Managing editor Dee J. Hall interviews Bianca Shaw at the State Capitol on Jan. 31, 2018. Credit: Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
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We’re excited to announce that gifts to the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism are being doubled, up to $1,000 per donor, from now through Dec. 31!

A way to boost the impact of your generosity even more: If you set up recurring donations, they will be matched at a full-year value to encourage sustaining support of the Center. For example, a new $20-a-month donation now is eligible for an immediate $240 match.

“The matches of new recurring donations are the best opportunity we’ve ever seen for donors to quickly make a difference in our bottom line,” said Andy Hall, co-founder and executive director of the nonpartisan and nonprofit Center, which is completing its first decade of operations.

These funds come from NewsMatch. For the third consecutive year, NewsMatch has selected the Center to participate in its national campaign to encourage grassroots support of the nonprofit news sector, which plays an increasingly important role in providing the public with essential information. Across the country, 155 nonprofit news organizations are eligible for $25,000 each in matching funds plus performance incentives from NewsMatch 2018.

We depend on people like you more than ever to support authoritative reporting on such issues as the secrecy that undermines our democracy, exploitation of immigrant restaurant workers, polluted drinking water, concussions and other brain injuries threatening the health of University of Wisconsin athletes, weak protections for whistleblowers, the vulnerability of election systems to hackers, and GPS monitoring that needlessly jails offenders and wastes taxpayers’ money.

Managing editor Dee J. Hall interviews Bianca Shaw at the State Capitol on Jan. 31, 2018, for a story about Wisconsin’s FoodShare program. Donations to the Center help fund fearless investigating reporting and the training of investigative journalists. Credit: Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Gifts from individuals and businesses are the fastest-growing part of the Center’s revenue and now account for a fifth of its $500,000 budget.

We’re also continuing to build on last year’s successful launch of the Watchdog Club, a network of people and businesses taking a leadership role in sustaining investigative reporting and the training of investigative journalists.

Donors of at least $1,000 become members of our Watchdog Club and receive “behind the story” insights, events and benefits, such as coffee conversations with NPR’s Eric Deggans and David Folkenflik, a reception with Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times investigative reporter Walt Bogdanich and an upcoming evening with former New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.

Recurring gifts of at least $83.33 a month qualify donors for the Watchdog Club.

Watchdog Club members share the distinction of being the Center’s most generous and loyal contributors. They are also our ambassadors. They help us excel and innovate, while fostering an informed citizenry and strengthening our democracy.

As an added incentive, several current Watchdog Club members will match new club members’ gifts. This means that, combined with NewsMatch, new Watchdog Club members’ donations of $1,000 will be tripled.

We don’t often get an opportunity like this. Please invest in the news you need today.

Donate for twice the impact

Join the Watchdog Club Now for Triple the Impact

“Your support,” Hall added, “means that the Center will be able to expand its fact-checked, award-winning multimedia journalism, which it provides for free at WisconsinWatch.org and to hundreds of news organizations across the nation, as well as continue to train investigative journalists.”

In the past 12 months, the Center has released 24 major reports that were published, broadcast or cited by more than 270 news organizations — a number boosted through a new distribution agreement with The Associated Press — and reached an estimated audience of more than 15.6 million in Wisconsin and nationwide.

In addition, many of the Center’s 41 former interns and fellows are producing important stories and working in innovative businesses aimed at creating sustainable models for journalism.

NewsMatch is funded by Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the Facebook Journalism Project, along with supporting partners across the nation. The Miami Foundation is the fiscal sponsor. The Institute for Nonprofit News and the News Revenue Hub are nonprofit partners.

Hall expressed gratitude to the many generous donors who last year fueled a 56 percent increase in individual and business support of the Center.

“Together,” Hall said, “we can hold the powerful to account, and we will hold true to the guiding principles that the Center’s managing editor, Dee J. Hall, my wife, and I created long ago: Protect the vulnerable. Expose wrongdoing. Explore solutions.”

Donations may be mailed to WCIJ, 5006 Vilas Hall, 821 University Ave., Madison WI 53706, or made securely via credit card by clicking here.

Because the Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, a donation you make between now and Dec. 31, not only gets doubled by NewsMatch, but it’s also tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Please make a gift today and have it matched!

The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (www.WisconsinWatch.org) collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Emily Neinfeldt joined the Center in September 2017 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in journalism and political science. She started as a public engagement and marketing intern before becoming membership manager in 2019 and membership director in 2021. Her role includes maintaining and improving the digital infrastructure and operations developed under the Facebook Local News Membership Accelerator program and recommending and leading implementation of audience-growth efforts including marketing initiatives.

Before working at the Center, she was a news intern at Wispolitics.com. She has also worked as associate news editor, features editor and managing editor at The Badger Herald, an independent student newspaper. Neinfeldt is secretary of the Madison Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.