UNCCT was established through a USD 10 million contribution from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the UN, following the recommendation included in the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (Pillar II, para 9). 

On 13 August 2014, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia donated an additional USD 100 million to help finance the work of the UNCCT. Other donors of the Centre include the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Germany amongst others.

On the occasion of the Fourth Strategic Review of the Global Strategy, in June 2014, the General Assembly encouraged Member States to provide resources and voluntary contributions to the Centre and to contribute to the implementation of its activities within the CTITF. The Secretary-General has repetitively stressed the need to ensure a broader donor base for UNCCT.

UNCCT jointly develops, funds and implements counter-terrorism capacity building projects with other donors utilizing the respective competencies of each partner. This modality has several advantages, including greater impact, greater ownership by the beneficiary and greater involvement by Member States in the funding decisions of UNCCT. 

At the UNCCT Advisory Board meeting of 7 November 2014, members expressed support for a model through wich funds as well as in-kind contributions are provided to the Centre by making national experts available for the implementation of the capacity building projects.