About the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth

Our Mission

Founded in 1996, MassINC’s mission is to make Massachusetts a place of civic vitality and inclusive economic opportunity by providing residents with the nonpartisan research, reporting, analysis, and civic engagement necessary to understand policy choices, inform decision making, and hold the government accountable.

Our Vision

A Commonwealth of Massachusetts in which all our residents have freely available and easily accessible information they need to be deeply engaged in our democratic process and in their communities.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We are committed to advancing equitable access to opportunities and resources at MassINC and across the Commonwealth, and to addressing barriers and structural systems that perpetuate inequity. To achieve this, we encourage robust debate, shaped by a wide range of lived experiences and informed opinions.

Core Values

Impact — We produce work that informs, engages, and makes an important difference in the Commonwealth and the lives of its residents.

Civic-minded — We are committed to wide-ranging public participation and engagement in our community, a value that is strongly aligned with achieving impact.

Evidence-driven — We believe in the vital role of data, facts, and evidence in public discourse.

Collaboration — We believe our partnerships, talents, and collective resources help us to fulfill our mission and vision and achieve impact.

Independence — We aim to carry out our work free from undue influence of outside interests. While we share a common governance, vision, and mission, our policy center, journalism enterprise, and polling group operate independently of one another.

Transparency — We hold ourselves accountable to the public by disclosing information on donors, supporters, and other potential conflicts.

Our History

MassINC was founded in 1996 by a small group of civic and business leaders who believed that Massachusetts was missing accurate, thorough, and unbiased data to inform policymaking. They set out to create an organization that produced public policy research focused on building ladders to the middle class for all Massachusetts residents.

Over the years, we have achieved impact through nonpartisan research from our Policy Center and Polling Group, independent reporting of politics, ideas, and civic life from CommonWealth magazine, and inclusive civic engagement.

MassINC is distinguished by its rigorous research and journalism, extensive state-wide network, expertise in how state and local government works, and thoroughly collaborative approach. We have demonstrated a record of achievement in education, transportation, economic development, and criminal justice policy.


MassINC is able to provide free, independent journalism and research to policymakers, civic leaders, and the engaged public for the benefit of the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts through the generosity of individuals, corporations, and philanthropies that support our non-partisan mission.

In 2007, MassINC began a new focus on urban communities that had been the centers of regional economies at the turn of the century and now had a high potential for revitalization, branding them as Gateway Cities. Today, MassINC focuses on public policy that provides Gateway Cities with the tools to be stable, vibrant communities—from schools that adequately prepare students for 21st-century jobs to an affordable and reliable public transit.

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In 2009, we launched the CommonWealth website—evolving the magazine from a print quarterly journal since 1996 to a free digital platform with a variety of news and editorial products. These products include long-form journalism, the Daily Download and weekly Upload. Featuring the works of esteemed columnists and engaged citizens, CommonWealth provides a powerful forum for civil debate and fosters an ever-growing community of policymakers and citizens. CommonWealth’s official podcast, “The Codcast,” has featured interviews with dozens of political commentators and influencers.

In 2010, we founded a for-profit subsidiary, The MassINC Polling Group, to provide nonpartisan polling for MassINC and other clients while generating revenue for our non-profit. Today, The MassINC Polling Group, the official pollster of WBUR, is a success with a range of mission-driven business and nonprofit clients, and a variety of survey, messaging, and media products. The Polling Group also encompasses MPG Media, which develops effective media strategies through creative content and media communication, and hosts the podcast, “The Horse Race.”

MassINC and CommonWealth continue to be places where voices from all sides and perspectives can be heard, where bold ideas can surface and be debated, and where the answers to Massachusetts’ most pressing questions continue to be sought.


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