FAQS

General

Are there any think tanks in my country?

The number of think tanks in each country is constantly changing. Atlas Network currently works with 500 think tanks in 100 countries. To see what organizations are active in your country, check the online Atlas Network Global Directory.

Does Atlas Network distribute grants? And if so, how?

As a support organization, the greatest value Atlas Network can provide for a young institute is through connections to other friends in the worldwide freedom movement. To complement this support, we also provide management training, recognition through various award programs, and opportunities to network with think tank leaders from around the world.

When funding is available, Atlas Network is able to provide grants and awards to support the work of network partners on a case by case basis. As we are not an endowed organization, we have to raise funds year-to-year to offer this form of financial support. With modest resources available for grants, we can only fund a fraction of the worthy proposals we receive. Although many donors prefer to remain anonymous, all are invested personally and financially in the advancement of liberty throughout the world. We are grateful to the generous individuals and foundations that, through their giving, make it possible to extend Atlas Network-sponsored grants.

Several grant programs are currently available. More information can be found here.

Does Atlas Network support individual research projects?

Our grant opportunities are limited to professional civil society organizations only, and we are unable to award grants for independent research done by individuals. 

How do I become part of Atlas Network’s global network of think tanks?

If you operate an organization committed to advancing liberty, you can apply to become an Atlas Network partner or contact Erik Eppig at Erik.Eppig@AtlasNetwork.org. Partners are eligible and encouraged to apply for any of Atlas Network's many training, grant and networking opportunities. If you are an individual not associated with an organization, we invite you to enroll today in Atlas Network Academy and to learn more about how you can advance liberty in your region. Atlas Network works with a wide array of individuals and organizations around the world, and we may be able to introduce you to helpful contacts who share your goals. In addition, Atlas Network has several products that allow you to become more involved with the greater think tank movement:

Directory: Atlas Network has compiled a listing of free-market focused think tanks around the world; look for partners in your country or region using the Atlas Network Global Directory.

Flagship Events: Each year Atlas Network hosts the Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner, one of the freedom movement’s “must-attend” events, providing prime opportunities for learning about and networking with the global think tank network. In addition, there are local and regional meetings that can provide an introduction to the broader network. Atlas Network shares information on these events, as well as other local meetings, on our events page.

Subscribe to our AtlasNetwork World10 electronic newsletter by entering your information at the bottom of this page, and regularly check out our website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

I am looking for ways to get involved with Atlas Network. Where do I start?

You can start by getting involved with our social networks including Facebook, InstagramTwitter, and YouTube pages. If you are looking to contribute in more tangible ways, visit our Donate page. If you’re eager to become a network member and participate in the Atlas Leadership Academy, click here.

I am thinking about starting a think tank. What is my first step?

Atlas Network strives to provide personal assistance to individuals who are starting a free-market institute. Through Atlas Leadership Academy, individuals can participate in online training programs that provide guidance through the early stages of starting a think tank.

I would like to meet others who share my interest in free enterprise and liberty. Where can I learn about Atlas Network’s global events?

Atlas Network hosts the annual Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner in New York City as well as Regional Liberty Forums in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. You can learn more about Atlas Network’s events and free-market events around the world on our Events page.

Is Atlas Network a different organization from the Atlas Economic Research Foundation?

No. Atlas Network is the trade name we adopted officially in 2013 for the Atlas Economic Research Foundation (which remains our corporate legal name). We use Atlas Network to emphasize the value created by connecting our independent partners across the U.S. and around the world. We also found that our legal name gave the false impression that we publish economic forecasts (that is something many of our partners do, but not our Atlas Network team) or that we are an endowed grant-giving foundation (we do give seed grants and project funding to some of our partners, but this is only possible because of donors who support our work year-to-year).

Is my organization eligible for grants with Atlas Network?

To be eligible for Atlas Network grant opportunities, your organization must share in our vision of a free, prosperous, and peaceful world where limited governments defend the rule of law, private property, and free markets. 

 

Atlas Network partner organizations are eligible for all available grant programs. Non-partners are welcome to apply to the Think Tank Startup, International Student Project, and Translation grant programs.

 

We recommend prospective grantees carefully review all available grant opportunities and deadlines to identify the best fit.  For most opportunities, we invite your organization to first apply to become a partner if it is not already. We also highly favor organizations that participate in our Atlas Network Academy—learn more and enroll here—and, in particular, those who have completed Think Tank Navigator, a free online course offered throughout the year within the Academy.

 

Grant applications for purposes other than those listed as specific opportunities on our website should be submitted under the Project/Other Grant category. While Atlas Network is committed to championing all worthy efforts to advance liberty, grants are awarded on a highly competitive basis and in strict compliance with donor intent.

Was Atlas Network named after the book Atlas Shrugged?

The name was not derived from the book.

What is a business plan? How can I generate a strong one?

A business plan is a road map that outlines your organization’s goals and details how you plan to achieve those goals. It provides directions so your organization can plan its future and helps it avoid bumps in the road. The creation of a business plan allows you to establish a blueprint for how your think tank is going to run, what the heart of your mission is, and how you plan to achieve your goals.

Business plans will look different depending on organization structure, goals, and target audience. Regardless, some key elements you should include (in no particular order) are:

  • The executive summary is your statement of purpose, succinctly encapsulating your reason for writing the proposal. It needs to hit the key highlights of the plan. It should provide a quick overview of the problem your organization attempts to better, your solution to the problem, your target market, key financial highlights, and a summary of who does what on the management team. This should also include your organization’s vision and mission. 

 

  • The marketing plan details the strategies that you will use to reach your target market. This should detail who you are trying to reach. It provides an overview of how you will position your organization and how you will promote your programs.

 

  • The operations plan describes the goals of your organization and your proposal. As a think tank, you want to create social and political interaction, thus change. Therefore, your operational and impact plan needs to be accurate on how it will achieve that change. It should include details on what difference you’re seeking to make, how you’re going to make it, and how you’re going to measure it.

 

  • The milestones and metrics chapter of your business plan lays out concrete tasks that you plan to accomplish, complete with target dates. It should also detail the key metrics that you plan to use to the impact of your organization’s efforts. It should clearly define your short-term goals, your midterm goals, and your long term goals.  

 

  • In your organization overview, you should clearly describe the structure of your team and who they are. Include your experts, members, board (if applicable) and also provide their backgrounds and expertise (this can be as general or as detailed as you want). Explain the various positions of management, your existing sponsors and donors, your key partners, and other important actors. 

 

  • The programs, services & products segment should provide detailed information on what you have to offer and what you actually do. It should answer these questions: What products or services do you produce and offer? What programs do you have? How does the community benefit from your think tank? What need does your organisation meet and how is your model meeting that need?

 

  • The financial plan is a key part of your business plan. It is important to know and share your financial details, especially in an environment, where the need for transparency on where donations and funds go, is crucial. So, you need to clarify what assets you already have and how you plan to secure more funds as well as what your on-going expenses and overhead costs are. This should include: 
    1. An outline of your think tank's current and projected financial status.
    2. An income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, and financial estimates (if applicable). 
    3. A list of any grants and donations you have received, significant contributions, and any other financial support.
    4. Your fundraising plan.
    5. The gaps in your funding, and how you will manage them.
    6. A budget plan, including your start-up costs (if applicable).

 

Please contact Erik Eppig (Erik.Eppig@AtlasNetwork.org) with any questions about your business plan.  

Where can I find Atlas Network’s past articles and blog posts?

Atlas Network is constantly sharing news and analysis from around the network and maintains a searchable archive of past articles and blog posts. Check out the News and Analysis section to find what you are looking for.

Where can I find video recordings from past Atlas Network events?

Visit Atlas Network’s YouTube channel for videos from our Poverty and Freedom series, our international events, and other activities around the world.

Where do I apply for grants?

Atlas Network uses an applications portal where organizations can apply for grants. You will need to decide which grant program is the best fit for your project proposal. When you click "Apply," you'll be directed to a page where you will be asked to create an account in the applications portal before you are able to submit an application for this grant opportunity.

Please direct any questions about the portal to Jack Shannon (Jack.Shannon@AtlasNetwork.org). 

Where in the world does Atlas Network work?

Atlas Network is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, but we support a network of think tanks that span the globe. These think tanks are run independently with local leadership. The Atlas Network Global Directory has links to hundreds of think tanks who choose to be affiliated with other groups that  that promote individual freedom and are committed to identifying and removing barriers to human flourishing.

Who is Sir Antony Fisher and what does he have to do with Atlas Network?

Sir Antony Fisher is the founder of Atlas Network. To learn more read the Founder’s Story.

Atlas Network Academy

What is the Atlas Network Academy (ANA)?

The Atlas Network Academy provides a robust series of training opportunities that allow you to sharpen your skills in think tank operations, marketing & communications, fundraising, and personal leadership.  We offer a variety of online and in-person programs designed for think tank professionals at every level. 

You’re in the business of changing the world, and we’re here to help. We want to connect you with resources, best practices, tools, and mentors to help you and your organization achieve their mission. Our experienced team is here to help you reach your goals.

What happened to the Atlas Leadership Academy (ALA)?

In 2020 we restructured what was formerly known as the Atlas Leadership Academy to become the Atlas Network Academy. We made this change because our offerings go beyond just “Leadership” programs -- we offer a variety of programs in think tank operations, marketing & communications, fundraising, and leadership development. 

Under the Atlas Leadership Academy, learners completed courses with the goal of reaching 12 credits and becoming an “ALA Graduate”. With our transition to the Atlas Network Academy, we have also transitioned to a Certification based system. Learners will now have the opportunity to earn online and Master’s certifications in areas including Think Tank Foundations, Marketing & Communications, Fundraising, and Leadership.

What does this change mean for me if I am an ALA Graduate?

If you were an ALA Graduate under the old system and you have not engaged in an Atlas Network program in the last year, your credits were not transferred. We encourage you to get started on one of our many new course offerings in the Think Tank Foundations, Marketing & Communications, Fundraising, and Leadership tracks.

Did I lose ALA credits that I earned if I did not graduate?

If you completed Think Tank Fundamentals (formerly known as Think Tank Basics), Leader Lab, or Executive Accelerator those will be marked under the corresponding tracks. In order to receive your certification in that track, you will need to complete the other necessary courses. 

We will not be moving over credits for webinars, Think Tank Navigator, Think Tank Impact, the Strategic MarCom Rethink, or any other online or in-person courses not listed above. 

Is Atlas Network Academy still a credit based system?

No, Atlas Network Academy is now a certification based system. There are  certificates in the tracks of Think Tank Foundations, Marketing & Communications, Fundraising, and Leadership. 

Certifications are composed of online courses, instructor-led courses, and selected webinars designed to provide participants with an in-depth understanding of each area, provide helpful tools and best practices to apply in their own work, and help learners think bigger about how their work contributes to the broader mission of their organization. The Think Tank Foundations Certification includes an in-person training component. 

Master’s Certifications for Marketing & Communications, Fundraising, and Leadership rely on intensive in-person training, and will be offered to our partner organizations on an invite only basis.

How do I enroll in the Atlas Network Academy?

You can enroll for free in the Atlas Network Academy by visiting ana.atlasnetwork.org and creating your account.  If you are having trouble creating your account, please email training@atlasnetwork.org and we will help you get that set up.

How do I track my progress in the Atlas Network Academy?

If you have started or been enrolled in any course, you can track your progress in the Atlas Network Academy by logging into your account at ana.atlasnetwork.org and clicking “My Atlas Network Academy” under the main menu. This will show you which courses you have completed under each track and which courses you have left to complete to receive your certification. 

If you have not started any courses you can login and begin a certification from the options on the welcome page. We recommend starting with the Think Tank Foundations Certification. 

You may also email us at training@atlasnetwork.org to check your status. 

How much does it cost to participate?

General participation in the Atlas Network Academy is offered free of charge to you. However, each in person training opportunity does have some cost associated with the program such as travel costs to the program or a registration fee. Currently only our Executive Accelerator program and Lights, Camera, Liberty workshop have associated program fees. Programs we are able to offer at such reduced fees are thanks to the generosity of our donors. 

If you have any questions about program fees or travel costs for an in person training program, please feel free to contact us at training@atlasnetwork.org with any questions. 

The programs you currently offer don't fit my needs. Can I suggest a topic?

Yes! We welcome your feedback and suggestions. Please email us at training@atlasnetwork.org with your suggestions. 

Why should I participate in Atlas Network Academy?

Certifications and individual courses within the Atlas Network Academy are designed to provide rigorous, practical and useful training to individuals working to advance liberty through a think tank. Courses include interactive elements that allow you to learn by doing – and are designed to relate directly to your think tank work. Individuals participating in the Atlas Network Academy demonstrate their commitment to building a strong, impactful think tank, and are eligible for grants and other opportunities through the Atlas Network.

Do I have to complete courses in Atlas Network Academy to apply for a grant with Atlas Network?

When grant applications are reviewed strong preference is given to organizations and/ or individuals that have completed courses in the Atlas Network Academy. 

If you have any questions about this please feel free to contact our Institute Relations Team at Casey.Pifer@AtlasNetwork.org or Jack.Shannon@AtlasNetwork.org.

Do you have to work for a think tank or be an Atlas Network partner to participate in Atlas Network Academy?

No, you do not have to work for an established think tank to participate in the Atlas Network Academy. Many individuals with the goal of establishing their own organization, or who just have an interest in the work of free market think tanks have participated in the Atlas Network Academy. 

However, our in-person programs are invitation-to-apply only and the Atlas Network Academy team will reach out to eligible applicants based on this criteria:

  • Work for Atlas Network partner organizations or who work for organizations that have expressed interest in becoming an Atlas Network partner and;
  • Are aligned with our vision of a free, prosperous, and peaceful world where the principles of individual liberty, property rights, limited government, and free markets are secured by the rule of law.

If you have questions about becoming an Atlas Network partner, please visit atlasnetwork.org/page/become-a-partner for more information. 

What are master's certifications and how can I enroll in one of those?

ANA Master’s Certifications are premium training opportunities offered by Atlas Network Academy. These programs are reliant on in-person engagement which constitutes a greater investment by our team and our generous donors. For those reasons, invitations to apply for these programs are available only to individuals who meet the following criteria: 

  • Work for Atlas Network partner organizations or who work for organizations that have expressed interest in becoming an Atlas Network partner and;
  • Are aligned with our vision of a free, prosperous, and peaceful world where the principles of individual liberty, property rights, limited government, and free markets are secured by the rule of law.

Placements for these programs will be highly competitive and decided only by Atlas Network personnel. If you have questions about becoming an Atlas Network partner, please visit www.atlasnetwork.org/page/become-a-partner for more information. 

Why can't I see all of the courses available in a given certification on the Atlas Network Academy website?

The certifications in the Atlas Network Academy website are designed for you to take in order of Fundamentals, required webinars, Theory & Practice, and conclude with the 360. You must first complete the Fundamentals course and the required webinars for all certifications in order to access the Theory & Practice course. Once you complete those pre-requisites, the Theory & Practice course will become visible to you on the certification page. The 360 courses for each certification are invitation to apply only. If you are accepted to that in-person program, that course will be added to your My Atlas Network Academy page for you to access the course materials. 

If you have any additional questions or if you run into any problems accessing courses on the Atlas Network Academy website, please email us at training@atlasnetwork.org.

Giving

How do I make a donation to Atlas Network?

Atlas Network is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Atlas Network is not endowed and does not accept government funding. All of its programs depend upon the generosity of foundations, individuals, and corporations.

By check: Send checks or money orders for general donations to our Arlington, VA office at: Atlas Network, Two Liberty Center, 4075 Wilson Blvd, Suite 310, Arlington, VA 22203.

By phone: Call our office at (202) 449-8449, Monday through Friday between 9:00-5:30 E.S.T.

Online: Atlas Network offers many different giving options on our donate page. Click here to make a donation today.

Wire donations, stock transfers & estate planning: Please contact Kameron.Griffin@AtlasNetwork.org for detailed information.

International donations: Only donations from within the U.S. are tax-deductible. Atlas Network accepts donations by credit card, check, or money order from nearly everywhere in the world. Click here to make a contribution.

USD money orders: Collect donations in your currency, then mail a USD money order to Atlas Network, Two Liberty Center, 4075 Wilson Blvd., Suite 310, Arlington, VA 22203. Money orders should be made payable to Atlas Network.

Tax-deductibility: Atlas Network is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and therefore, all U.S. donations made directly to Atlas Network are tax-deductible in the U.S. All donors, online and offline, receive a formal letter of acknowledgment which serves as an official tax receipt. Our audited financials as well as our 501(c)(3) exemption certificate can be found online.

How can I support a specific Atlas Network partner?

Atlas Network has several programs that allow us to provide financial resources to partners in the network. Given our track record of success investing in the worldwide freedom movement, many donors work with Atlas Network in the manner of a “mutual fund” – e.g., trusting our judgment to give research grants or general support grants in a particular region. 

Atlas Network is in a unique position to be able to identify strong grantees for advancing liberty by drawing on its knowledge of the work of 500 think tanks in 100 countries.

If you have an interest in supporting a particular region or Atlas Network partner, please contact Chad.Goote@AtlasNetwork.org.

How is Atlas Network funded?

Atlas Network is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. We are not endowed and do not accept government funding. All of our programs depend upon the generosity of foundations, individuals, and corporations. Our audited financials as well as our 501(c)(3) exemption certificate can be found online in our financials section.

How long will it take to receive a receipt?

Receipts for mail or phone donations are usually sent within one week of when Atlas Network receives your gift. For an online donation, an email receipt is sent within minutes.

If you did not receive a receipt for a financial gift you've made, please contact Kameron.Griffin@AtlasNetwork.org or call 202-449-8449.

What is Atlas Network's donor privacy policy?

Our Donor Privacy Policy can be found here.

What is the Atlas Network’s mailing address and tax ID?

Mailing address: Two Liberty Center, 4075 Wilson Blvd., Suite 310, Arlington, VA 22203

Tax ID: 94-2763845

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