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Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association
Madison, Wisconsin

Category: Development officer
Field of Interest: Education

Job Description:

When submitting application materials, cover letter and resume must be combined into a single attachment

The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA) is recruiting for an experienced development professional for the Department of Art, Department of Dance, and Department of Theatre and Drama within the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education (SoE). The Director of Development is responsible for directly engaging with a diverse group of department-based alumni, donors, and prospects in an effort to increase major gift development and annual giving support. In addition, the Director will collaborate on major gift development strategy for Tandem Press and key arts education initiatives as identified by SoE leadership. This position is part of a highly collaborative, energetic, and results-oriented advancement team.

The successful candidate will work in close collaboration with the department chairs and SoE leadership to secure major and principal gifts, as well as increased discretionary support. In addition, the individual should offer strong experience in understanding the unique needs of the arts while providing strategic leadership and management of development initiatives to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward top prospects and donors. A strong work ethic and focus on fundraising results combined with passion for the arts and commitment to helping advance the departments’ and SoE’s preeminence through increased philanthropic support is essential.

WFAA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing support for the UW-Madison. In 2013, WFAA launched the All Ways Forward comprehensive campaign with a total goal of $3.2 billion. SoE, with nearly 47,000 living alumni, is consistently ranked as one of the top schools of education in the nation. SoE is home to 10 academic departments that offer a diverse array of undergraduate, master's, and doctoral degrees. 

The Art Department is committed to teaching art in the context of a major research university and a vibrant intellectual community.  It is nationally ranked and includes the No. 1 printmaking program. The Dance Department is a leader and innovator in the field of dance, with a diverse, world-class faculty and state-of-the-art dance facilities. It is the oldest dance department in the country.  The Theatre and Drama Department joined the School in 2015 and consists of a collaborative community of artists and scholars.


Primary responsibilities will include:

  • Working with department chairs, program leaders, and the Dean to identify priorities and design and implement strategic development plans;
  • Identifying, cultivating, soliciting, stewarding and managing a portfolio of top prospects and donors in order to secure major gifts in support of department funding priorities. These priorities include endowed faculty positions, student scholarships, arts facilities, discretionary support, and interdisciplinary program initiatives;
  • Participating in SoE external relations and department activities as well as attending sponsored events to solicit, encourage, and increase the involvement of alumni/donors;
  • Providing fundraising consultation to the Art Department Board of Visitors, Tandem Press Board of Visitors, Friends of the Theatre and Drama Department, and Friends of University Theatre;
  • Collaborating with colleagues to create strategies for shared prospects.


  • Communicate effectively and meaningfully with individuals in diverse settings using a range of techniques including face to face, telephone, email, and written correspondence;
  • Build and maintain effective working relationships at all organizational levels - colleagues, dean, department chairs, campus staff, donors, volunteers, and others;
  • Understand and access resources within WFAA to support the fund development process, e.g., research, planned giving, accounting, and investments;
  • Have knowledge of and appreciation for UW-Madison and SoE mission, history, and goals.

Support a service-oriented atmosphere in accordance with WFAA mission, values and philosophy:

  • The transforming impact of the University of Wisconsin-Madison;
  • The treatment of all with high ethical and behavioral standards including honesty, integrity, respect, courtesy and dignity;
  • The spirit, involvement, participation, engagement and impact of alumni and friends with the UW-Madison and with each other;
  • The joy of giving and the power of philanthropy;
  • The interdependent nature of all aspects of the Parties’ collective relationships in fulfilling their missions; and
  • The highest level of stewardship of the investment of donors’ philanthropy in support of the UW-Madison and the relationships and trust accrued through alumni development and engagement activities.



  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree;
  • 5 year’s development experience, preferably in a nonprofit arts setting and/or university setting;
  • Appreciation of the vital role played by SoE and its arts programs and an interest in promoting its visibility and importance;
  • Excellent verbal, written, interpersonal, analytical, and organizational skills required;
  • Ability to work effectively with University officials, faculty, and prominent alumni;
  • Ability to work independently, and as a member of an effective advancement team;
  • Ability to meet travel requirements (min of 25%) as well as weekend and evening events.


This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


Final appointment will be made at the Director or Senior Director level depending on experience and qualifications. We offer a competitive salary and an excellent benefits program. Current WFAA Directors of Development at any level are eligible to transfer laterally, maintaining their current job title and salary. 


To apply, please submit cover letter and resume in a single attachment to:


Please contact Human Resources if you have any questions at  Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Application deadline: April 17, 2017.


Mia Kahl

Human Resources

Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association

(608) 308-5392


The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply. 


The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association is the “doing business as” name of the merged organization comprising the University of Wisconsin Foundation ( and the Wisconsin Alumni Association (, whose legal corporate name is registered as the University of Wisconsin Foundation.