Other tech

This startup is the ‘secret weapon’ community organisations need to deal with governments

- December 4, 2023 2 MIN READ
Tanck cofounders Neil Pharaoh and Angus Crowther. Photo: Rory Parker
Tanck cofounders Neil Pharaoh and Angus Crowther. Photo: Rory Parker

Tanck is a startup described as a ‘secret weapon’ for NFPs and social sector organisations when it comes to government relations and engagement.

Founded in 2020 by Angus Crowther and Neil Pharaoh, Tanck is a small team of political gurus who share their political knowledge and experience with organisations who want to change the world – so they can achieve the funding and policy change they need to better the lives of their communities.

Unlike third party lobbyists, Tanck teaches organisations how to speak to government directly, transforming them into their own advocates. The startup’s approach breaks government engagement down into a series of strategic steps, using tools, tips and guides every step of the way. 

In a playing field dominated by high rolling consultancies and lobbyists, their self-devised system is quietly revolutionary and is proving incredibly effective. In the three years since founding, Tanck has helped organisations achieve hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for causes like cancer research, road safety, migrant services and adult literacy. All by sparking hundreds of productive conversations between politicians and passionate changemakers.

Now Tanck are among the 63 finalists vying for the prestigious 2023 Pause Awards, which celebrate Australia’s top innovators.

Tanck are finalists in 4 categories across the fields of Business Excellence, Culture and Good and were dubbed one of the ’cream of the crop’ by Pause’s Ann Nounce in the recent finalist announcement.

Founders Angus and Neil are excited to be in the running for the awards, alongside companies like WeMoney, Upstock and Kollective.

“We are amazingly excited to be named in 4 categories for the 2023 Pause Awards, announced this evening in Melbourne.

Pause is a byword for business innovation and is building a business network with huge transformative power. We look forward to celebrating at the awards ceremony on the 4th December. We can’t wait to meet the other finalists and are already putting the finishing touches on our version of the legendary ‘winner’s walk’.”

So, what drove Tanck to reinvent how political advocacy is done in Australia?

“What I noticed when I worked in politics was that social sector organisations often had great solutions and ideas to take to government, but government often wouldn’t hear them or wouldn’t adopt them.” 

“We were seeing a real gap in NFPs and their ability to engage with government – they didn’t necessarily have all of the tools, capacity or skills to get those outcomes scaled, to get them supported and funded by government.”

“Unlike many traditional organisations, we work with our clients to build their capacity and capability for them to be their own best advocates. Wha that means is that they can share their stories and advocate and campaign for their issues in their own voice, which makes a real difference in political circles.”

“The real difference with Tanck is there’s no pretending that government engagement is mysterious, it’s really giving them skills and expertise – for our client’s voice to shine and to make a difference.”

“Politics can be complex, it can be hard to understand what to say, who to say it to, who to trust. One of the things we seek to do with our clients is to support and re-energise them, give them that confidence.”

And what is their somewhat unusual goal?

“The real aim of Tanck is to shift the dial for our clients. Our ultimate aspiration is to really do Tanck out of a job. It’s our hope that every NFP or social purpose organisation will achieve some of their policy, funding and legislative objectives. And that’s a better outcome for all Australians.”