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 Membership (State Think Tanks Only)
An affiliate operates as a full service, state-based 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 advance state-based, market-oriented public policy ideas and solutions, by providing educational materials to the citizenry, public officials, and members of the media. They are committed to exemplary business and intellectual standards and practices; 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: Affiliates receive access to guidance and support from SPN’s specialists in leadership, policy, development, communications, operations, and government affairs. SPN also provides affiliates with a range of training programs and resources—in person and online—to help staff grow professionally 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: Receive access to training, coaching, and peer networks in all core capabilities: boards, executive leadership, operations, development, communications, policy, and government affairs.
SPN Member Portal: This online space is designed to give affiliates easy access to important resources and membership information. Affiliate staff will find a variety of issue-focused and discipline-specific training material to help them grow professionally, build high-performing organizations and effective issue strategies, and stay connected to their peers and the broader network. Individual profiles allow all affiliate staff to access the People Connector (a directory of network contacts across states and disciplines), submit updates, manage email subscriptions, RSVP to events, post job openings and organization events to SPN.org, and more. Each affiliate organization will also have access to a membership management section where they can update organizational information year-round. Accounts are available to all staff at SPN’s state think tank affiliates and are subject to SPN approval.
Promotion: As a connector of the network, SPN regularly promotes affiliates’ work to donors, network partners, and other think tanks. Affiliates receive dedicated space for a 140-word update in SPN News, SPN’s newsletter which circulates in print and online to think tank staff and network supporters. Additionally, affiliates can submit more frequent updates and success stories for the network via SPN’s Member Portal. These updates are shared via SPN.org, social media, and the SPN Connector, a weekly email newsletter reaching all state think tank and associate staff. All updates are subject to SPN approval.
SPN Connector: SPN’s weekly e-newsletter, the SPN Connector, reaches all staff at SPN state think tank affiliates and associate members. The SPN Connector helps affiliates stay in touch with important policy news, their fellow think tanks’ work, and the resources and opportunities available to affiliates through their SPN membership. It also promotes upcoming think tank events and job openings.
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 toward a single state.
SPN Annual Meeting: Associates enjoy a sizeable discount to Annual Meeting. This benefit alone often recoups associates’ membership investment.
SPN Member Portal: This online space is associates’ one-stop shop for best practices, policy resources, membership information, and network connections. On SPN’s Member Portal, associates can find a directory of network contacts across states and disciplines. Plus, associates can use the member portal to submit updates, share events on the Network Calendar, post open positions to the Network Jobs Board, and more. Individual profiles allow all staff at associate organizations to access SPN benefits such as policy and training content, the People Connector, email subscriptions, event invitations and RSVPs, and more. Our new membership management section gives your organization a place to update important organizational and contact information year-round. Accounts are available to all staff at SPN associate members and are subject to SPN approval.
Policy Coalitions: On the SPN Member Portal, SPN offers online communities of peer networking groups and policy working groups where coalitions can exchange best practices, share new strategies, and collaborate on policy solutions and research. Access to groups is by invitation only.
SPN Connector: SPN’s weekly e-newsletter, the SPN Connector, reaches all staff at SPN’s state think tank affiliates and associate members. It delivers timely information on policy wins and news, training opportunities, and more. The e-newsletter is read widely and receives above-average engagement rates for the nonprofit industry. If it’s in here, you know our state think tanks will see it, and vice versa. Associates are welcome to submit updates through SPN’s Member Portal.
Member Updates and Promotion: Associates are featured in SPN’s interactive online directory and receive dedicated space for a 100-word update in SPN News, SPN’s newsletter which circulates in print and online to think tank staff and network supporters. Additionally, associates can submit more frequent updates and resources for the network via SPN’s Member Portal. These updates are shared via SPN.org, social media, and the SPN Connector, a weekly email newsletter reaching all state think tank and associate staff. All updates are subject to SPN approval.
Personal Connection: Of all these perks, the most important benefit is the personal connection you receive to the 66 state think tank affiliates and over 90 national and issue-specific associate organizations. SPN is here to help you! Reach out to Coalitions Manager, Sarah Keenan, personally to schedule a phone call to talk about how you can get connected. Sarah can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Join or Renew
First-time affiliate applicants 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. Current affiliates must renew membership annually in order to continue receiving affiliate benefits. Renewals are typically due in April. SPN will notify affiliates prior to the start of the annual renewal period.
First-time associate applicants 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. If you would like to apply for 2019 associate membership, SPN will accept applications in November 2018. If you have questions about applying, please email Sarah Keenan at email@example.com.
To join as an affiliate or learn more about this membership opportunity, contact Teresa Brown, Vice President of Leadership Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about associate membership, contact Sarah C. Keenan, SPN’s Coalitions Manager, at email@example.com.