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, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015; and $75,000 in 2016.

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, $350,000 in 2012 (to be spread over two years), and $350,000 in 2014 (over two years).

In 2013, The Joyce Foundation became a major supporter of the Center. The Chicago-based foundation awarded a $100,000 grant 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.

The Evjue Foundation, the charitable arm of The Capital Times, 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.

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).

Also 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 and the Democracy Fund.

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.

The Center also is grateful for support it received from the Peters Family Foundation in Utah in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014; the Wisconsin State Journal in 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2014; and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation in 2014.

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 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

Noel Anderson

Susan Applegate

Appleton Post-Crescent Community Fund

Herman Baumann

Steven Beatty

Joe Beck

Tom Bier

Walt Bogdanich

Teri Boggess

Daniel Brand

Malcolm and Penny Brett

Dylan Brogan

Craig Brooks

Jim Burgess

Linda Calhan

Peter and Marsha Cannon

The Capital Times

Denis and Carol Carey

Janice Chernik

Ned Cochrane and Bonnie Cox

Scott Cohn

Nora Cusack

John Daigle

James Danky

Judith Davidoff

Robert Dreps and Betty Koehl

Loren Elkin

Eric Englund

Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation

Mark and Sara Eversden

Evjue Foundation

John Eyster

Ford Foudation

Fund for Environmental Journalism

Fund for Investigative Journalism

Warren and Sharon Gaskill

Maureen Gerarden

Neil Gleason

James M. Grayson

Timothy Haering

Andy and Dee J. Hall

Phil Hands

Sally Mead Hands Foundation

Philip and Janet Hasler

Scott Haumersen

Nick Heynen

Nancy Heyser

Brant Houston


Forrest Jafuta

Kay James

The Joyce Foundation

Thomas Kaminski

Amy Karon

Karon Medical Writing, LLC

Karen Kendrick-Hands

Gail Kohl

Ruth Lalley

Scott and Donna Lewein

Troy Lethem

Charles Lewis

Steve Macejkovic

Jim Massey

Jane Mawer

Michael P. May

Brendan McCarthy

McCormick Foundation

Ellen McDonald

McGillivray Westerberg & Bender LLC

Jody McIntyre

Dan Melton

Karen Lincoln Michel

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Jack and Bonnie Mitchell

John Moyer

Lyle Muller

Valerie Murphy

Paul Nelson

Katharine Odell

Richard Oliver

Open Society Foundations (Foundation to Promote Open Society)

Tara and Carlos Pabellon

Linda Percy

Mark Pitsch

Charley Preusser

Dick Record

Richard Thomas Record Living Trust

Jonathan M. Rivin

Susan Robinson

Schott, Bublitz & Engel s.c.

Richard Seaman

Bob Segall

Jennifer Sereno

Hemant and Elizabeth Shah

Robyn Shingler

Norman Siler

Daniel Simmons

Liz Stein

Molly Stentz

David Stoeffler

Dean Strang

Tim Townhill

Joseph Trotter

Lynn and Nancy Utesch

Vantage Point luncheon series

Roger and Kristi Williams

Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

Wisconsin Newspaper Association

Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation

Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin State Journal


Sharyn Wisniewski

Trudi Witonsky


Dave Zweifel