Non-profit

Acton Institute

Website:

acton.org%20

Location:

Grand Rapids, MI

Tax ID:

38-2926822

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2018):

Revenue: $9,931,504
Expenses: $10,887,803
Assets: $16,064,623

Formation:

1990

Type:

Non-profit

Executive Director:

Kris Mauren

Executive Director's Salary:

$250,113[22]

The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a non-partisan think tank that promotes free market principles and individual liberty based on Judeo-Christian beliefs. The Acton Institute conducts academic research, organizes seminars, and produces publications that connect religious virtues with free market economics. [1]

The Acton Institute is an associate member of the State Policy Network, a coalition of free-market state-level policy organizations. [2]

Activity

The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a non-partisan think tank that promotes free market principles and individual liberty based on Judeo-Christian beliefs. The Acton Institute conducts academic research, organizes seminars, and produces publications that connect religious virtues with free-market economics. [3]

The Acton Institute claims that government bailouts and other “free money” from the government, in the form of stimulus checks, benefits, medical care, and paycheck loans, are harmful to America’s business culture. The Institute believes that these government interventions favor the largest companies, rescue otherwise inefficient small businesses, and make the country less productive overall. The Institute claims that these interventions do not support capitalism and instead create a form of socialism favoring the already rich and powerful. Additionally, the Institute claims that bailouts create more dependency on government, present a distorted sense of economy to citizens, and create a “moral hazard” for businesses, making them less risk-averse. [4]

The Acton Institute claims that property ownership is necessary for the common good and that environmental outcomes are negatively impacted by undefined and unenforced property rights. While Pope Francis and the Catholic Church do not recognize property rights as absolute, the Institute points to the teachings of Thomas Aquinas, which state that private property has a social purpose. The Institute further claims Aquinas’ teachings are supported by modern economics in that ownership of private property provides incentives for sustainability and that people will only nurture property that will not be negatively affected by others. [5]

The Acton Institute does not support an increased minimum wage and has been critical of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ 2014 letter urging Congress to increase the minimum wage nationwide. [6] Instead, the Acton Institute advocates for public policy that supports flexible wages as a way to achieve just employment practices. The Institute claims that most economists agree that unemployment is caused by wage rigidity and the Institute further believes that unemployment erodes both spiritual and material goods within families and communities. The Institute claims that fixed wage policies purport to protect workers and workers’ rights, but instead these policies do not incentivize businesses to increase wages or employment. Instead, wage flexibility would work within economic cycles to minimize unemployment, preserve jobs when necessary, and increase wages when possible, all in the service of family and community. [7]

Funding

The Acton Institute is funded by donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations. While the Acton Institute does not disclose its donors, tax filings show donations from Donors Trust, which contributed between 2010 and 2019, [8] Donors Capital Fund, which contributed between 2010 and 2016, [9] and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which contributed between 2000 and 2018. [10]

People

Staff

Kris Mauren is co-founder and executive director of Acton Institute. Mauren serves on the boards of Donors Capital Fund, the Foundation for Economic Education, and the John Templeton Foundation. [11]

Robert Sirico is co-founder and president of Acton Institute. Sirico formerly served on the Michigan Civil Rights Commission. [12]

Alejandro Chafuen is the international managing director of the Acton Institute. Chafuen formerly worked as president and CEO of the Atlas Network and is the founder and former president of the Hispanic American Center of Economic Research. [13]

Eric Kohn is director of communications at the Acton Institute and leader of the Chicago chapter of America’s Future Foundation. Kohn formerly worked as director of community management at the Illinois Policy Institute. [14]

Mustafa Akyol is an affiliate scholar at the Acton Institute and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. [15]

Anne Rathbone Bradley is an affiliate scholar at the Acton Institute, the academic director of the Fund for American Studies, and a visiting scholar at the Bernard Center for Women, Politics and Public Policy. Bradley formerly served as the vice president of economic initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work and Economics. [16]

Philip Booth is a contributing author at the Acton Institute and a senior academic fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs. [17]

Board of Directors

Kyle Bode is the vice president of the Kern Family Foundation. [18]

Leslie Graves is the president of the Lucy Burns Institute. [19]

J.C. Huizenga sits on the board of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and formerly chaired the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. [20]

David Humphreys sits on the board of the Cato Institute and as the executive committee chair of the Institute for Humane Studies. [21]

References

  1. “Our Mission and Core Principles.” Acton Institute, 2021. Accessed April 4, 2021. https://www.acton.org/about/mission. ^
  2. “The Network: Michigan.” State Policy Network, 2021. Accessed April 2, 2021. https://spn.org/directory/#MI. ^
  3. “Our Mission and Core Principles.” Acton Institute, 2021. Accessed April 4, 2021. https://www.acton.org/about/mission. ^
  4. Horvat, John II. “Bailouts pose an economic, and moral, threat.” Acton Institute, August 14, 2020. Accessed April 4, 2021. https://www.acton.org/publications/transatlantic/2020/08/14/bailouts-pose-economic-and-moral-threat. ^
  5. Booth, Philip. “The Church, property rights, and the environment.” https://www.acton.org/publications/transatlantic/2020/05/29/church-property-rights-and-environment. ^
  6. Yeh, Elizabeth. “Time for Catholics to reconsider their support for minimum wage laws.” Acton Institute, June 20, 2017. Accessed April 4, 2021. https://blog.acton.org/archives/96223-time-for-catholics-to-reconsider-their-support-for-minimum-wage-laws.html. ^
  7. Watson, Michael Szpindor and Brown, Grattan. “Flexible wages are one path to a more humane market.” Acton Institute, February 12, 2020. Accessed April 4, 2021. https://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2020/02/12/flexible-wages-are-one-path-more-humane-market. ^
  8. Donors Trust, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2010-2019, Schedule I, Part II. ^
  9. Donors Capital Fund, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2010-2016, Schedule I, Part II. ^
  10. Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2000-2018, Part XV, Line 3a. ^
  11. “Kris Alan Mauren.” Acton Institute, 2021. Accessed April 4, 2021. https://www.acton.org/about/staff/kris-alan-mauren. ^
  12. “Rev. Robert A. Sirico.” Acton Institute, 2021. Accessed April 4, 2021. https://www.acton.org/about/staff/rev-robert-sirico. ^
  13. “Alejandro A. Chafuen, PhD.”Acton Institute, 2021. Accessed April 4, 2021. https://www.acton.org/about/staff/alejandro-chafuen. ^
  14. “Eric Kohn.” Acton Institute, 2021. Accessed April 4, 2021. https://www.acton.org/about/staff/eric-kohn. ^
  15. “Mustafa Akyol.” Acton Institute, 2021. Accessed April 4, 2021. https://www.acton.org/about/staff/mustafa-akyol. ^
  16. “Anne Rathbone Bradley.” Acton Institute, 2021. Accessed April 4, 2021. https://www.acton.org/about/staff/anne-rathbone-bradley. ^
  17. “Philip Booth.” Acton Institute, 2021. Accessed April 4, 2021. https://www.acton.org/about/author/philip-booth. ^
  18. “Kyle Bode.” LinkedIn, 2021. Accessed April 4, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kylebode/. ^
  19. “Leslie Graves.” LinkedIn, 2021. Accessed April 4, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/lesliegraves/. ^
  20. “J.C. Huizenga.” Mackinac Center for Public Policy, 2021. Accessed April 4, 2021. https://www.mackinac.org/bio.aspx?ID=636. ^
  21. “David Humphreys.” LinkedIn, 2021. Accessed April 4, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-humphreys-missouri/. ^
  22. Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018, Part VII, Section A, Line 1a. ^

Coalition Memberships

  1. State Policy Network (SPN)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: September 1, 1990

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2018 Dec Form 990 $9,931,504 $10,887,803 $16,064,623 $223,387 Y $8,877,746 $394,493 $490,203 $661,779 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $10,528,684 $10,964,910 $17,016,179 $266,923 Y $9,563,359 $362,985 $483,622 $605,739 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $9,609,450 $9,987,692 $17,524,494 $240,668 Y $8,291,603 $479,620 $449,024 $610,367
    2015 Dec Form 990 $10,684,012 $10,416,484 $17,967,919 $380,145 Y $9,752,063 $569,132 $302,612 $608,957 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $9,082,447 $9,428,238 $17,855,546 $316,187 Y $8,183,452 $562,305 $4,250 $528,607 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $10,802,645 $8,367,069 $18,040,637 $371,059 Y $10,169,050 $434,442 $2,319 $532,684 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $12,680,511 $7,358,337 $15,868,649 $898,652 Y $12,329,257 $245,325 $3,037 $504,659 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $8,396,819 $6,284,806 $9,846,634 $431,295 Y $8,115,474 $268,198 $2,180 $499,517 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Acton Institute

    98 E FULTON STREET
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3280