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Public Policy Forum warning about viability of Milwaukee area non-profit groups

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - A Milwaukee area think tank is sounding an alarm over the viability of the region's non-profit groups.

The Public Policy Forum says there are now 2,300 charitable groups in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington counties. That's 183 percent more than in 1989, while total donations have not risen as much -- 134 percent, to $3.7 billion.

Meanwhile, the research group says the average Milwaukee area non-profit had a budget that's 17 percent less than in '89, of just over $1.5 million a year.

The Public Policy Forum questions whether the smaller groups will erode the region's non-profit infrastructure. The lead author of the report, Phillip Laper, said those who are not able to get services in the private sector are having a harder time finding options that get more limited.

The report also cited a study indicating that 38 percent of Wisconsin non-profit groups were planning to reduce or eliminate services.

Andi Elliott of the Milwaukee Community Advocates group says one way to solve the problem is for non-profit groups to work more closely with each other.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)