The purpose of the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation, as stated in its governing documents, is to encourage the study, teaching and research into the science and art of self-government, to the end that the American People may understand the fundamental principles of democracy and be guided thereby in shaping governmental policies.  

To that end, the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation supports programs and activities that will result in an increased understanding by the public of the benefits of individual freedom and civic and personal responsibility, and the corresponding threat to liberty posed by a lack of informed, active participation by citizens at all levels of government.