State Policy Network is a Koch Network-affiliated “free-market” organization uniting 64 state-based member think tanks. Although SPN claims the think tanks under its umbrella operate independently, evidence suggests they regularly coordinate priorities and strategy, launching multi-state campaigns to further conservative policies on issues such as labor, climate change, voting, and education, among others. SPN also boasts over 100 “associate members” that include right-wing groups like Accuracy in Media, ALEC, Americans for Prosperity Foundation, DonorsTrust, and FreedomWorks. While SPN itself brought in around $8 million in 2012, its members’ collective reach is much longer: the Center for Media and Democracy reports combined 2011 fundraising of $83 million, and The New Yorker writes that SPN poured $79 million into state-level conservative policies in that year.

State Policy Network’s biggest funding source since 2007 has been the “donor advised” Donors Capital Fund, a charity that largely obscures the money’s original sources. However, as with its sister organization, Donors Trust, DCF has significant ties to the Koch network run by billionaire brothers Charles and David. The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation has donated both to SPN itself and to several of its members. Meanwhile, some of SPN’s most notorious members and associate members also have Koch ties in both staff and funding, including: ALEC, AFP, the James Madison Institute, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Cato Institute, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, Fraser Institute, Institute for Humane Studies, the Mercatus Center, the Heartland Institute, and several others.

A complete list of Conservative Transparency pages about State Policy Network Members, Associate Members, and “Other Organizations” is available here.


Notable Facts:

  • State Policy Network emerged from a more loosely organized collection of state think tanks called the Madison Group.
  • State Policy Network’s board members include Whitney Ball, the president and CEO of DonorsTrust, and Adam Meyerson, the chairman of Donors Capital Fund and president of Philanthropy Roundtable; all three of those organizations have received significant Koch funding.
  • State Policy Network members submit model legislation to ALEC.
View Financial Record
Grants In
Grants Out
Total Expenses
12014$4,857,457$8,055,213$7,906,149$1,205,243$7,625,250View 990
22013$4,048,853$7,543,244$7,445,027$1,373,708$7,052,579View 990
32012$3,766,649$8,050,050$7,977,573$2,330,825$8,471,560View 990
42011$3,938,162$5,160,138$5,114,279$1,206,629$5,031,961View 990
52010$3,628,348$4,812,513$4,705,773$766,175$3,941,133View 990
62009$2,883,917$4,480,054$4,260,367$1,174,128$3,828,346View 990
72008$2,142,364$4,083,058$3,980,169$1,412,694$3,517,102View 990
82007$1,497,363$2,632,137$2,562,853$884,142$2,171,376View 990
92006$1,012,752$1,281,303$1,235,784$216,000$1,204,486View 990
102005$938,639$1,002,092$972,162$14,400$703,010View 990
112004$617,705$699,635$685,322$84,410$543,315View 990
122003$475,614$689,747$681,852$122,000$526,326View 990
132002$363,566$573,947$556,497$103,950$492,513View 990
142001$214,901$391,496$382,243$0$344,666View 990

253 transactions on record as a donor.

Ordered By: Year (Newer to Older)

Showing record as donor
1State Policy NetworkWashington Policy Center$18,0002014+
2State Policy NetworkThomas Jefferson Institute$15,0002014+
3State Policy NetworkJames Madison Institute$40,0002014+
4State Policy NetworkTexas Public Policy Foundation$89,4002014+
5State Policy NetworkSutherland Institute$65,1002014+
6State Policy NetworkState Budget Solutions$30,0002014+
7State Policy NetworkSpark Freedom$71,0002014+
8State Policy NetworkSouth Carolina Policy institute$25,0002014+
9State Policy NetworkShow-Me Institute$76,1002014+
10State Policy NetworkRio Grande Foundation$10,2502014+
11State Policy NetworkPlatte Institute for Economic Research$13,0002014+
12State Policy NetworkPelican Institute for Public Policy$10,2502014+
13State Policy NetworkPalmetto Policy Forum$25,0002014+
14State Policy NetworkOklahoma Council of Public Affairs$40,0002014+
15State Policy NetworkMontana Policy Institute$22,0002014+
16State Policy NetworkMaryland Public Policy Institute$15,0002014+
17State Policy NetworkMackinac Center for Public Policy$46,3002014+
18State Policy Network$46,6002014+
19State Policy NetworkKansas Policy Institute$14,6002014+
20State Policy NetworkJohn W Pope Civitas Institute$10,0002014+
21State Policy NetworkJohn Locke Foundation$50,1002014+
22State Policy NetworkIndependence Institute$72,3502014+
23State Policy NetworkIllinois Policy Institute$38,3002014+
24State Policy NetworkGoldwater Institute for Public Policy$20,3002014+
25State Policy NetworkFreedom Foundation$11,0002014+
26State Policy NetworkCommonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives$26,0002014+
27State Policy NetworkCascade Policy Institute$20,0002014+
28State Policy NetworkCalifornia Policy Center$59,1002014+
29State Policy NetworkBuckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions$47,2502014+
30State Policy NetworkBeacon Center of Tennessee$40,0002014+
31State Policy NetworkAlabama Policy Institute$15,0002014+
32State Policy NetworkAdvance Arkansas Institute$26,0002014+
33State Policy NetworkWashington Policy Center$24,6282013+
34State Policy NetworkJames Madison Institute$12,2002013+
35State Policy NetworkTexas Public Policy Foundation$90,0002013+
36State Policy NetworkTalent Market$5,0002013+
37State Policy NetworkSutherland Institute$41,0002013+
38State Policy NetworkSpark Freedom$22,5002013+
39State Policy NetworkSouth Carolina Policy institute$100,0002013+
40State Policy NetworkShow-Me Institute$6,5002013+
41State Policy NetworkRhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity$38,0002013+
42State Policy NetworkPlatte Institute for Economic Research$28,0002013+
43State Policy NetworkOpportunity Ohio$129,0002013+
44State Policy NetworkOklahoma Council of Public Affairs$25,0002013+
45State Policy NetworkMaryland Public Policy Institute$25,0002013+
46State Policy NetworkMaine Heritage Policy Center$50,0002013+
47State Policy NetworkMackinac Center for Public Policy$21,0002013+
48State Policy NetworkLiberty Foundation$24,7002013+
49State Policy NetworkKansas Policy Institute$40,0002013+
50State Policy NetworkJosiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy$23,2502013+
Contributions from private foundations and other nonprofit entities are based on a review of publicly available Forms 990 filed with the Internal Revenue Service. For more information about our methodology, visit our about page.