State Policy Network


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Organizational Success Starts with Strategy

What is the problem a state think tank is trying to solve and how is it going to do it? These questions are the very essence of strategy for State Policy Network affiliates and partners. But it is in answering these seemingly simple questions that the real choices facing a think tank emerge. How will resources be deployed? What are the right hires and positions to fill? What problems can a think tank solve, and what problems require a different type of organization or capacity? And who does the think tank need to reach in order to achieve their goals?

In a fast-moving world, adopting a clear strategy ensures State Policy Network affiliates and partners are aligned around clear priorities and long-term goals, while staying nimble enough to adapt to changing circumstances and new opportunities.

State Policy Network has a team of experts available to Network affiliates who can help think tank leaders consider these questions, weigh trade-offs, and craft coherent strategies that help organizations achieve their mission.

Collin Roth

Director of Strategy Development


Our Offerings

Organization Accelerator

State Policy Network is accepting 3-5 affiliate members each year into the Organization Accelerator, a multi-year partnership designed to accelerate organizational growth that leads to durable policy wins. This program is for state think tanks with a compelling vision, a clear strategy (or desire to craft one), and is seeking assistance to grow revenue, staff, and capability.

Start Up Support

Are you thinking of starting a brand-new think tank? SPN can assist interested groups and leaders as they navigate all the steps needed to launch and sustain a successful state think tank. Connect with SPN for resources and guidance for everything from getting non-profit status, to evaluating the landscape and selecting issues, to operations and hiring.

New CEO Support

Taking the top job at a state think tank is an exciting and sometimes daunting task. SPN can assist new CEOs with understanding how to evaluate the functions and capabilities of think tanks. We can also help with leadership development, facilitate connections to other Network CEOs and mentors, and assist with strategy development to ensure the think tank is productive as it transitions into new leadership.


Stuck on a hard question? Wondering where an organization should go, or grow? Need someone to bounce a big idea off of? SPN experts would be happy to connect and provide resources, connections, and guidance for Network leaders and staff seeking to solve big issues facing their organization or state.

Criteria for Acceptance

Any organization or individual interested in strategy support or strategy development should contact Collin Roth at  

Helpful Resources

DNA of Strategy (with a worksheet template)

Whether a strategy is good or bad hinges on practitioners’ understanding of capabilities, environment, and objectives, as well as how the three parts are connected. So, much of strategy is just making sense of these three parts. This guide will walk you through these three parts to help you assess the strategic landscape and develop a quality strategy.

View this resource.

Strategic Framework Explained

By engaging in strategic planning, think tank leaders can equip their staff with the direction and tools they need to strike this balance. One of these tools is a strategic framework. The strategic framework is a document that aligns your organization’s daily activity to its vision and mission, while still leaving the flexibility to adjust as needed. It establishes your organization’s competitive advantage and your annual goals, and it informs your strategies, milestones, and metrics.

See the six components of a strategic framework.