How We Work


How We Work
The Buccaneer Archipelago
The Buccaneer Archipelago
Trust Magazine

Reaching New Horizons

As the world evolved—offering new problems and opportunities—Pew rose to the challenge in 2022, finding ways to help communities and people thrive

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Trust Magazine

As the world evolved—offering new problems and opportunities—Pew rose to the challenge in 2022, finding ways to help communities and people thrive.

Our projects are ambitious, consistent with a tested investment philosophy, and designed to reap measurable benefits for the public. Throughout our history, Pew has turned indifference into action—asking tough questions, studying problems closely, working with strong partners, and striving for effective solutions that bring diverse stakeholders together.

Investment Philosophy

Although our projects vary in scale and scope, Pew maintains a consistent investment philosophy for all of our work—an approach driven by our history and values. Current and emerging issues are identified through a rigorous selection process and are moved forward only when there is:

  • A clear need for action
  • Solid evidence about the primary cause of the problem
  • A willingness by important constituencies to act
  • A way for Pew to add unique value, and
  • A reasonable opportunity for meaningful and tangible progress.

Whether our work is local, state-based, or global, we utilize a pragmatic, fact-based, and disciplined approach to addressing causes that serve the public. Each project addresses a unique challenge, adheres to Pew’s mission, and advances our founders’ belief that progress springs from research and facts.


Pew is committed to generating research, providing technical assistance, and building relationships to advance powerful, positive change. Whether advancing environmental conservation, examining the impact of government policies on taxpayers and communities, or providing information about relevant trends in society, the foundation of our work is careful planning; a consistent focus on facts, science and data; strong partnerships; and a commitment to innovation and measurable results.


We work in close collaboration with philanthropists and organizations that share our commitment to independent research, measurable results, and public service. We value our partners and benefit from their support. These diverse individuals and organizations bring resources, energy, and expertise to Pew; provide new perspectives and insights as our work moves forward; and offer valuable lessons for solving problems.
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Science and Research

Pew is a data-driven, results-oriented organization. Sound data and the best available science are fundamental to all of our work, and rigorous, nonpartisan, and evidence-based research informs the design and implementation of our efforts. Research projects include data analysis, public opinion surveys, conservation science, support for biomedical and marine research, and initiatives focused on our Philadelphia hometown.

Technical Assistance

Pew provides technical assistance to help nonprofit organizations, businesses, and governments make evidence-based policy decisions. We analyze data, develop implementation plans, tailor models to the specific needs of the organizations with which we work, monitor progress, and help interpret results.


For some initiatives, we combine research and policy work with strong and carefully planned advocacy campaigns. We design innovative policy solutions, build coalitions, and help diverse stakeholders find common ground. Pew experts regularly testify about critical issues before Congress, state legislatures, and international bodies and help bring credible voices into policy debates.

Lessons Learned

Whether it is tracking trends or changing policy and practices, we seek tangible results by pursuing specific, measurable goals. Impact is measured regularly through a rigorous and independent evaluation to assess return on investment and inform decisions about next steps.
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