Public, Society Benefit

The Heritage Foundation

  • Washington, DC
  • http://www.heritage.org

Mission Statement

The mission of The Heritage Foundation is to improve the lives of all Americans, by formulating and promoting the principles that have been proven across time and place to lead to human flourishing: free enterprise, limited government, individual liberty, traditional American values, and a strong national defense. Our supporters fervently believe, as we do, that the most effective solutions to America's problems are always consistent with these ideas and principles.

By 1973, when The Heritage Foundation was founded, many Americans had become deeply concerned that our country was drifting away from her founding principles. The Heritage Foundation not only gave Americans an institution that would fight for America's founding principles – it also gave our countrymen a heartfelt, motivating vision of what America can become once again: a nation where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish.

Main Programs

  1. Strengthening the Conservative Movement
  2. Communications
  3. Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity
  4. Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy
  5. Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity

service areas

National

Self-reported by organization

Areas Served Narrative

Throughout the United States, located in Washington D.C.

Self-reported by organization

ruling year

1973

Principal Officer

Hon. Jim DeMint

Self-reported by organization

Keywords

Conservative, Free-market, Think tank, Limited government, traditional American values, strong national defense, free enterprise, individual freedom

Self-reported by organization

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EIN

23-7327730

Also Known As

THF

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Public Finance, Taxation, Monetary Policy (W22)

Citizen Participation (W24)

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Impact statement

No matter what the problem, the political left always has just one “solution": Government expansion. Ronald Reagan once said, “Government doesn't solve problems, it subsidizes them." At The Heritage Foundation, we stand for those Americans who agree with this statement.
Our supporters are fed up with the panacea of Big Government, because it prevents problems from being truly solved. And it creates new, worse problems. So when it comes to public policy, for Heritage supporters, outcomes mean everything and intentions mean nothing.
On behalf of all Americans, Heritage shines an uncompromising light on the results of poorly thought-out, Big Government policies, which include government dependency, class and group envy, cronyism, and international instability. We then show Congress, step-by-step, how they can get government out of the way so that the American people can solve their own problems. We use intellectually honest research and innovative marketing to promote public policies that actually work.
In one of the earliest examples of The Heritage Foundation's impact, the tax cuts we urged on President Reagan produced the biggest economic expansion in U.S. history, which extended beyond the presidency of Bill Clinton.
Today, we are sparking a revolution in education in the states by showing how parents can use tax dollars to customize their own child's education. Because of the support of millions of Americans, Heritage was able to preserve funding for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which lets D.C. parents take their kids out of failing schools and put them in schools where they can actually learn. These children now graduate at a rate of 90 percent.
We are also providing members of Congress with the exact steps they need in order to reform federal welfare programs, which for decades have discouraged marriage, meaningful work, and family stability. Our record of creating successful welfare policy is important: In 1996, Heritage led the fight to include work requirements into what was known at the time as the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program – and in doing so, created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which helped millions of Americans to get off welfare. But there is more work to be done today, as TANF is just one of more than 80 federal welfare programs.
Another example of The Heritage Foundation's impact is our work on labor policy. When we explained to Wisconsin legislators how not forcing non-union members to pay union dues can help workers, they codified this into state law the very next day.
Finally, The Heritage Foundation has chronicled the devastating impact that the deceivingly named Affordable Care Act has had on millions of Americans – in the form of higher premiums, cancelled plans, loss of privacy and control of health care decisions, and limited access to high quality health care. We have kept the movement alive to replace Obamacare with a patient-centered alterna

Programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Self-reported by organization

Program 1

Strengthening the Conservative Movement

Heritage’s Coalition Relations Program
The conservative movement cannot triumph over leftist ideology unless we work together. That’s why Heritage regularly brings the nation’s conservative leaders and public policy institutions together to discuss messaging, policy formulation, and shared goals. Heritage connects state-based policy organizations with like-minded groups, shares research with organizations who need it, and sends our policy experts into key battles at the state level.

The Heritage Foundation participates in more than 50 conferences and 200 coalition meetings each year, and hosts even more. In addition to hosting dozens of Washington briefings and training programs, we are also the organizer of the Annual Resource Bank Meeting, where more than 500 attendees from more than 250 organizations network and strategize with conservative peers.

It is largely because of The Heritage Foundation that, over the past four decades, the conservative movement has grown to what it is today: a force which, even in the face of heightened cultural and political attacks by the radical left, is stronger and more powerful than ever before.

Heritage’s Legal Programs
For decades, the political left has used the judicial system to legislate when it could not achieve its objectives through the consent of the people. Today, Americans are fighting back through what is known as the freedom-based public interest legal movement.

The Heritage Foundation, through the work of our Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, serves as the chief organizer of this movement. We fight to prevent the judicial system from overstepping its constitutional limits, and explain why the courts must interpret the law instead of making it.

We regularly bring the conservative legal movement together in order to strategize and think through legal issues facing the nation. These gatherings include meetings of our Public Interest Legal Group; and working groups on civil rights, intellectual property, and election law.

We have seen particular impact form our semi-annual Legal Strategy Forum. This event brings together the chief legal officers of the public interest legal movement, who share our commitment to limited government. These groups are in the trenches working to defend property rights, religious liberty, and free speech, to combat environmental overregulation, and to defend litigants on other constitutional issues. The Forum allows them to network, discuss successful strategies, and plan for upcoming litigation with input from the country’s finest legal minds.

Heritage’s Young Leaders Program
Liberty must be fought for, won, preserved, and defended – and we must recruit individuals from each generation to lead this fight. Heritage supporters understand this, which is why they’ve made The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program a success. Since it was first established in 1979, this program has educated, developed, trained, and equipped thousands of students and young professionals to defend our nation and its heritage of liberty.

The Heritage Young Leaders Program includes Heritage’s Internship Program and our outreach on the nation’s college campuses.

Our internship program is designed to give the next generation of leaders the intellectual and practical foundation they need by:
• Telling them the truth about America’s founding, and why our founding principles must be the guide for any and all legislation and activities of the U.S. government;
• Educating them about policy solutions that uphold the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense; and
• Giving them work experience and marketable professional skills.
As part of our outreach on college campuses, Heritage policy experts lecture, discuss conservative ideas, and introduce students to The Heritage Foundation. The program also hosts college groups at Heritage headquarters, where we provide briefings on whatever topic our guests need.

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Program 2

Communications

When the liberty-based ideas of the American founding are heard and understood by the American people – they inspire.

The Heritage Foundation is always finding new ways to help more Americans to understand the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual liberty, traditional American values, and a strong national defense. Our communications strategy includes market research and message testing, targeted print publications, outreach to the mainstream media, news reporting and commentary, and social media.

Our market research platform, known as Heritage’s American Perceptions Initiative, acknowledges that there is always a way to approach an issue that will give you the greatest chance of persuading – rather than turning off – your audience. Heritage uses this permanent system of market research to increase the impact, appeal, and influence of Heritage’s ideas. The messages and public perceptions we uncover not only impact all of our communications with the public – they also inform conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who are eager to see where Americans stand on a pressing issue.

At the same time, each year Heritage experts publish thousands of commentaries in local, state and national print media. Heritage analysts, who are sought-after guests for TV and radio interviews, are often broadcast to TV and radio programs from The Heritage Foundation’s own in house TV and radio studies in Washington, D.C. These studios make it easier for news networks to call upon our experts to respond to breaking news.

Since 2014, The Heritage Foundation also operates its own multimedia news website, The Daily Signal. The Daily Signal provides timely, relevant policy news of importance to the American people. Through Emmy-nominated articles, videos, and info-graphics, The Daily Signal narrates real life examples of why conservative policies work – and why liberal policies fail.

Another feature that sets The Daily Signal apart is its commitment to breaking unreported and underreported stories – and doing so in a way that is unexpected, entertaining, and compelling. In 2015, The Daily Signal’s hard-hitting stories on Obamacare, the IRS, transgender bathrooms, and other examples of federal overreach helped attract nearly 44 million “visits.” Many of The Daily Signal’s 4,270 stories were picked up by influential outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, National Review Online, The Weekly Standard, Fox News, and more.

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Program 3

Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity

The primary goal of the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity is to promote and defend the institutions of civil society upon which ordered liberty in America depends: marriage, families, religious practice, health care, and schools. We defend the right of all Americans to live, work, and love according to their deeply held beliefs. We promote the right of parents to choose how their children will be educated. We keep before the public the abject failure of Obamacare and give them a vision for a patient-centered, consumer-oriented, health care system. And we show local, private institutions how they can help alleviate poverty rather than relying on government.

One major annual reference work from the Institute is Heritage’s Index of Culture and Opportunity, which tracks whether America is on the right track or the wrong track when it comes to a number of social indicators. The Index of Culture and Opportunity helps lawmakers understand how their decisions on social policies such as educational choice, welfare, and marriage dramatically impact economic health and opportunity in America.

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Program 4

Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy

The Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy focuses lawmakers’ attention on one of the Constitution’s explicitly enumerated tasks: To “provide for the common defense.” This means making certain that America can defend herself and her interests on the world scene, from foreign enemies, be they nations or terrorists. With this in mind, this Institute focuses on research and analysis of issues dealing with foreign policy, international relations, defense spending, rooting out sources of terrorism, and other aspects of national security. In addition to publishing more than 300 policy papers each year, the Davis Institute regularly convenes working groups of experts and Capitol Hill staff on vital issues, and holds policy-related lectures, debates, and roundtables.

To support our recommendations, the Davis Institute has added to its publications our annual Index of U.S. Military Strength. Immediately upon publication of the first edition of the Index, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees requested briefings on its contents, indicating strong interest in whether the U.S. military is no longer up to the tasks it is called upon to perform. The Index has been widely praised by the defense and intelligence communities as the most complete, understandable, and detailed analysis available of the threats to America’s safety, and our ability to deal with them.

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Program 5

Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity

The Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity promotes bold public policies to restore the free market, rein in government spending, and inspire America’s traditional ethic of hard work, investment, and saving. Heritage economists articulate the moral and ethical case of fiscal responsibility and free markets, including our annual Index of Economic Freedom. The Index, which Heritage has published jointly with the Wall Street Journal for more than 20 years, ranks 186 nations on measures of economic freedom, from property rights to entrepreneurship.

The Index’s 20 years of data make it evident that economic freedom inherently limits the power of government, liberates people to reach their full potential, and leads to human flourishing. That’s why we design our public policy solutions with these ends in mind, and we defend their feasibility with data from our Center for Data Analysis, our version of the Congressional Budget Office.

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Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

Self-reported by organization

1. Number of states which have adopted Education Savings Accounts

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
ESAs are parent-controlled accounts that allow parents to direct public education funds that the state would have spent on their child’s education.

2. Number of testimonies and media appearances by Davis Institute experts

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric

3. Number of Heritage interns

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
Strengthening the Conservative Movement
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric

4. Number of people who attended the annual Resource Bank conference

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
Strengthening the Conservative Movement
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
The event has traditionally drawn representatives from free-market think tanks, high-level policy experts, scholars, litigators, lawmakers, and members of the media. First event was in 1977.

5. Number of visits to The Daily Signal’s website

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
Communications
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Self-reported by organization

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    We believe that it is possible to rein in the power and reach of the federal government to within the constraints enumerated in the U.S. Constitution. We believe – because our research shows – that this can be done while still providing the hope and the innovation that Americans expect from policy solutions that address modern day challenges.

    America can be safe from terrorism and foreign enemies. Families, communities, businesses, and states can live in maximum freedom from interference from government, economically, legally and socially. At The Heritage Foundation, we know this can be accomplished, and we are willing to do what it takes to achieve this long-term vision.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    The Heritage Foundation asks Americans to imagine a country where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish. Then we outline the exact policy solutions that will get us there.

    At the same time, we fearlessly critique public policies that oppose these principles. We work to get our research to members of Congress, key congressional staff members, and policymakers in the executive branch where and when they need it. One way we do this is through our research publications, which take many forms – from shorter “issue briefs" to longer reports. Our Policy Promotion team distributes these documents to members of Congress and their staff. This team also arranges meetings with members of Congress and briefings on Capitol Hill to discuss our research in person.

    To create a demand for our policies outside of Washington, we then broadcast our information widely in the nation's news media – including on our own multimedia news website, The Daily Signal – and place it in the hands of the academic and policy communities.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The Heritage Foundation has 14 distinct public policy “centers," organized under three Institutes. These Institutes are staffed by more than 100 policy analysts, economists, and scholars – with backgrounds ranging from private sector leaders to former members of the armed forces, CIA staff, high-level government officials, and academics. They publish conservative policy solutions, brief lawmakers on Capitol Hill and candidates for public office, and testify before Congress and state legislatures.

    To help us get our ideas into the mainstream, Heritage has a top-notch team of journalists, market research experts, and communications professionals. This team publishes The Daily Signal, places Heritage analysis and commentary in Heritage's top news outlets, and helps broadcast non-stop the ideas that can bring America back into line with her founding principles.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    We keep track of our influence on public policy by looking at 1) heightened public support for our ideas; 2) as evidenced by the changing behavior of lawmakers; and ultimately 3) the translation of our policies into law. In that respect, The Heritage Foundation has had a major impact in recent years.

    For example, over the past two years, we've educated policy makers and the public on the negative impact of a proposed Internet sales tax, which would have required all major online retailers to collect sales tax for every jurisdiction in which they had customers. We showed that consumers would have had to pay an additional $23 billion in taxes annually, and online businesses would have faced an accounting and administrative nightmare.

    The Senate had approved overwhelmingly the Internet sales tax, and it was considered a shoo-in for passage in the House. But Heritage hit hard at the fundamental problems, stressing that it would skew the free market and violate the principle of “no taxation without representation."

    We spread the word through The Daily Signal, Heritage's multimedia news website, which is read by more than 33 million people. We pushed the news story to the media, as we continue to do with more than 5,000 stories and more than 1,000 TV interviews every year. At the same time, our sister organization, Heritage Action for America, mobilized its vast network of grassroots activists to hold policymakers accountable for their votes.

    Within a month, the tide turned. US News & World Report reported that the “sales tax bill that sailed through the Senate looks to be floundering in the House." Days later, we received word from Capitol Hill that the “unstoppable" bill was dead. Since then, Heritage Action's ongoing advocacy has ensured that the bill would not be revived.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    The Heritage Foundation credits all of its successes to the dedication and commitment of its supporters. Over decades, they have:
    • Established the Resource Bank, the premier networking and strategy event for the conservative movement each year (1977).
    • Published Mandate for Leadership, a 1,000-page policy “bible" that guided the Reagan administration (1980).
    • Inspired the Reagan tax-cut revolution. The Reagan administration put forth Heritage's tax cut proposals from Mandate for Leadership in the form of a marginal rate reduction of 25 percent over three years. This pulled America out of the economic doldrums of the Jimmy Carter administration, and produced the biggest economic expansion in U.S. history (1981).
    • Proposed Policies that Resulted in the End of the Cold War. The Reagan administration followed many of our recommendations for dealing with the Soviet Union, laying the groundwork for the downfall of “the evil empire" in 1991.
    • Showed Congress how a work requirement could reduce dependency in the nation's welfare programs. It was adopted and signed into law by President Clinton (1996), resulting in the largest exit from welfare rolls in U.S. history.
    • Provided the intellectual ammunition to conservatives on issues such as welfare reform, tax cuts, and congressional reform, leading to our ideas becoming a major part of “The Contract With America" (1994).
    • Doubled The Heritage Foundation's membership – to more than 500,000 – through the Leadership for America campaign (2007).
    • Established Heritage Action for America, our non-tax-exempt sister organization, which has literally changed the face of Congress and “outed" the Republican Establishment in Washington, simply by exerting grassroots pressure on lawmakers to hold them accountable (2010).
    • Improved the conservative message. After Heritage began using market research to inform messaging on public policy, the conservative movement began using clear, compelling messages on issues such as life, religious freedom, and ending Washington cronyism (2013).
    • Created The Daily Signal, a multimedia news website that gets Heritage research and stories emphasizing how policies affect real people, out to millions of Americans each day.
    What does The Heritage Foundation have yet to accomplish? We still have our sights set on toppling the behemoth that is Big Government in Washington, but we dedicate all of our efforts to this goal, in order to create a brighter future for freedom-loving people in America and around the world.
    We, and our hundreds of thousands of supporters, want an America that is safe and secure. We want an America where choices abound – in education, health care, retirement, and more. We want an America where taxes are low, fair, and comprehensible. And we want everyone to have the freedom and opportunity to go as far as our talents will take us, and a government that performs its core functions, stays within its constitutional limits, and shows favor to none

service areas

National

Self-reported by organization

Areas Served Narrative

Throughout the United States, located in Washington D.C.

Self-reported by organization

Blog

The organization's Blog

Social Media

@heritagefoundation

@Heritage

@HeritageFoundation

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

The Heritage Foundation

Leadership

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Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
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Principal Officer

Hon. Jim DeMint

BIO

On April 4, 2013, DeMint succeeded Edwin J. Feulner as president of the leading think tank. After stepping down from the Senate seat to which South Carolinians twice elected him, DeMint functioned as president-elect of Heritage in a three-month transition. Feulner, president since 1977, was a founding trustee in 1974.
“I'm humbled to follow in the footsteps of Ed Feulner, who built the most important conservative institution in the nation," DeMint said during the transition. “He has been a friend and mentor for years and I am honored to carry on his legacy of fighting for freedom.
“Heritage will remain, first and foremost, a research institute dedicated to impeccable research and data-driven policy analysis," DeMint added. “Our policy recommendations carry weight because they are informed by that research and grounded in the principles laid out by the Founding Fathers—principles that have been proven sound time and time again during this great American Experiment."
DeMint has said that a primary goal for Heritage is to help the conservative movement understand how Americans from all walks of life perceive public policy issues -- and to better communicate conservative ideas and solutions.
DeMint was born James Warren DeMint on Sept. 2, 1951, in Greenville, S.C. “Jim" and three siblings were raised by a single mother who taught him the value of hard work and perseverance. He attended public schools in Greenville, graduating from Wade Hampton High School. He married his high school sweetheart, Debbi

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Thomas A. Saunders

Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?