Journey of Discovery

Here, we will guide you when starting a PLI in another country. 

Fundamental questions

Is a political leadership incubator for you?

Why start a political leadership incubator?

Here are the initial questions you should ask yourself before starting your PLI.


Why me? Why here? Why now?


Why this type of solution?


What would be the main challenges to make this a reality in my country?


What is my plan to address these concerns and mitigate those risks?


Can they be overcomed?

What is the political and social context?

Before starting a PLI, it is essential to guarantee your local context allows and embraces this type of initiative. Here are a few questions to keep in mind.


Is there a conducive environment to establish a political leadership incubator?


Is there a favorable regulatory framework that enables this type of work?
  • Is there the need and demand for it?
  • Where does it come from?
  • Is there momentum?


Are there sponsors and partners that could contribute towards it?


Is there political talent in need to be developed?


What is the political dynamic in my country? Does it allow and welcome this type of initiative?


Who has what to win from a political leadership incubator initiative? Who would be benefited and how?

What is the operational context?

After deciding whether or not you can and should build a PLI in your country, you should start asking yourself how you will begin operating your business. Here are the main topics you should pay attention to.

Success (KPIs)
  • What would success look like?
  • What goals and KPIs shall guide the work in the short, medium, and long term
  • What is the change you want to promote?
  • What election to focus on? For which positions?
  • To whom will this training be? How many positions are there? How many people would we like to help get elected?
  • What are the profiles of the students we seek? Where can we find them? What is the value proposition to them?
  • Who do we want this program to benefit?
Qualification of students
  • Work backwards from the electoral calendar and according to regulation. How much time do you have?
  • What should be the content of the course? What is the appropriate combination of academic and practical modules?
  • What regional, geographical, and logistics considerations are needed to elaborate the training?
    Is there a need for mentoring and tutoring? How much and how could those be provided?
Who is necessary in this journey?
  • How do you plan to find, attract and retain talent?
  • What is the team structure, each one’s roles and responsibilities?
  • How will be the engagement with political parties and other key actors?
  • What are the key stakeholders that need to be engaged for this solution to work? How to bring them in?
  • What partnerships can be established, under what conditions, and what services should be hired?


Do a back of the envelope calculation of how much would be needed to start such an initiative and do overall assessment of potential interest of donors and sources of revenue to enable this initiative. How will you fund the business?

What are your financial short and long term plans?

Are you going to provide financial aid to the students? How will that be determined?

Finances and key support

Moreover, whenever you are opening a business, assistance from outside allies is always necessary. You can learn more about this type of support in the following topics.


Paying special attention to your fundraising planning is essential when beginning your PLI. This is a specially sensible business topic, since it involves multiple local factors that cannot be ignored. Although there is no universal recipe, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

What should you pay attention to?
  • Your donor network should stand out for both variety and quantity. You should pay special attention to this aspect to avoid giving your organization a specific ideological image.
  • Knowledge management is key. Once you already have your fundraising model and providers established, you should focus on storing and managing all your information regarding your organization’s donations and donors. This should be a priority.
  • Be careful! Having an efficient platform to manage your fundraising information is essential. It allows you to have a better day-to-day follow-up and creates a safe data space that belongs to your institution.
Who is necessary in this journey?
  • To make your mission appealing to potential donors, you need to have a solid narrative.
  • You should understand that your organization is a collective mission. Every part is essential to the institution’s vitality.
  • Donating to an NGO is an investment that does not generate a financial profit, but it must generate a significant return. Therefore, you should always ask yourself how you measure and generate returns for these social investments.
What should you keep in mind when hiring your staff?
  • When it comes to staff, having a person that dedicates their entire time to the organization’s fundraising activities has been a successful choice here at RenovaBR. After all, fundraising is a constant and daily construction.
  • Fundraising is how you communicate and sell your organization to the market. Hence, your staff must have great communication and persuasion skills.
  • Moreover, your staff must have profound knowledge of the institution as a whole to keep the stakeholders updated of the organization’s activities. Keep up to date with the company’s news!
What about your relationship ruler?​
  • When it comes to business, it is always necessary to have a differential. A good relationship ruler is fundamental.
  • Accountability is a central aspect within the relationship ruler. Your donors will desire to track and learn how their donated resources have had an impact. Make sure you will offer different ways to allow them to do so!
  • Here are a few ideas to keep your donors informwd and involved: monthly newsletters, updates meetings where you ask your donors their opinions on the institution’s activities, annual events where you show the year’s results.
  • Accountability produces credibility! Proximity and transparency will give you faithful donors!

Mapping and convening of key stakeholders

We recommend that you pay special attention to this area when starting your PLI. Your stakeholders will not only provide you the necessary funds to open your business but also will give you a support network. Having them mapped will facilitate your strategic planning, since each strategy involves different stakeholders.

Improbable Journey:

The Story of RenovaBR, the School That Wants to Change Politics in Brazil

If you want to learn more about how everything started at Renova, check out our founder's Eduardo Mufarej book


Journey of Entrepreuneurship

Download the Playbook

See all the content in a PDF.


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