Founded in 1984, The Heartland Institute is an independent national nonprofit research organization. Heartland’s mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. Three things make Heartland unique among free-market think tanks:
- It communicates with more national and state elected officials, more often, than any other think tank in the United States. Heartland contacted elected officials 812,789 times in 2018.
- Heartland produces four monthly public policy newspapers—Budget & Tax News, Environment & Climate News, School Reform News, and Health Care News—which present free-market ideas as news rather than research or opinion.
- Heartland promotes the work of other free-market think tanks on its websites, in its newspapers, at its events, and through its extensive government and media relations efforts.
In 2018, a telephone survey of 500 randomly selected state elected officials (no staff) found 78 percent of state legislators read at least one of Heartland’s newspapers “sometimes” or “always.” Forty-five percent reported a Heartland newspaper “influenced my opinion or led to a change in public policy.”
The Leaflet, government relations’ weekly e-newsletter, was read by more than half (58 percent) of all state legislators in the country in 2018. That equates to more than 4,200 state legislators.
In 2018, Heartland appeared in print and online, and on television or radio, nearly 5,200 times and its podcasts were downloaded 3.2 million times. Heartland’s Facebook page has more than 100,000 fans, and it uses Twitter to promote its free-market mission to more than 74,000 followers every day.
Heartland’s annual budget of approximately $6.5 million supports a full-time staff of 39. More than 500 academics, legal scholars, and professional economists participate in Heartland’s peer-review process, and more than 300 elected officials serve on its Legislative Forum. Heartland is supported by the voluntary contributions of thousands of supporters, and it does not accept government funding.