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Research and Public Policy : Social and Public Policy Research

Cato Institute

Individual liberty, free markets, and peace

four stars

91.62

1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20001
tel: (202) 842-0200   Web Site
EIN: 23-7432162

Board Leadership
Robert A. Levy
Chairman

CEO
Peter N. Goettler
President & CEO

  Score
(out of 100)
Rating
Overall Score & Rating 91.62 four stars
  Financial 88.85 three stars
  Accountability & Transparency 96.00 four stars
This rating was published 04/01/2020 and includes data from FY2019, the most recent 990 received at that time.

Founded in 1977, the Cato Institute works to increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace. The Institute uses the most effective means to originate, advocate, promote, and disseminate applicable policy proposals that create free, open, and civil societies in the United States and throughout the world. The Cato Institute undertakes an extensive publications program dealing with the complete spectrum of public policy issues. Books, monographs, briefing papers and shorter studies are commissioned to examine issues in nearly every corner of the public policy debate. Policy forums and book forums are held regularly, as are major policy conferences, which Cato hosts throughout the year, and from which papers are published thrice yearly in the Cato Journal.

Founded in 1977, the Cato Institute works to increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace. The Institute uses the most effective means to originate, advocate, promote, and disseminate applicable policy proposals that create free, open, and civil societies in the United States and throughout the world. The Cato Institute undertakes an extensive publications program dealing with the complete spectrum of public policy issues. Books, monographs, briefing papers and shorter studies are commissioned to examine issues in nearly every corner of the public policy debate. Policy forums and book forums are held regularly, as are major policy conferences, which Cato hosts throughout the year, and from which papers are published thrice yearly in the Cato Journal.

Impact Information

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This impact information is current as of March 2020, when it was provided to us by GuideStar. At this time, Impact information published on this organization's page has no effect on its rating per our methodology.

Financial

three stars

88.85

Accountability & Transparency

four stars

96.00

This rating was published 04/01/2020 and includes data from FY2019, the most recent 990 received at that time.
Overall Rating Chart
  Program Expenses
(Percent of the charity's total expenses spent on the programs
and services it delivers)
78.8%
  Administrative Expenses 7.5%
  Fundraising Expenses 13.6%
  Fundraising Efficiency $0.12
  Working Capital Ratio (years) 2.58
  Program Expenses Growth 4.6%
  Liabilities to Assets 3.5%
All data for Financial Performance Metrics calculations was provided by Cato Institute on recent 990s filed with the IRS.
All data for Financial Performance Metrics calculations was provided by Cato Institute on recent 990s filed with the IRS.

Highly Rated

Charity Name & State Overall Score Overall Rating
Cato Institute (DC) 91.62 four stars
Mises Institute (AL) 94.70 four stars
The Center for Democracy and Technology (DC) 88.48 three stars
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (IA) 88.57 three stars
Supportive Housing Network of New York (NY) 85.20 three stars

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REVENUE  
Contributions  
   Contributions, Gifts & Grants $28,389,412
   Federated Campaigns $0
   Membership Dues $0
   Fundraising Events $0
   Related Organizations $0
   Government Grants $0
Total Contributions $28,389,412
   Program Service Revenue $386,600
Total Primary Revenue $28,776,012
   Other Revenue $1,485,106
TOTAL REVENUE $30,261,118
   
EXPENSES  
   Program Expenses $24,733,835
   Administrative Expenses $2,355,476
   Fundraising Expenses $3,512,110
TOTAL FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES $30,601,421
   
Payments to Affiliates $0
Excess (or Deficit) for the year $-340,303
   
Net Assets $81,421,939

Program names and associated costs are listed for the top programs as reported on the charity's most recently filed Form 990. The top programs displayed will include the largest three programs, or those programs covering at least 60% of the charity's total expenses, whichever comes first.

Program Name Amount Spent % of Program Expenses
Policy and Research $18,071,090 73.1%
Educational Programs $3,950,535 16.0%
Communications and External Affairs $2,712,210 11.0%

Ratings History

Form 990 FYE Date Published Overall Score Overall Rating
CN 2.1
2019-03 04/01/2020 91.62 four stars
2018-03 06/01/2019 89.37 three stars
2017-03 07/01/2018 91.30 four stars
2016-03 09/01/2017 87.44 three stars
2015-03 06/01/2016 90.65 four stars
 
CN 2.0
2014-03 04/01/2016 84.78 three stars
2013-03 06/01/2014 83.41 three stars
2012-03 06/01/2013 87.38 three stars
2011-03 05/01/2012 92.43 four stars
2010-03 09/20/2011 91.92 four stars
 
CN 1.0
2010-03 05/01/2011 96.92 four stars
2009-03 06/01/2010 88.53 three stars
2008-03 06/01/2009 96.25 four stars
2007-03 08/01/2008 81.70 three stars
2005-12 03/01/2007 74.95 two stars
2004-12 01/01/2006 82.64 three stars
2003-12 01/05/2005 88.75 three stars
2002-12 01/01/2004 81.22 three stars
2001-12 02/05/2003 75.48 two stars
2000-12 10/15/2002 67.83 one star

The data displayed on this tab is provided by the IRS in the form of Publication 78 and the Business Master File (BMF).

EIN 23-7432162
Name in IRS Master File CATO INSTITUTE
NTEE Code W20
NTEE Classification Government and Public Administration
NTEE Type Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other
Classification Charitable Organization
Subsection 501(c)(3)  (View the list of codes)
Activities (603) Non-financial services of facilities to other organizations
Foundation Status Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
Deductibility Contributions are deductible
Affiliation Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations).
Group Name [Not Applicable]
Ruling Date March, 1975
Filing Requirement 990 (all other) or 990EZ return
Fiscal Year End March
IRS Forms 990
(provided courtesy of Foundation Center)
(Log In or Register Now to View Forms 990!)
  • March, 2018
  • March, 2017
  • March, 2016
  • March, 2015
  • March, 2014
Compensation % of Expenses Paid to Title
$515,357 1.68% Peter Goettler President

Highly Rated

Charity Name & State Overall Score Overall Rating
Cato Institute (DC) 91.62 four stars
CLASP (DC) 96.66 four stars
NEO Philanthropy (NY) 94.07 four stars
Advocates for Children of New Jersey (NJ) 90.88 four stars
Independence Institute (CO) 91.27 four stars

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This charity has an official representative registered with Charity Navigator.

Charity Contact Info

Cato Institute
1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
tel: (202) 842-0200
fax: (202) 842-3490
EIN: 23-7432162

Visit Web Site

Board Leadership

Robert A. Levy
Chairman

CEO

Peter N. Goettler
President & CEO

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