State Policy Network’s mission is to catalyze thriving, durable freedom movements in every state, anchored with high-performing, independent think tanks.
SPN fuels the state freedom movement by working alongside think tanks as an “incubator”—supporting newly established think tanks—and an “accelerator”—promoting the growth and effectiveness of think tanks and the larger freedom movement. SPN serves as a “connector” of organizations working toward a common purpose and formed by groups with specific roles.
Through its membership program, SPN connects the best and brightest leaders to a network that spans from the California coast to the tip of Maine, from Alaska to Puerto Rico. SPN membership is voluntary and by invitation only. SPN neither directs nor manages its members’ programs or activities. SPN members pride themselves on their independence and relevancy to their respective states and/or areas of public policy research.
Our network is comprised of 65 affiliated state think tanks and over 80 national partner organizations. While each individual member organization operates independently and varies in composition, all are dedicated to advancing market-oriented public policy solutions.
SPN members value and regard the power of the states to secure lasting economic and personal freedoms. They embrace and fight to preserve the balance of power Ronald Reagan advocated for when he said, “The federal government did not create the states; the states created the federal government.”
Affiliate (State Think Tanks Only)
Since SPN’s founding in 1992, the state-based liberty movement has grown to 65 affiliates, covering all 50 states. An affiliate operates as a full-service think tank, addressing a variety of relevant policy issues. They operate independently within their state, and not as part of a state chapter, franchise, or other effort of a separate organization. Their primary goal is to provide educational materials to the citizenry, public officials, and members of the media with a state-based focus. They refuse to accept or solicit government funding, and are IRS approved 501(c)(3)s.
- SPN Annual Meeting: The Annual Meeting is the premier freedom movement event, connecting colleagues, practitioners, mentors, and innovators from across the country to discuss best practices, share expertise, and incubate and share new ideas. When affiliates register before the early bird deadline, they receive complimentary registrations (including meals) for as many staff and board members as they would like to bring to the event.
- Staff Training and Support: Finding and retaining great talent is vital to building a sustainable freedom movement. To help meet this need, the SPN team includes specialists in the key disciplines of development, communications, policy, and operations. These specialists provide guidance and support to help identify and onboard new staff. SPN also provides a wide and growing range of training programs and resources designed to help affiliates’ staff grow and become more effective in their roles.
- Policy Advancement: SPN works alongside affiliates to identify opportunities for advancing state-based solutions, help craft innovative ideas to promote human flourishing, and connect state and national partners so that state solutions have national impact.
- Leadership Development: SPN’s leadership development programs include training, coaching, and peer networks in all core capabilities: boards, executive leadership, operations, development, communications, and policy.
- Promotion: As a connector of the network, SPN regularly promotes affiliates’ work to donors, network partners, and other state think tanks. Affiliates receive dedicated space for a 140-word update in SPN News, our bi-monthly newsletter that reaches over 6,000 donors, think tank staff, and network partners. SPN also promotes state think tanks’ successes on its website and social media.
Since SPN’s founding in 1992, the network has grown to include more than 80 associates. Like affiliates, associates are think tanks or other organizations committed to developing and advancing market-oriented public policy. They are IRS approved 501(c)(3) organizations primarily focused on education and operate independently of all government funding. However, unlike affiliates, associate members are national in scope and are not necessarily oriented towards a single state.
- SPN Annual Meeting: Associates receive up to 50 percent off registration for up to five employees when they register before the early bird deadline. This benefit alone often recoups associates’ membership investment.
- Policy Coalitions: The bi-monthly Bright Spots eNewsletter updates associates on current state initiatives, and SPN’s staff actively connect associates with affiliates in every state.
- Listservs: Associates receive access to several SPN-hosted listservs, which connect peer networks in policy and communications.
- Promotion in SPN Directory and SPN News: Associates are featured in SPN’s interactive online directory, and they receive dedicated space for a 100-word update in SPN News, our bi-monthly newsletter that reaches over 6,000 donors, think tank staff, and network partners.
How to Join
All organizations must submit to a rigorous review process to be accepted into the SPN network.
A committee will review each completed application and respond to applicants within one month.
To join as an affiliate, email Teresa Brown at email@example.com for application information.
To join as an associate, email Sarah Ferrara at firstname.lastname@example.org for application information.
How to Renew
Affiliates and associates must renew their membership annually in order to continue receiving their membership benefits. Renewals are typically due in April. SPN notifies affiliates and associates prior to the start of the annual renewal period.