Eric Giordano, the director of the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS) and a WISCAPE affiliate, explained how the institute is coping with a loss of UW System funding in a recent Wausau Daily Herald article.
WIPPS will no longer receive UW System funding and must raise between $400,000 and $500,000 a year to cover its programs and operations, the article explains.
“It’s been a gradual transition to this point of financial independence,” said Giordano. The financial changes have required WIPPS to “hone its focus” and reduce its staff.
"We're going to have to take on more business-like attributes," Giordano said. "This definitely has forced us to really focus on what we think our priorities are."
Giordano and the WIPPS team “strive to study and offer solutions to community problems and to spur dialogue and civic involvement across the political spectrum,” the article explains.
"We're an organization that tries to cut through the cynicism, cut through the partisanship," Giordano said. "There are so few honest brokers out there. I really think WIPPS is an honest broker."
"We don't feel like we can complain, because everybody's facing [budget cuts]," Giordano said. The university used to cover about $225,000 of WIPPS' roughly $475,000 budget. That funding will now be raised from foundations and individual donors. The institute is also boosting its consulting business to pay its bills.
“We believe in our mission. We think it’s making a difference,” Giordano concluded. “We’ll continue to work as hard as we can to keep making that difference.”