Founded in 1979 by its president, Morton C. Blackwell, LI provides training in campaigns, fundraising, grassroots organizing, youth politics, and communications. The Institute teaches conservatives of all ages how to succeed in politics, government, and the media.
The Institute offers 47 types of training schools, workshops, and seminars; a free employment placement service; and a national field program that trains conservative students to organize campus groups.
Since 1979, LI has trained more than 200,000 conservative activists, leaders, and students. The Institute's unique college campus network has grown to more than 1,700 conservative campus groups and newspapers.
While many liberal organizations exist to increase the involvement of liberal activists, few similar organizations exist to serve conservatives. Because conservatism tends to focus on the power of ideas, most conservative organizations are think tanks that focus on policy or legislation.
The left excels at organizing and mobilizing large numbers of people – activating them in the public policy process. While philosophy is very important, the lack of widespread, active conservative participation is one of America's greatest practical weaknesses.
LI increases the number and effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders in the public policy process. The Institute doesn't analyze policy; it teaches conservative Americans how to influence policy through direct participation, activism, and leadership.
The Leadership Institute actively supports the entire conservative movement.
Unique among conservative nonprofits, the Leadership Institute freely shares its most valuable resource – its list of students trained and its list of conservative student campus groups – with other conservative organizations.
LI information is used by other conservative organizations as a source of participants for their valuable programs, saving them countless hours of recruitment. LI information-sharing benefits the entire conservative movement and connects conservatives into a nationwide conservative network and a lifetime of civic involvement. Virtually all significant conservative organizations across America now employ Institute graduates.