Advocacy Policy


Research Accountability

Common Sense Institute (CSI) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and contributions are tax-deductible for income, gift, and estate taxes. CSI does not receive government grants or funding. CSI focuses on providing a public good, rather than a profit. The research conducted is ultimately decided by CSI’s Board of Directors. Research is produced by the CSI staff and fellows, and overseen by the CSI Director of Policy and Research. CSI’s staff is constantly ensuring the research produced is aligned with CSI’s five guiding principles: free enterprise, economic vitality, individual opportunity, dynamic research, and non-partisanship. Below, you can see how CSI maintains the integrity of and accountability for our work.

Policy Advocacy

As a non-partisan 501(c)(3), CSI consciously does not engage in direct advocacy. The policy research we produce is founded upon the desire to break through the divisive partisanship overwhelming issues, and provide fact based economic analysis not otherwise presented to opinion leaders and voters. Producing common sense research helps in educating and informing policy debates, and by not taking a position it allows the research to stand on its own.

Political and Issue Campaigns

CSI’s 501(c)(3) tax exempt status prohibits us from participating in or donating to any campaign for elected public office, for or against a campaign, or in support or against any ballot initiative or piece of legislation.

CSI board members, staff, and fellows may personally support, financially donate to, or become involved with campaigns and candidates. In these situations, they do not represent CSI when engaging in political activities during their own time.

Candidates and Elected Officials

CSI’s 501(c)(3) tax exempt status and campaign finance laws prohibit us from participating in or donating to any campaign for elected public office. As such, candidates for public office and elected officials are prohibited from participating with CSI as a Board Member or Policy Fellow.