The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is an independent nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization that is primarily funded through grants from foundations and donations from individuals and corporations. Additional revenue is obtained through sponsorships of its events and activities, and from earned income — payments for providing services such as fact-checking, collaborating with students or producing investigative journalism projects.

More than 350 individuals, foundations, news organizations and other groups have contributed financially to the Center since its launch in 2009.

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 in general support, 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, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015; $75,000 in 2016; $50,000 in 2017 and 2018.

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 Foundations in New York City, awarded the Center general support totaling $50,000 in 2009, $100,000 in 2010 (to be spread over two years), $35,000 in 2011, $350,000 in 2012 (to be spread over two years), $350,000 in 2014 (over two years) and $200,000 in 2016.

In 2013, The Joyce Foundation became a major supporter of the Center. The Chicago-based foundation awarded a $100,000 grant that was split by the Center and MinnPost, a nonprofit news organization, to support in-depth coverage of key issues in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The grant funded coverage of political reform, environmental protection and gun violence issues in Wisconsin, as well as political reform in Minnesota. In 2014, Joyce awarded the Center $50,000 to support coverage of democracy, the environment and gun violence prevention. That was followed by a two-year grant in 2016, awarding $50,000 annually to support coverage of democracy, the environment and gun violence prevention. In 2018, The Joyce Foundation awarded the Center a two-year grant of $100,000 a year.

The Evjue Foundation, the charitable arm of The Capital Times in Madison, is a major supporter of the Center. The foundation made contributions to WCIJ in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, and in 2013, significantly increased its support to $20,000 — the largest single contribution received from a Wisconsin donor. Evjue repeated its $20,000 support in 2014 and 2015, and increased its giving to $30,000 in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, based in Miami, became a major donor in 2014 with a $75,000 general operating grant (spread over two years). In December 2016, the foundation designated the Center as one of 57 nonprofit news organizations eligible for up to $25,000 in matching funds through its NewsMatch program. As 2017 began, the Center successfully completed the match, thanks to 168 donors. At the end of 2017, the Center was awarded $28,000 from NewsMatch, now funded by an expanded number of donors, for meeting the program’s fundraising goals, and in 2018, the Center was awarded $27,000 from NewsMatch.

In 2014, the Center and UW-Madison journalism school obtained a $35,000 grant that was among the inaugural awards at 12 universities under the Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education, created to encourage experimentation in ways to provide news and information. The competitive program is managed by the Online News Association and is funded by the Excellence and Ethics in Journalism Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Democracy Fund and the Rita Allen Foundation.

In 2015, the Vital Projects Fund, based in New York City, became a major supporter, contributing $25,000 to support the Center’s coverage of criminal justice issues. It provided $20,000 in 2016 and $15,000 in 2017.

The Reva & David Logan Foundation, based in Chicago, became a major supporter of the Center in 2017 with a general support grant of $100,000. The foundation awarded the Center $125,000 grants in 2018 and 2019.

The Center also is grateful for support it received from the Peters Family Foundation in Utah in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018; the Wisconsin State Journal in 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2014; and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and its related foundation, which provided $10,000 in 2014 and 2015, $14,000 in 2016, and $20,000 in 2017.

In 2016, the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication received a grant from the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment to establish a class in fact-checking and to create The Observatory website to publish fact-checked reports and information about fact-checking. The Center, in turn, received a contract of $15,000 in the first year and $10,000 in the second to develop and launch the website and assist in fact-checking, editing and distribution of content. The Center is training students and raising the supply of high-quality verified journalism.

In 2017, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication received a three-year grant totaling $120,000 from the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment to collaborate with the Center on production of investigative reports by students that will be published on the Center’s website and distributed to media partners across the state and nation. The Center is being paid through a contract.

In 2019, Houston philanthropists Laura and John Arnold, founders of Arnold Ventures, became major supporters of the Center, with a $100,000 gift of general operating support.

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 and conducting interviews through arrangements with the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative news organization in Washington, D.C.; WBEZ Public Media in Chicago; American University’s J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism; Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting; Sarah Colt Productions in New York City; and HuffPost.

In 2011, the Center announced a partnership with 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.

Our financial supporters

Helen Aarli

Lisa Aarli

Abbotsford Tribune Phonograph

Jason Alcorn

Rita Allen Foundation

Amazon Smile

Noel Anderson

Margaret Andrietsch

Lynn and Tom Ansfield

Susan Applegate

Appleton Post-Crescent Community Fund

Jeff Ash

Robbi Bannen

Herman Baumann

Keith Baumgartner

Eileen Beamish

Steven Beatty

Beaver Dam Daily Citizen

Joe Beck

Tom Bier

Lynn Bjorkman

Blue Valley Farms

Walt Bogdanich

Teri Boggess

Rod Bohn

Deanna Bowden

Daniel Brand

Malcolm and Penny Brett

Dylan Brogan

Craig Brooks

Martha Brown

Roger Buffett

Jim Burgess

Elaine Burke

Linda Calhan

Peter Cameron

Peter and Marsha Cannon

The Capital Times

Denis and Carol Koby Carey

Janice Chernik

Dave Cieslewicz

Ned Cochrane and Bonnie Cox

Marcus and Sheila Cohen

Scott Cohn

Rebecca Cole


Kathleen Culver

Nora Cusack

Betty and Corkey Custer

John Daigle

Tim Damos

James Danky

Judith Davidoff

Dead Bird Brewing Co.

Jason Dean

Martha Deming

Democracy Fund

Linda Donnelly

Richard Doxtator

Robert Drechsel

William and Gretchen Dresen

Thomas Dukehart

Caroline Duhham

Bill Dunn

Sharon Dunwoody

John Durbrow

Kaye Eckert

Karen Eclavea

Jennifer and John Edmondson

Jane Edson

Richard Eggleston

Lynne Eich

El Grito Taqueria

Loren Elkin

Eric Englund

Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation

Mark and Sara Eversden

Evjue Foundation

John Eyster

Michael and Gloria Fauerbach

Robert and Marianne Fazen

Wendy Fearnside

Fredrika Feeny

Gary Feider

Dorothy Flood

Ford Foundation

Georgette Frazer

David Freedman

Lewis Friedland

Lauren Fuhrmann

Fund for Environmental Journalism

Fund for Investigative Journalism

Sharon and Warren Gaskill

Robert Gebeloff

Maureen Gerarden

Mark Giese

Geri Girard

Neil Gleason

Christopher Glueck

Robert Godfrey

Richard Goldberg

Marian Goldeen

Kate Golden

Lucas Graves

James M. Grayson

Brad Green

Elizabeth Griffith

Timothy Haering

George Hagenauer

Megan Hagenauer

Steven Hahn

Andy and Dee J. Hall

Jane Hampden

Larry Hands and Karen Kendrick-Hands

Phil Hands

Sally Mead Hands Foundation

Gerald Hanson

Colette Harbort

Philip and Janet Hasler

Scott Haumersen

Julie Hayward

Lorie Hearn

Philip Heckman

David Hetzel

Nick Heynen

Nancy Heyser

Richard Hinderholtz

David Holland

John Holman

Brant Houston

Kermit and Diana Hovey

Frances Ingebritson

John Intrieri


Jevon Jaconi

Forrest Jafuta

Kathleen Lapp James

Kay James

The Janesville Gazette

Christine Javid

Vince Jenkins

Jolanta Jimenez

Barbara Johnson

Roberta Johnson

Judy Jolin

Erin Jonaitis

Margaret Jones

Jordandal Farms

The Joyce Foundation

Martin Kaiser

Thomas Kaminski

Jerry Kammer

Amy Karon

Karon Medical Writing, LLC

Rita and Tim Kehl

Gerould Kern

Kathryn Kienholz

Patricia Kilburn

John Klein

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation Donor Advised Fund at The Miami Foundation

Ellen Kobs

Robert Dreps and Betty Koehl

Gail Kohl

Harvey Kohn

Magda Konieczna

Jeffrey Kosbie

Thomas Kozlovsky

James Kramer

Dorothy Kruse

Ruth Lalley

Jeffrey Lange

Michelle Laux

Barbara Lea-Kruger

Patricia Leavenworth

Douglas Lee

Monica Lee

Patricia Leone-Thiel

Troy Lethem

Stuart Levy

Scott and Donna Lewein

Charles Lewis

Linda Lincoln

The Reva & David Logan Foundation

Willis F. Long

Claudia Looze

Patricia Kay Lucas

Mary Lyke

Susan and Steve Macejkovic

John K. MacIver Institute

Lynn Markham

Carol and Stuart Martell

Dick Marx

Julie Maryott-Walsh

Gordy Maske

Jim Massey

Kathleen Massoth

Jane Mawer

Michael P. May

Brendan McCarthy

Robert R. McCormick Foundation

Ellen McDonald

McGillivray Westerberg & Bender LLC

Jody McIntyre

Bonnie McMullin-Lawton

Oma Vic McMurray

Howard and Nancy Mead

Dan Melton

Bonnie Michaelis

Mike Michaelis

Karen Lincoln Michel

Jacob Miller

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Dale Mitchell

Jack and Bonnie Mitchell

Doug Moe and Jeanan Yasiri Moe

Stefanie Moritz

Greg and Michaela Moy

John Moyer

Lyle Muller

James Mundt

Hank Murphy

Valerie Murphy

Patricia Nash

Paul Nelson

Su Neuhauser

Daniel Nicolas

Kara O’Connor

Carol O’Leary

John O’Leary

Katharine Odell

Richard Oliver

Open Society Foundations (Foundation to Promote Open Society)

Tara and Carlos Pabellon

Jon Peacock

Linda Percy

Thomas Perzentka

Peters Family Foundation

Franklynn and Judi Peterson and K-Turkel

Richard Phelps

Samuel Phillips

Pines Bach LLP

Mark Pitsch

Sarah Polenska

Ann Pooler

Kate Prengaman

Charley Preusser

Michael Quieto

Dick Record

Brendan Reid

Richard Reinke

Terry Rindfleisch

Jonathan M. Rivin

John Roach

The Robin Room

Susan Robinson

James Romenesko

Brynn Bemis and Finn Ryan

Leyla Sanyer

Catherine Schachter

Jill Schaefer

Irene Schapiro

Schott, Bublitz & Engel s.c.

EJ Scholl

Peggy Schulz

Cynthia Schuster

Sid Schwartz

Adam Schweigert

Kifflie Scott

Richard Seaman

Bob Segall

Jennifer Sereno

James Sernoe

Hemant and Elizabeth Shah

Bassam Shakhashiri

Carol and Michael Shank

Pamela Sharpe

Gail and Dan Shea

Ronald Schenberger

Robyn Shingler

Cynthia Shumway

Norman Siler

Daniel Simmons

Randy Slagg

John Smalley

Charlotte Smelter

Norma and Elliott Sober

Mary Spicuzza

Sharon Stark

Liz Stein

Molly Stentz

Barbara Stiefvater

David Stoeffler

William Stokes

Dean Strang

Nancy Stumpf

Peggy Swan

Wendy Swanberg

Charlie Talbert

Richard Tatman

Thomas Thelen

Richard Thomas Record Living Trust

Pamela Thompson

Carol Toussaint

Tim Townhill

Tribune Phonograph TP Printing

Joseph Trotter

Paul Trotter

Brenda Turnbull

Carol Tumey

David Umhoefer

Lynn and Nancy Utesch

Vantage Point luncheon series

Michelle Vetterkind

Michael Wagner

Vital Projects Fund

Julie Walsh

Thomas F. Warren

We The People

Will Weider

Christopher Wells

Christa Westerberg

Robert Wilcox

Roger and Kristi Williams


Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

Wisconsin Newspaper Association

Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation

Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin State Journal

Sharyn Wisniewski

Trudi Witonsky


Lisa Wolters

Douglas Yanggen

Scott Zeinemann

James and Susan Zerwick

Dave Zweifel