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 and staff, and when using the REMI Model. 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 and accountability for our work.

Policy Advocacy

As a non-profit, 501(c)(3) CSI is legally required to refrain from policy advocacy, however CSI’s mission to stay non-partisan goes beyond legal ramifications. 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.

CSI’s research is developed with objective analysis, unwavering evaluation, and integrity within, and outside, our company. For this precise reason, CSI is not for or against any policy, issue, or campaign (whether during legislative session or elections). In addition, the CSI staff and fellows regularly will attend, speak, and testify, during the legislative session or at public stakeholder meetings. Staff and fellows maintain their non-partisanship principle by always testifying neutral on any specific legislation.

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.