About Us

The Wisconsin Policy Forum is a statewide nonpartisan, independent policy research organization with offices in Milwaukee and Madison. Our mission is to provide informed analysis of critical policy issues affecting local governments, school districts, and the state of Wisconsin. Our research and facilitation activities encourage elected officials and community leaders to find effective, data-driven solutions to pressing policy challenges, and promote productive discussion among the public and private sectors.

We focus our policy research on a broad range of issues affecting the state with a particular emphasis on Milwaukee and southeast Wisconsin, including government finance, economic development, education, and social services.

We are supported by hundreds of corporations, nonprofits, local governments, and school districts and more than 1,000 individuals. Our membership includes political, civic, and opinion leaders in our community.

In addition to publishing comprehensive research reports, Focus newsletter, and The Wisconsin Taxpayer magazine, we host discussions and programs on issues of local, regional, and statewide interest, and offer facilitation and strategic planning services to governmental entities.

Our Mission

Research, analyze and communicate information about the finances, performance, and relationship of state and local governmental bodies in the state of Wisconsin to enhance government efficiency and educate citizens and taxpayers.

Our Commitment

We combine the traditions, expertise, and credibility of Wisconsin's two most respected nonpartisan policy research organizations - the Public Policy Forum and the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance - to improve the quality of government decision-making in Wisconsin.

We bring to light new knowledge on issues important to state government, local government, schools, Metro Milwaukee, and Wisconsin's economy.

We provide impartial data and analysis that will allow government leaders and the public to consider all sides of critical policy issues.

We create an effective, visible platform to educate and inform policy makers, citizens, taxpayers, the media, and others.

Annual Reports

2016 Annual Report

The past year was another very productive and successful one for the Forum. Without question, a top highlight was our Night of Nonpartisanship dinner at Discovery World with legendary journalist Bob Woodward, who fascinated our...Download Report

2015 Annual Report

The past year was a very productive one for the Forum, as we got off to a great start implementing our new strategic plan. We not only produced 21 reports, but we also consistently saw...Download Report

2014 Annual Report

Coming off our tremendously successful 100th anniversary year in 2013, it was difficult to imagine what the Public Policy Forum could do for an encore in 2014. But once again, we enhanced our visibility and...Download Report

2013 Annual Report

2013 was quite a year for the Public Policy Forum! Our 100th anniversary celebration was a resounding success, starting with the release of our 100-year history book and glowing media coverage in January, and continuing...Download Report

2012 Annual Report

During a year of intense politics involving both a gubernatorial recall and a presidential election, the Public Policy Forum again provided much-needed relief from attack ads and political rhetoric. Our work once again showed the...Download Report

2011 Annual Report

During a year of extreme controversy and contentiousness on Wisconsin’s political scene, the value and need for the Public Policy Forum is more apparent than ever. Our in-depth reports, comprehensive fiscal analyses, and balanced policy...Download Report

2010 Annual Report

The Public Policy Forum’s vision statement says we will strive to be “the indispensable resource for objective research and analysis to guide and shape public policy” in the region. While it would be presumptuous to...Download Report

2009 Annual Report

To say that 2009 was a successful year for the Forum would be an understatement. Financially, the Forum finished the year with a surplus of more than $30,000. That would be good in good times....Download Report

2008 Annual Report

Last year was highlighted by a record number of research reports and a return to the Forum’s roots as expressed in its founding mission statement in 1913:”…to promote the adoption of scientific methods of managing...Download Report