Vision: The Illinois Policy Institute’s vision is to make Illinois
first in economic outlook and job creation and to become a free enterprise leader
for the rest of America.
Mission:The Illinois Policy Institute inspires changes
in hearts, minds and laws through our mission to promote personal freedom and prosperity
in Illinois and America. As a leading independent research and education organization,
the Institute generates positive and sustainable policy solutions for citizens and
lawmakers that help unleash talent and entrepreneurial ability.
Approach: The Illinois Policy Institute’s approach is to transform liberty principles
into marketable policies that become law. The ultimate sign of success is when free
market ideas are turned into law and change lives for the better. What does this
look like? Individuals and businesses become more prosperous without the fear of
government favoritism or interference, families can choose a high quality education
for their kids, and citizens respect their government because it is open and transparent
What does the Institute do?
We define the challenges facing Illinois residents, study how
public policy reforms can help and then craft positive, innovative solutions based on free enterprise
Our primary issue focus areas include:
- budget and tax
- good government
- health care
How long has the Institute been active?
The Institute was founded in 2002. Five years later,
building on the foundation already in place, CEO John Tillman launched an expansive
plan to build a robust, pro-growth and pro-market movement in Illinois.
The Institute has since become a noted champion of
common-sense solutions that appeal to a broad spectrum of Illinoisans.
Says Steve Moore of The Wall Street Journal: “The Illinois
Policy Institute is the best thing to happen to my home state of Illinois in a long,
long time. Step by step, they’re leading the way for free markets and real political
reform in a state that desperately needs both.”
How can you help me?
- If you’re interested in getting involved in your own
backyard, find out how you can become a Liberty
- If you’re a member of the media looking for an informed
source for an upcoming story, contact our media manager.
- Are you looking for an engaging speaker for an upcoming
civic or community meeting? Check out our speakers’ bureau.
Is the Institute part of the government?
No. The Institute is an independent organization that does
not accept government funding of any kind.
What is the Institute’s political affiliation?
The Illinois Policy Institute is independent and not affiliated
with any political party. People often ask whether the Institute is conservative,
libertarian, or whether it falls under some other political label. Labels can sometimes
provide helpful shorthand to make it easier for strangers to become better acquainted,
but they also can be inaccurate or miss the bigger picture.
The Illinois Policy Institute is dedicated to promoting the
principles of liberty in all levels of government. While “liberty” can be interpreted
in many ways and applied to many different arenas, we focus specifically on economic
liberty and free market principles.
We work with anyone who supports our values on a particular
issue, regardless of political or ideological affinity, including Democrats, Republicans
Are you an independent organization?
Yes. The Institute is an independent organization where
principles always come first. Like most non-profits, our work is answerable to
a Board of Directors entrusted with advancing
What issues have you had bi-partisan success with?
School choice, government transparency and fiscal responsibility – to name just a few. Read
an expanded list of Institute achievements that engaged people from across the
Does the Institute engage in “social” issues?
No, the Institute focuses on economic liberty and free market
Do you lobby government?
The Institute is primarily a research and educational organization.
We do make judicious use of a provision within federal law that allows organizations
like ours to promote good ideas to decision makers on a limited basis.
Illinois law requires Institute staff who engage and
educate elected officials to be registered lobbyists, and we comply with that
Our policy and outreach staff can help policy makers:
What services do you provide to elected officials and
- Explain why free markets allow
people to flourish and prosper, producing more dynamic economies, greater
political liberty and better health and living standards for all citizens
(particularly the poor and disadvantaged).
- Develop responsible and pioneering policy
solutions to pressing problems.
- Speak to a constituent group – like a local
Chamber of Commerce or Kiwanis club – about important policy issues and recent developments.
Does the Institute endorse candidates?
No. The Institute does not endorse candidates or donate to
political parties. We’re thrilled, however, when they adopt our policy positions
and advance good ideas that will lead to a better Illinois.
Who funds the Institute?
The Institute is funded by the voluntary contributions of
thousands of committed supporters from across the state who share our belief in
free markets, free people and a more prosperous Illinois. We do not accept government
grants of any kind or union funding.
We welcome support from a broad range of individuals,
businesses and charitable foundations that share our values and are willing to
support our work for a better, brighter Illinois. All donations are tax deductible.
Because the Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization,
our supporters’ names are kept private, although donors are free to share their
reasons for supporting our efforts.
What is the Institute’s annual budget?
The Institute’s 2011 budget was $2.8 million, which was
invested in our innovative policy centers, legislator education, activist
outreach and informative events.
Individual donors accounted for 88 percent of the
Institute’s 2011 budget, with foundations donating 11 percent and corporate
sources contributing 1 percent.
You can help make sure our future impact is bigger and
better by making a tax-deductible contribution today.
How many staff does the Institute have? Where are your offices?
The Institute has more than twenty hard-working staffers
based out of offices in Chicago and in the state’s capital, Springfield. We
host events around the state on a regular
Our Senior Fellows, Academic
Advisory Board and interns
also help promote the Institute’s mission.
Where does the Institute publish its work?
Our work is published on the Institute’s website, IllinoisPolicy.org.
Much of our work also is promoted via social media on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and is frequently the
topic of local newspaper, radio or TV news.
listen and watch some of our recent media features to better understand how our message is spread to
audiences within Illinois, across the nation and even internationally.
Does the Institute accept commissioned research assignments?
No. We do not subscribe to “pay-for-play.” All initiatives
are chosen independently and must fit into the Institute’s overall mission.
Can your research be trusted?
Yes! The Illinois Policy Institute offers a “Guarantee of Quality
Scholarship,” which reiterates our commitment to delivering the highest quality
and most reliable research on matters of public policy.
The Institute guarantees that all original factual data (including
studies, viewpoints, reports, brochures, and videos) are true and correct and that
information attributed to other sources is accurately represented.
The Institute encourages rigorous critique of its research.
If the accuracy of any material fact or reference to an independent source is questioned
and brought to the Institute's attention in writing with supporting evidence, the
Institute will respond. If an error exists, it will be corrected in subsequent distributions.
This constitutes the complete and final remedy under this guarantee.
What is the Liberty Justice Center?
The Liberty Justice Center is a public interest litigation
center started by the Illinois Policy Institute.
It fights to protect economic
liberty, private property rights, free speech, and other fundamental rights in
Illinois and beyond. First and foremost, the Liberty Justice Center seeks
to ensure that the rights to earn a living and to start a business, which are
essential to a free and prosperous society, are available not just to a
politically privileged few, but to all. The Liberty Justice Center
pursues its goals through strategic, precedent-setting litigation to revitalize
constitutional restraints on government power and protections for individual
rights. To learn more about the Liberty Justice Center,
Can the Illinois Policy Institute be abbreviated as “IPI”?
Please use “Illinois Policy Institute” or “the Institute” rather
than the three-letter acronym, which is used by another organization.