About Us

Founded in 1894, the Civic Federation is an independent, non-partisan government research organization that provides analysis and recommendations on government finance issues for the Chicago region and State of Illinois. The Federation's membership includes business and professional leaders from a wide range of Chicago area corporations, professional service firms and institutions.

Click here for an updated list of the Civic Federation's Trustees, Board of Directors and Council members.


The mission of the Civic Federation is to provide objective research, analysis and recommendations that:   

• Champion efficient delivery of high-quality government services   
• Promote sustainable tax policies and responsible long-term financial planning   
• Improve government transparency and accountability   
• Educate and serve as a resource for policymakers, opinion leaders and the broader public


The Civic Federation is continually engaged in writing long-term, in-depth research reports. These widely respected and influential projects cover the full range of public finance issues, from property taxes to the cost of public employee benefits. Visit the Civic Federation Library for recent research reports.


In addition to long-term research and special projects, the Civic Federation continually monitors the finances of the governments it researches. Media organizations rely on information generated by the Federation as an objective viewpoint on local government finance. Our annual budget testimonies provide extensive non-partisan analysis and specific recommendations. We also generate annual statements on the Status of Local Public Pensions, estimate the Full Value of Property in Cook County and calculate Effective Property Tax Rates in Northeast Illinois.


Civic Federation research frequently propels action to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of the State of Illinois and local governments in the Chicago region. Opinion leaders, the media and the public look to us for independent, reliable information about subjects that require government cooperation, such as controlling the cost of employee pension benefits or improving government transparency. Our staff works with Civic Federation Board members to develop annual Legislative Priorities at both the state and local levels that will protect taxpayers and reduce government waste.

Governmental Research Association

As a member of the Governmental Research Association (GRA), the Civic Federation benefits from the expertise of a network of similar organizations across the nation providing in-depth, independent, nonpartisan public policy research. Learn more on the GRA website.

Governmental Research Association