The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization that is primarily funded through grants and donations from foundations and individuals. A smaller amount of its revenue is earned through production of commissioned materials — investigative journalism projects and an online tutorial for journalists launching nonprofit newsrooms.
As a matter of policy, funders exercise no control over the Center’s editorial decisions, and all funders are publicly identified.
The Center’s first major grant, a gift of $100,000, was awarded by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation in 2009.
The Oklahoma-based foundation continued to support the Center with grants of $100,000 in 2010, $100,000 in 2011, $100,000 in 2012 and $100,000 in 2013. (The 2013 grant contained a $50,000 match challenge, which was successfully accomplished.)
In 2010, the Center received a two-year $75,000 matching grant from Challenge Fund for Journalism VI, a joint program of the Ford Foundation in New York, the McCormick Foundation in Illinois and the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. The Center successfully completed a campaign to raise those matching funds in 2011.
The Foundation to Promote Open Society, which works in cooperation with the Open Society Institute in New York City, awarded the Center $50,000 in 2009, $100,000 in 2010 (to be spread over two years), $35,000 in 2011, and $350,000 in 2012 (to be spread over two years).
In 2013, The Joyce Foundation became a major supporter of the Center. The Chicago-based foundation awarded a $100,000 grant to be split by the Center and MinnPost, a nonprofit news organization, to support in-depth coverage of key issues in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The grant will fund coverage of political reform, environmental protection and gun violence issues in Wisconsin, as well as political reform in Minnesota.
The Center also is grateful for contributions it received from the Peters Family Foundation in Utah in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012; the Evjue Foundation in Madison in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012; and the Wisconsin State Journal in 2009 and 2012.
All members of the Center’s Board of Directors, who serve as volunteers, are financial supporters of the organization.
The Center has received revenue for producing reports through arrangements with the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative news organization in Washington, D.C.; WBEZ Public Media in Chicago; and American University’s J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism.
In 2011, the Center announced a partnership with MAPLight.org to investigate the influence of money in Wisconsin state politics and policymaking. The project was supported by the Open Society Institute. The Center received about $25,000 for this project in 2011 and a similar amount in the first half of 2012.
Appleton Post-Crescent Community Fund
The Capital Times
Denis and Carol Carey
Ned Cochrane and Bonnie Cox
Robert Dreps and Betty Koehl
Fund for Environmental Journalism
Fund for Investigative Journalism
Warren and Sharon Gaskill
James M. Grayson
Andy and Dee J. Hall
Philip and Janet Hasler
Scott and Donna Lewein
Michael P. May
McGillivray Westerberg & Bender LLC
Karen Lincoln Michel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Jack and Bonnie Mitchell
Tara and Carlos Pabellon
Richard Thomas Record Living Trust
Jonathan M. Rivin
Schott, Bublitz & Engel s.c.
Vantage Point luncheon series
Roger and Kristi Williams
Wisconsin Broadcasters Association
Wisconsin Newspaper Association
Wisconsin State Journal
Updated April 23, 2013