Economy & Business
12:41 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Report: How Healthy is Milwaukee's Non-Profit Sector?

While philanthropist giving has increased with the number of charities, charities still split funds.
While philanthropist giving has increased with the number of charities, charities still split funds.
Credit Wikimedia commons

Last week, Milwaukee’s non-partisan Public Policy Forum released its newest report. Under the microscope this time was the health of the area’s non-profit sector. The report looked at levels of growth, both in terms of numbers of not for profit organizations, as well as trends in contributions and revenue.

The good news is that the sector has expanded significantly in the past 25 years as has philanthropic giving. The not so good news is that there appears to be an opposite trend toward diminishing capacity and viability for individual organizations.

"The concerning element of this is that organizations are getting smaller," says Rob Henken. "So even though we have more money to fund them, we just have so many more organizations that what everyone ends up getting is a little bit less than they used to."

Phillip Laper is the Forum’s 2013-14 Norman N. Gill Fellow and the lead author of the report. Henken is the president of the forum and they both joined Bonnie North in the Lake Effect studio.