State Policy Network
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About State Policy Network

We believe the reason millions of people have come to America’s shores seeking better lives is not because of anything Washington, DC. has to offer. What makes America a blessing and a dream for so many is not the power of our government but the strength of our communities. Every day, Americans from coast to coast work to build businesses, take care of one another, and pursue fulfilling lives in peace. Unlike so many countries around the world that centralize power in the hands of elites, our system has enabled enormous prosperity and progress by keeping power in the hands of the people.

But more and more, barriers are emerging to the pursuit of a good life in America. Essentials like a safe place to live, reliable, meaningful work, affordable healthcare, quality education, and retirement security are beyond the reach of too many.

It’s not that we’ve forgotten how to govern ourselves, to solve problems together, and to build enterprises that generate good products and steady jobs. The American people are not the problem. The problem is that powerful elites are turning Washington, DC into an imperial city. They seek to dictate how we educate our children, how we provide healthcare in our communities, how we police our neighborhoods, how we farm our land, how we express our political opinions, and even how we practice our religious convictions.

We believe the solution to what ails so many American communities is not more power in the hands of Washington elites, but a restoration of the individual rights and local governance that for centuries made America a beacon of hope for millions around the world.

OUR VISION

State Policy Network’s vision is an America where all people flourish because collaborative, entrepreneurial leaders have secured lasting social change, personal freedom, and opportunity at the state and local level.

OUR MISSION

State Policy Network’s mission is to catalyze thriving, durable freedom movements in every state, anchored with high-performing independent think tanks.

OUR VALUES

  • We believe local problems are best solved by local leaders who know and understand the challenges their communities face. We are committed to restoring the necessary balance of power between Washington, DC and the states, so that communities can advance and innovate policy solutions that better meet their unique needs.
  • We believe free enterprise is the most moral and proven system for giving as many people as possible the opportunity to build businesses that serve their communities, create good jobs, and establish economic security for themselves and their families. Free enterprise has lifted billions of people worldwide out of poverty. Giving people the personal freedom to be entrepreneurial in all walks of life generates lasting social change that improves everyone’s quality of life.
  • We believe nonprofit think tanks play a vital role in society by providing reliable research, analysis, and education to help government officials develop compassionate policies that help rather than hinder people, and by engaging citizens to give them a voice in that policy-making process. To fill this role successfully, we are committed to modeling and fostering excellence in nonprofit best practices.
  • We act with respect, integrity, inclusiveness, trustworthiness, humility, professionalism, and humanity.

WHAT WE DO

To accomplish our mission, SPN supports the growth of a 50-state Network of state think tanks through programs and services that:

  • Advise and assist state-based leaders working to establish new think tanks.
  • Provide training, coaching, and strategic planning to empower state think tank leaders to cultivate essential leadership and professional skills, as well as nonprofit organizational excellence.
  • Connect state think tank leaders through peer networks, policy working groups, SPN’s Annual Meeting, and online resources so that they can encourage and challenge each other, exchange best practices, and refine ideas and strategies.
  • Defend the 50-state think tank Network by sharing best legal practices, providing critical resources when members are attacked, and fighting organized assaults on free speech and citizen privacy.

OUR COMMITMENT TO NONPROFIT EXCELLENCE

State Policy Network endeavors to inspire and raise the level of effectiveness of affiliated state think tanks so that they can be forces for the public good. To positively influence their states, think tanks must educate, inform, and engage people in their communities. Effective communication requires trust, so think tanks must be well run and have the highest standards if they want to earn the confidence of citizens and policymakers. State Policy Network works alongside affiliated state think tanks to foster high performance through training and peer mentoring in leadership, board management, staffing, compliance, ethics, stewardship, finance, operations, research, communications, public engagement, and issue advocacy.

While we focus on supporting others, State Policy Network also strives to model excellence in the Network by adhering to nonprofit best practices in our policies, procedures, and practices.

STATE POLICY NETWORK BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Carl O. Helstrom, III (Chairman)
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation

Tracie J. Sharp (President)
State Policy Network

Stanford D. Swim (Secretary)
Bill of Rights Institute

Thomas L. Willcox (Treasurer)
The Roe Foundation

Theodore D. Abram
American Institute for Full Employment

Lawson Bader
DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund

Karen Buchwald Wright
Ariel Corporation and Ariel Foundation

John Hood
John William Pope Foundation

Adam Meyerson
Philanthropy Roundtable

Bridgett G. Wagner
The Heritage Foundation

STATEMENT OF NETWORK INDEPENDENCE

A strength of our community is that the affiliates of State Policy Network are all fiercely independent entities, with entirely separate legal and financial structures, staff, support bases, and boards of directors. Each of these innovative partners was founded on a unique vision for its state’s future, and designed to be highly relevant and responsive to the needs and concerns of its citizens.

SPN neither dictates nor officially endorses the individual decisions of our think tank affiliates, but instead focuses on ensuring a robust and diverse advocacy of liberty across this independent 50-state network. Reports of this network’s activities and successes here on SPN.org do not constitute a formal authentication or coordination, but rather are presented to publicly share methods to remove barriers to opportunity and choice for all Americans.

SPN has earned the highest Charity Navigator rating. State Policy Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and any contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. No goods or services are provided in exchange for contributors’ generous financial donation.

State Policy Network and SPN are registered trademarks with the US Patent and Trademark Office.