Institutes & Think Tanks

Economic Policy Institute

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a non-profit, non-partisan think tank, was created in 1986 to broaden discussions about economic policy to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

The Center conducts research and analysis to help shape public debates over proposed budget and tax policies and to help ensure that policymakers consider the needs of low-income families and individuals in these debates. The Center also develops policy options to alleviate poverty.

Center for Economic and Policy Research

The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) was established in 1999 to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people’s lives. In order for citizens to effectively exercise their voices in a democracy, they should be informed about the problems and choices that they face.

Social Progress Index

The Social Progress Imperative, through regional partnerships, promotes the formation of local networks which apply the Social Progress Index within countries to guide social investments.

Institute for Research on Poverty

IRP is a center for interdisciplinary research into the causes and consequences of poverty and social inequality in the United States. It is nonprofit and nonpartisan and based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It is one of three National Poverty Research Centers sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Center for American Progress

The Center for American Progress is an independent nonpartisan educational institute dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action.

Brookings Institution

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC whose mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical policy recommendations.


Created in 1974 by the Ford Foundation and a group of federal agencies, MDRC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization dedicated to learning what works to improve programs and policies that affect the poor.

Urban Institute

In the mid-1960s, President Johnson created a blue-ribbon commission of civic leaders who recommended chartering a center to provide independent nonpartisan analysis of the problems facing America’s cities and their residents. In 1968, the Urban Institute became that center.

The Chronicle for Social Change

The Institute for Policy Research (IPR) is an interdisciplinary public policy research institute founded in 1968 at Northwestern University whose mission is to stimulate and support social science research on significant public policy issues and to disseminate the findings widely — to students, scholars, policymakers, and the public at large.

Institute for Policy Research

The Institute for Policy Research (IPR) is an interdisciplinary public policy research institute founded in 1968 at Northwestern University whose mission is to stimulate and support social science research on significant public policy issues and to disseminate the findings widely — to students, scholars, policymakers, and the public at large.

National Poverty Center

The National Poverty Center (NPC) at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan was established in the fall of 2002 as a university-based, nonpartisan research center.  The center conducts and promotes multidisciplinary, policy-relevant research, mentors and trains emerging scholars, and informs public discourse on the causes and consequences of poverty.

Mailman School of Public Health

Since 1922, the Mailman School has been at the forefront of public health research, education, and community collaboration. Addressing everything from chronic disease to HIV/AIDS to healthcare policy, the School tackles today’s pressing public health issues, translating research results into action.

Center for the Study of Social Policy

Established in 1979 as part of the University of Chicago, CSSP’s primary goal was to influence public policy affecting poor children and families, the elderly and the disabled. Founder Tom Joe, blind from early childhood, was a staunch advocate for federal and state policies that leveled the playing field for the disenfranchised and addressed the injustices that affected people’s lives.

Center for Law and Social Policy

The Center for Law and Social Policy develops and advocates for federal, state and local policies to strengthen families and create pathways to education and work.

Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality

The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality (CPI), one of three National Poverty Centers, is a nonpartisan research center dedicated to monitoring trends in poverty and inequality, explaining what’s driving those trends, and developing science-based policy on poverty and inequality. is a new portal for data, analysis, and commentary on wealth and income disparity created by the Institute for Policy Studies

Heritage Foundation

Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institution—a think tank—whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

Cato Institute

The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization — a think tank — dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues guided by libertarian principles.

Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies works to inform and illuminate the nation’s major public policy debates through research, analysis, and information dissemination, with the goal of improving the socioeconomic status of African Americans and other people of color.

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget is a bipartisan, non-profit organization committed to educating the public about issues that have significant fiscal policy impact. The Committee is made up of some of the nation’s leading budget experts including many of the past Chairmen and Directors of the Budget Committees, the Congressional Budget Office, the Office of Management and Budget, the Government Accountability Office, and the Federal Reserve Board.

Campaign for America’s Future

The Campaign for America’s Future views itself as “the strategy center for the progressive movement.” Their stated goal is to forge the enduring progressive majority needed to realize the America of shared prosperity and equal opportunity that our country was meant to be.

Institute for New Economic Thinking

The Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) was created to broaden and accelerate the development of new economic thinking that can lead to solutions for the great challenges of the 21st century.

Vera Institute

The Vera Institute of Justice is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit center for justice policy and practice that combines expertise in research, demonstration projects, and technical assistance to help leaders in government and civil society improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety.

Drug Policy Alliance

The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is the nation’s leading organization promoting alternatives to current drug policy that are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.

The Sentencing Project

The Sentencing Project was founded in 1986 to provide defense lawyers with sentencing advocacy training and to reduce the reliance on incarceration. Since that time, The Sentencing Project has become a leader in the effort to bring national attention to disturbing trends and inequities in the criminal justice system with a successful formula that includes the publication of groundbreaking research, aggressive media campaigns and strategic advocacy for policy reform.

Justice Policy Institute

The Justice Policy Institute is a nonprofit organization that advances policies that promote well-being and justice for all people and communities. Their research and analyses identify effective programs and policies and they disseminate findings to the media, policymakers and advocates.

Brennan Center for Justice

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve U.S. systems of democracy and justice. They work to hold political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all.