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About Citizens Research Council of Michigan

Frequently Asked Questions

These frequently asked questions may address some of your interest. If you wish to learn more, email crcmich@crcmich.org or call (734) 542-8001.

Research Council Basics

What are the goals of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan?

CRC seeks to bring about government in Michigan that is more efficient, more accountable, and more equitable.

Does the Citizens Research Council lobby?

No. the Citizens Research Council does not lobby, support or oppose candidates for public office, or take positions on ballot issues.

If the Citizens Research Council doesn't lobby, how does it achieve its goals?

The Citizens Research Council believes that better information leads to better decisions, which, in turn, leads to better government. Through the dissemination of factual, nonpartisan research, the Research Council points out problems and alternatives for dealing with those problems. These analyses form the basis for the formation of sound public policy.

How large is the Research Council staff?

The Citizens Research Council has a staff of eight; six in its headquarters office in Livonia and two in Lansing. There is usually at least one graduate student intern, as well.

Oversight of the Organization

How is the Citizens Research Council governed?

The Citizens Research Council governance begins with the Board of Trustees, which consists of up to 75 members and which constitutes the legal membership of the nonprofit corporation. Each year at the annual meeting, the trustees elect a Board of Directors, which may have up to 27 members. The Board of Directors is the active policy-making body of the Research Council.

What is the role of the Board of Directors?

The Citizens Research Council Board of Directors has five functions: 1) Overall policy development and oversight; 2) Approval of significant research projects; 3) Approval of the annual budget; 4) Assuring financial support adequate to support the research program; 5) Selection of the Research Council president.

What is the involvement of the Citizens Research Council Board in the research program?

Any project that results in a significant allocation of the Citizens Research Council resources must receive approval by the Research Council Board of Directors. Once approval is granted, it becomes the responsibility of the staff to produce analysis that meets CRC standards. The Board does not participate in the conduct of the research, although Board members with particular expertise may be consulted during the conduct of the project.

Choosing Research Projects and Sharing REsults

How are the Citizens Research Council research projects generated?

There are three ways that a project can be on the Citizens Research Council research agenda. 1) Recurring projects. Certain projects are done on a continuing basis. These include updating of the Research Council’s popular Outline of the Michigan Tax System; monitoring of the State of Michigan budget; and analysis of all statewide ballot issues. 2) Outside requests. Requests for projects come from many sources: Associations, government agencies, elected officials, foundations, and business and labor. 3) Internally generated projects. CRC prides itself on its understanding of what is important in state and local government and will frequently place projects on the agenda.

What criteria are used in choosing among proposed projects?

Any proposed project is scrutinized by the staff and the Board of Directors to assure that it meets certain criteria. The project must be: 1) within the scope of the mission of CRC; 2) of general public interest; 3) a significant issue; 4) amenable to factual research; 5) capable of being performed within existing CRC resources or reasonably available outside resources; and 6) of a nature that will not compromise the independence or credibility of CRC.

How are the Citizens Research Council Research results disseminated?

At one time, all Research Council publications were printed and distributed by mail, and that still happens with a few Research Council reports. Currently, however, the primary medium for distributing Research Council research results is our website, www.crcmich.org. The Internet is a much more powerful medium, permitting CRC to release reports in a more timely fashion, include large data bases that would be cumbersome and expensive to print, and include links to other sources of information on a given subject.

CRC also participates in numerous public presentations, either initiated by CRC or by other organizations. CRC staff average 1-2 presentations per week. These occur all over the State of Michigan.

Finally, CRC enjoys good relations with the media, especially the press. Press coverage is important in informing citizens and policy makers of the work of the Council.

Funding Our Work

Does the Citizens Research Council charge for access to Its publications?

No. There is an educational aspect to the Citizens Research Council mission, which would be compromised by limiting access to the results of its research. All Research Council publications going back to 1990 are available on the Research Council website. Some reports from earlier years are also available online because each time a request is received for an older report, it is scanned into the website.

How is the Citizens Research Council supported?

The Citizens Research Council is supported 1) by the charitable contributions of business and industry, foundations, and private citizens to its annual unrestricted operations; 2) special project funding, normally financed by foundation grants; 3) earnings from CRC investments.

Are contributions to the Citizens Research Council tax-deductible?

Yes. Contributions to the Citizens Research Council are deductible from federal income taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Photo Credit:
Thomas Knoll Photography

Frequently Asked Questions

These frequently asked questions may address some of your interest. If you wish to learn more, email crcmich@crcmich.org or call (734) 542-8001.

Research Council Basics

What are the goals of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan?

CRC seeks to bring about government in Michigan that is more efficient, more accountable, and more equitable.

Does the Citizens Research Council lobby?

No. the Citizens Research Council does not lobby, support or oppose candidates for public office, or take positions on ballot issues.

If the Citizens Research Council doesn't lobby, how does it achieve its goals?

The Citizens Research Council believes that better information leads to better decisions, which, in turn, leads to better government. Through the dissemination of factual, nonpartisan research, the Research Council points out problems and alternatives for dealing with those problems. These analyses form the basis for the formation of sound public policy.

How large is the Research Council staff?

The Citizens Research Council has a staff of eight; six in its headquarters office in Livonia and two in Lansing. There is usually at least one graduate student intern, as well.

Oversight of the Organization

How is the Citizens Research Council governed?

The Citizens Research Council governance begins with the Board of Trustees, which consists of up to 75 members and which constitutes the legal membership of the nonprofit corporation. Each year at the annual meeting, the trustees elect a Board of Directors, which may have up to 27 members. The Board of Directors is the active policy-making body of the Research Council.

What is the role of the Board of Directors?

The Citizens Research Council Board of Directors has five functions: 1) Overall policy development and oversight; 2) Approval of significant research projects; 3) Approval of the annual budget; 4) Assuring financial support adequate to support the research program; 5) Selection of the Research Council president.

What is the involvement of the Citizens Research Council Board in the research program?

Any project that results in a significant allocation of the Citizens Research Council resources must receive approval by the Research Council Board of Directors. Once approval is granted, it becomes the responsibility of the staff to produce analysis that meets CRC standards. The Board does not participate in the conduct of the research, although Board members with particular expertise may be consulted during the conduct of the project.

Choosing Research Projects and Sharing REsults

How are the Citizens Research Council research projects generated?

There are three ways that a project can be on the Citizens Research Council research agenda. 1) Recurring projects. Certain projects are done on a continuing basis. These include updating of the Research Council’s popular Outline of the Michigan Tax System; monitoring of the State of Michigan budget; and analysis of all statewide ballot issues. 2) Outside requests. Requests for projects come from many sources: Associations, government agencies, elected officials, foundations, and business and labor. 3) Internally generated projects. CRC prides itself on its understanding of what is important in state and local government and will frequently place projects on the agenda.

What criteria are used in choosing among proposed projects?

Any proposed project is scrutinized by the staff and the Board of Directors to assure that it meets certain criteria. The project must be: 1) within the scope of the mission of CRC; 2) of general public interest; 3) a significant issue; 4) amenable to factual research; 5) capable of being performed within existing CRC resources or reasonably available outside resources; and 6) of a nature that will not compromise the independence or credibility of CRC.

How are the Citizens Research Council Research results disseminated?

At one time, all Research Council publications were printed and distributed by mail, and that still happens with a few Research Council reports. Currently, however, the primary medium for distributing Research Council research results is our website, www.crcmich.org. The Internet is a much more powerful medium, permitting CRC to release reports in a more timely fashion, include large data bases that would be cumbersome and expensive to print, and include links to other sources of information on a given subject.

CRC also participates in numerous public presentations, either initiated by CRC or by other organizations. CRC staff average 1-2 presentations per week. These occur all over the State of Michigan.

Finally, CRC enjoys good relations with the media, especially the press. Press coverage is important in informing citizens and policy makers of the work of the Council.

Funding Our Work

Does the Citizens Research Council charge for access to Its publications?

No. There is an educational aspect to the Citizens Research Council mission, which would be compromised by limiting access to the results of its research. All Research Council publications going back to 1990 are available on the Research Council website. Some reports from earlier years are also available online because each time a request is received for an older report, it is scanned into the website.

How is the Citizens Research Council supported?

The Citizens Research Council is supported 1) by the charitable contributions of business and industry, foundations, and private citizens to its annual unrestricted operations; 2) special project funding, normally financed by foundation grants; 3) earnings from CRC investments.

Are contributions to the Citizens Research Council tax-deductible?

Yes. Contributions to the Citizens Research Council are deductible from federal income taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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