The Heartland Institute is a publicly supported charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Its funding comes from tax-deductible contributions from approximately 1,600 individuals, foundations, and corporations.

People contribute to The Heartland Institute because they share our belief that better information and understanding can improve public policies in such important areas as education, environmental protection, and health care. For 27 years, Heartland authors have discovered and promoted free-market solutions to social and economic problems.

Heartland’s research agenda is determined by its mission, as interpreted by its Board of Directors and its staff. Heartland exists to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. All of our research is directed toward advancing that mission.

Heartland occasionally responds to requests for proposals (RFPs) issued by foundations, corporations, and individuals to conduct research on topics that are within our range of expertise and that have the potential to advance our mission. In those cases, donors influence the details of our research agenda, though not its general thrust or results. In such cases we do not surrender control over the peer review process, and Heartland owns all rights to whatever publications are created.

In recognition that donors often have expertise that is beneficial to producing high-quality and timely research, The Heartland Institute does not exclude donors from its research and education programs. The following policies govern such participation:

  • Donors may, upon request, participate in the peer review of the research they help to fund. Their comments are given no greater weight than those of other reviewers and no more than the qualifications their authors may merit.
  • Donors are not given the opportunity to “kill” research that turns out unfavorable to their interests or to insist on changes to publications before their release.
  • As a courtesy to donors, we share with them advance copies of the studies they helped fund, and we often solicit their advice on what audiences to target during promotional campaigns. We also provide donors with multiple copies of the studies they help fund for free or at reduced prices.

The Heartland Institute does not reveal to the public the identities of its donors or the amount of their gifts. This confidentiality is allowed under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3). If a donor so requests, we will identify a gift in a publication or in the program of an event made possible by the donor’s generosity. Donors are free to make public their support of The Heartland Institute.