The Heritage Foundation, the largest conservative think-tank, announced Thursday it will be starting a grassroots advocacy group to actively influence legislation on Capitol Hill, in the name of free enterprise and limited government.
The Heritage Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, and can not actively promote legislation because of its non-profit status.
“Heritage Action will answer the demand of our rapidly growing membership to help them play a more active and effective role in national policy debates,” said Heritage President Ed Feulner. “Heritage Action will focus its energy and grassroots strength and apply them where it can have the biggest impact on moving good legislative proposals or blocking ruinous measures.”
Heritage Action for America will possess 501(c) (4) status, thus enabling the organization to have an active role on Capitol Hill.
The Heritage Foundation has 650,000 members and describes itself as “the nation’s most broadly supported think tank.”
Two Heritage alumni will head the new organization. Michael A. Needham, former chief of staff to Feulner, will now be Heritage Action’s CEO, and Timothy J. Chapman, another former chief of staff to Feulner, will be the chief operating officer for the group.
“We are all about policy,” Needham said of the new group. “To paraphrase Ronald Reagan: While The Heritage Foundation continues to shine the ‘light’ of effective policy recommendations, Heritage Action will provide the political ‘heat’ to help lawmakers warm to those policies.”
Feulner said that Heritage Action will be “an independent organization with the shared mission of promoting sound conservative policies.” The group will operate in Washington, D.C., and plans to have ten staff members by the year’s end.