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Think New Mexico

Rating: 4.93 stars   15 reviews 1,340

Nonprofit Issues:

Human Services


1227 Paseo De Peralta Santa Fe NM 87501 USA


Think New Mexico is a results-oriented think tank whose mission is to improve the quality of life for all New Mexicans, especially those who lack a strong voice in the political process. We fulfill this mission by educating the public, the media, and policymakers about some of the most serious problems facing New Mexico and by developing and advocating for effective, comprehensive, sustainable solutions to those problems. Our approach is to perform and publish sound, nonpartisan, independent research. Unlike many think tanks, Think New Mexico does not subscribe to any particular ideology. Instead, because New Mexico is at or near the bottom of so many national rankings, our focus is on promoting workable solutions. Consistent with our nonpartisan approach, Think New Mexico's board is composed of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans. They are statesmen and stateswomen, who have no agenda other than to see New Mexico succeed. They are also the brain trust of this think tank. Think New Mexico began its operations on January 1, 1999. It is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. In order to maintain its independence, Think New Mexico does not accept government funding. However, contributions from individuals, businesses, and foundations are welcomed, encouraged and tax-deductible.


Think New Mexico is best known for its successful initiatives making high-quality full-day kindergarten accessible to every child in New Mexico; repealing the state’s regressive tax on food and successfully defeating efforts to reimpose it; establishing a Strategic Water Reserve to protect and restore New Mexico’s rivers; expanding access to Individual Development Accounts to help alleviate New Mexico’s persistent poverty; redirecting millions of dollars a year out of the state lottery’s excessive operating costs and into full-tuition college scholarships; reforming title insurance to lower closing costs for homebuyers and homeowners who refinance their mortgages; streamlining and professionalizing the state’s troubled Public Regulation Commission; modernizing the state’s regulation of taxis, shuttles, and moving companies to promote job creation, business formation, and lower prices for consumers; and creating a one-stop online portal for all business fees and filings.

Target demographics:

Improve the quality of life for all New Mexicans

Direct beneficiaries per year:

26,000 children now have access to full-day kindergarten, the average family of four has an additional $250 a year thanks to the food tax repeal, and New Mexico's high school graduates have an additional $9 million a year in college scholarships through our lottery reform law

Geographic areas served:

New Mexico


Think New Mexico has successfully developed and championed the enactment of over a dozen landmark laws and constitutional amendments, including laws repealing the state’s regressive food tax, making full-day kindergarten accessible to every child in New Mexico, and redirecting millions of dollars a year out of the state lottery’s excessive operating costs and into full-tuition college scholarships.

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Reviews for Think New Mexico

Rating: 5 stars  

I am currently an intern with Think NM, but I was excited about the work they were doing even before I started. Think NM tackles important issues with an eye towards actually implementing solutions, and has been very successful in doing so. The topics Think NM chooses to focus on each year are not always particularly "sexy" or exciting, but they are always issues that have a significant impact on the lives of many New Mexicans. I'm extremely proud (and lucky) to intern here, and I plan to stay connected and keep up with their work even after my internship is over.

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

As a former recipient of the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship, I am grateful for Think New Mexico's success in getting a law passed that requires 30% of state lottery revenues go to student scholarships for college education. Having the lottery scholarship allowed me to focus on school and not have to worry about massive student load debt. With the news of the lottery scholarship struggling to fully fund the rising cost of tuition, Think New Mexico's ongoing fight to keep the 30% mandate in place is extremely important, especially in the interest of the lottery's intended statutory purpose; to maximize dollars for scholarships!

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

It's amazing how a small group of policy advocates can have such a huge positive impact on New Mexico by addressing some of the states most critical needs. I'm excited to see what they'll accomplish next!

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Rating: 5 stars  

A few years ago my frustration with local volunteer efforts (specifically, safety culture in rural volunteer fire departments, and enforcement practices at the state level) impelled me to learn more about the underlying politics of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC)...which led me to Think New Mexico's efforts at PRC reform.

Many may quip "you can't legislate common sense", but Think New Mexico's varied and diverse efforts just may be an exception to that old saying. Thank you!

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

A close friend, a Washington lawyer/power broker and a part-time Santa Fe resident, once told me he believed Think New Mexico should be a "blueprint" for good government think-tanks in every state in the union.

I agree.

Strictly and doggedly non-partisan, TNM researches and tackles issues that are in the interests of the citizens of New Mexico, not our elected officials. The ethics of this organization are beyond reproach, which is refreshing, commendable, and rare.

Without TNM and it's founder-director Fred Nation, things would be much different in the Land of Enchantment:

- We would have no full-day kindergarten
- We would have a food tax
- We would not have the strategic water reserve
- The PRC would still be running amok and cheating the residents of the state at every level
- There would be no Lottery Reform movement
- There would be no Title Insurance reform

Currently they are working on:

- Smaller Schools
- Health Care Affordability
- Protecting New Mexico's Lottery Scholarships
- Addressing the Jobs Crisis in New Mexico
- Ending Pay-To-Play Corruption

And so much more.

As a resident of this state for 23 years, I love New Mexico, but I loathe the politics. Both Democrats and Republicans seem to be hunkered down and entrenched in their own personal agendas, i.e.getting themselves (or their relatives) elected to preserve their stranglehold on The Roundhouse. Think New Mexico (and particularly Fred Nathan) holds their feet to the fire and forces them to work for the public good.

I urge you to support this organization any way you can.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Think New Mexico selects issues that benefit NM citizens politically and economically and then forges the bipartisan coalition to enact enabling legislation. New Mexicans are much better off because Think New Mexico 's staff and board are so attuned to what needs to happen to improve the quality of life in the State and is so effective.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Think New Mexico is one of the most effective non-profit organizations I have encountered that is committed to improving the way that state government serves all its people. The think tank’s success in achieving the concrete legislative results it seeks is thanks to its particularly thorough, principled, big-picture, non-ideological approach to issues of urgent public interest. A diverse, cross-partisan board and dynamic organizational structure—employing a small, talented staff and rotating cast of accomplished interns and volunteers—ensure the consistently high quality of the policy proposals Think New Mexico produces. And, importantly, the organization ensures that these well-researched proposals are not resigned to the desk-drawer graveyards of the political class, but earn their due attention, regularly contributing key perspectives toward productive solutions in such complex areas as education, poverty, natural resources, and bureaucratic corruption and reform. I am honored to have contributed modestly to help keep this organization doing its important work, and I raise a grateful voice on behalf of fellow New Mexicans for the ways it continues to positively affect our lives.

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Rating: 5 stars  

The Board and Staff of Think New Mexico are intelligent, motivated, and diligent in their aim to improve the lives of New Mexicans by addressing the difficult issues impacting our people. I am new to the board and am honored to be associated with the organization and the amazing people behind Think NM.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

Think New Mexico has been an effective partner to work with particularly with all health-related legislation. They have the ability to organize and disseminate information in a timely manner because of their large network in the entire state. Because of Think New Mexico and its collaboration with other partners, we now have a transparent health care website where people can shop for health care plans based on pricing and quality. Thank you!

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Rating: 5 stars  

Think New Mexico does excellent research (which they clearly explain in lay terms in their detailed newsletters), works on a broad range of issues that affect all New Mexicans, and is uniquely effective in winning bipartisan support in the legislature. They have accomplished so much and never rest between sessions, always gearing up for the next problem to tackle and solve!

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