Frequently Asked Questions


What is Washington Policy Center?
Washington Policy Center (WPC) is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) research and educational organization. We are based in Seattle and have offices in Olympia, Spokane and the Tri-Cities.

How is Washington Policy Center funded?
WPC is funded through donations from individual supporters, foundation grants and businesses. Individual membership starts at $50 per year, not counting our six-month free introductory membership. WPC's budget is about $2 million per year.

Who are Washington Policy Center's supporters?
The vast majority of WPC supporters are individuals and small businesses. Over 90% of donations come from in-state sources. All contributions are voluntary. WPC does not receive government money.

How can I become a Washington Policy Center supporter?
Information on how to donate to WPC and become a member is available online. For more information on gifts and support levels, contact Development Director Stephanie True at (206) 937-9691, or strue [at] washingtonpolicy [dot] org.

What issues does Washington Policy Center cover?
Our research program is based on six areas of public policy: budget and taxes, environment, health care, education, small business, and transportation. We also provide a free, nonpartisan website, www.WashingtonVotes.org, to inform people about bills, roll call votes and other legislative action taking place in Olympia.

How does Washington Policy Center decide on research studies?
Each WPC policy analyst manages a separate budget and oversees research projects within each issue area. All decisions about research topics are decided in-house by the policy analyst who will conduct the research and the vice president for research, with oversight by the president. 

Research topics are selected on the basis of relevance to the people of Washington. WPC's goal is to develop solid research findings and clear policy recommendations to improve the lives of the people of Washington state. WPC is a dependable resource for legislators, the governor, other policymakers, news reporters, and the general public.

How are Washington Policy Center studies funded?
WPC studies are paid for with general operating funds within a budget approved annually by the Board of Directors. On occasion WPC will receive a foundation grant to conduct a particular study. In that case, all conditions associated with a foundation grant must be reported to WPC before the decision to accept the grant is made. 

Is Washington Policy Center research truly independent?
Yes. No direction or micro-managing of research projects is accepted from donors or grant-making foundations. Draft findings are sometimes sent to outside experts for peer review, but all editing decisions and completion of a final draft remain the responsibility of WPC.

All findings, conclusions and policy recommendations are determined solely by WPC analysts, based on objective and well-sourced research.

What sources does Washington Policy Center use?
All WPC research and study findings are supported by independent sources, cited in footnotes or endnotes published with each study. Most WPC research is based on official government sources. Additional sources include university studies, media reports and studies by national experts. WPC analysts often use the Freedom of Information Act to access official data that is not readily available to the public.

Who is on Washington Policy Center's Board of Directors?
WPC is governed by a 27-member volunteer Board of Directors that meets four times per year, plus board committee meetings. Board members do not direct daily operations or select research topics. Members of the Board of Directors are listed online.

Who works for Washington Policy Center?
WPC has 16 employees, plus three paid interns. The president manages day-to-day operations; the vice president for research manages the research program. Staff members are listed online.

Who uses Washington Policy Center studies?
WPC research studies and publications, except books, are available free to anyone who finds them useful, on the condition that WPC be cited as the source. Typical users of WPC research are state lawmakers, executive branch officials, city and county officials, reporters for print, broadcast, and online media, WPC supporters and the general public. News organizations commonly use WPC research as a resource when covering public issues. WPC experts and research findings are cited in news reports hundreds of times every year.

How is Washington Policy Center's research distributed?
WPC research studies and publications are posted online, distributed through a weekly email newsletter, and mailed to officials, media and WPC members across the state. In addition, WPC hosts policy events, briefings and conferences throughout the year. In 2011, WPC hosted 32 policy events attended by more than 4,330 people.

Is Washington Policy Center a political organization?
No. WPC promotes ideas and independent research, not parties or candidates. WPC experts present their research findings to legislative committees and individual lawmakers when invited to do so, and they have been appointed by both Democrats and Republicans to serve on official state and local commissions. WPC experts serve as a resource to lawmakers of both parties to promote sound public policy that benefits the people of Washington state.

Does WPC have a formal privacy policy?
Yes. Our policy is HERE