As a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit, CPI is not allowed to get directly involved in elections, nor is it legally required to disclose its donors. But the Center for Media and Democracy’s (CMD) Sourcewatch.org website has compiled some funding data for the organization by scouring foundation reports. One of CPI’s biggest donors, giving $2.25 million from 2018 to 2020, is the Ed Uihlein Family Foundation controlled by right-wing mega-donor Richard Uihlein, founder of the Wisconsin-based shipping and business supply company Uline. In addition, CPI has received significant funding — at least $732,500 — from DonorsTrust, a nonprofit fund that exists to protect the identity of individual conservative donors.
Also among CPI’s major donors, giving it at least $300,000, according to Sourcewatch.org, is the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, one of the largest conservative foundations in the United States. CPI’s Cleta Mitchell currently sits on Bradley’s board. In 2017, CMD published a series of stories on the Milwaukee-based foundation that exposed a highly political agenda, including efforts to dismantle and defund unions in order to impact state elections. Bradley’s current president is Art Pope of North Carolina, the millionaire owner of the Variety Wholesalers discount retail chain; a former state legislator, state budget director, and current member of UNC’s Board of Governors; and a leading conservative donor in his own right through his family’s John William Pope Foundation.