effectiveness. We work to produce evidence-based practical recommendations which will enable the machinery of government to operate more effectively for the public good. Our work covers comment, analysis and a variety of topics from parliament, the constitution and civil service to public services and public finances.

Through the IfG Academy, the Institute undertakes professional development work, providing opportunities for ministers, shadow ministers, senior civil servants and public officials to understand and perform their roles better. Many resources for new and aspiring ministers are available on our website, including our Ministers Reflect archive of interviews with former ministers in the UK and devolved governments. Since before the 2010 election, we have also undertaken ‘preparation for government’ work with opposition parties in the run up to elections. 

All such work is confidential. To avoid conflicts of interest, the Institute does not charge for any work directly with those in government or opposition. The Institute does not engage in any profit-making activity with government beyond covering reasonable costs involved in delivering activity.