The Ethics Institute, previously known as EthicsSA, was originally created in 2000 with strong financial support from the Merck Foundation. Since then, TEI has become financially self-sustaining, and operates simultaneously as a public institute and as a social enterprise.
In the former role, TEI produces freely-available research and academic material, contributes to national discourse and policy making, and attracts the support of individual and organisational members, as well as grant members. In the latter role, we render a wide array of services to paying clients, and secure funding from large organisations for specific projects. The ratio of income from these two kinds of activity – with the latter financing the former – has remained more or less stable in recent years at 1:1.
In other words, the logic of TEI's funding model is that income generation is not an end in itself. Any profit made is reinvested in the capacity to undertake more research and to render more services, in pursuit of our vision of building an ethically responsible society. We are on a trajectory that requires ongoing innovation to meet the needs of our target organisations and society at large – and our diversified funding model contributes to the sustainability of this trajectory.
An invitation: fund a specific project