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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Services

Mission: 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.

Results: 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

Programs: 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.

Community Stories

8 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Think New Mexico works tirelessly to help increase the quality of life for all New Mexicans. Their non-partisan approach to issues allows them to view issues objectively and research solutions based on what will work rather than a predetermined notion of what should be done. It is that evidence based approach that allows Think New Mexico to advocate so effectively for the citizens they serve.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I interned at Think New Mexico this past summer and it was a great experience. Not only did I learn a lot about public policy but the people who work there are all very friendly and passionate about the work they do. It creates a great environment to work in and I learned how to do research on current issues around the state. The policy papers Think produces are very informative and helpful to the general public.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Think New Mexico has done a magnificent job in fighting for causes that will help New Mexicans, such as in Lottery Reform and improving the current Capital Outlay system. From my experience with TNM in working with them, there has always been an emphasis on having Quantitative Research to support any type of policy that TNM advocates for. Besides that, the core group of individuals at TNM are hard-working and dedicated in fighting for causes, and that really does inspire others, like myself, to fight for my own causes as well.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a current Intern at Think New Mexico and the passion, dedication and determination the TNM staff has towards developing sound policies in the state is very contagious! TNM has been addressing very important issues in the state with an unbiased perspective. The work conducted at the organization is very solution-oriented and research-based. Cognizant of the results attained so far, TNM seems to be an effective advocate for the citizens of New Mexico.

For example, I was recently assisting the staff in conducting research regarding the NM Lottery. We not only studied the Lottery and its revenues/payouts in New Mexico, but we also researched the inner-workings of lotteries in other states so that we had the full picture before reaching any conclusions. I thought that was an excellent initial approach to developing proposals.

With a month left to complete the internship, I’m really looking forward to learning a lot more about state government and also about what a well-functioning government should look like. It is very encouraging to be in an environment where change is initiated.

Ellen72

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Sydney W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was an intern with Think New Mexico during the summer of 2010. More than anything, the internship introduced me to the intricate political environment of New Mexico. Through researching potential initiatives and being involved in everything from helping to compose letters to the editor to sitting in on relevant Legislative Committee meetings, I learned about the government process in a very realistic setting that could never be emulated in a classroom. Before the internship, I had very little knowledge of politics in NM, however, afterwards I felt on even footing (well, at least one step closer) to my parents who have been involved in state politics for twenty five years. TNM's internship actually made interns feel needed by fostering an inclusive and positive office environment. I would highly recommend TNM's internship to others interested in non-profit and political work in NM!

Emma H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had an amazing experience interning at Think New Mexico for the past two summers, during which I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact that a dedicated non-profit can have on improving life for New Mexicans. It was very encouraging to work alongside a staff that truly and passionately cares about the well being of New Mexicans, and is willing to work so hard though research and advocacy to actually see results. In addition to the good work I’ve witnessed at Think New Mexico, I also gained substantial of experience as a student intern learning about how non-profits work and also getting a chance to do my own research and contribute my own ideas to initiatives and reports. Think New Mexico creates an atmosphere for interns and volunteers that promotes learning and gives New Mexicans a chance to see how we can make a difference.

Arik B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I interned at Think New Mexico during the summer of 2010. As an intern, I did research on issues that the organization is currently focusing on as well as potential future topics. I also helped Think New Mexico with their fund raising and sat in on meetings with various political leaders in New Mexico. During my time at Think New Mexico, I was able to see and experience the impact that the organization has on the state. A goal-oriented think tank that doesn't get involved in partisan politics, Think New Mexico always has a bold approach to get their issues heard and accepted. Fred Nathan, Kristina Fisher, and the rest of the Think New Mexico staff are pragmatic, open-minded, and willing to do what it takes to get the job done. From its campaign against the passage of the food tax to its defense of small schools for all children in New Mexico, the organization fights every day for the well-being of New Mexicans.