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Director of Development, Gift Planning
Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association in Madison, Wisconsin
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Date Posted 01/07/2019
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

As an integral member of the Gift Planning team, the Director of Development, Gift Planning, will perform extensive prospect identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship functions focusing on planned gifts.  This position will also serve as an important gift planning resource for Wisconsin Foundation Alumni Association (WFAA)* staff and University partners. 

Essential Functions

Planned and Major Gift Development

  • Develop objectives, priorities and strategies for planned and major gift development related to capital campaigns, special programs, and ongoing fund raising in collaboration with University and Foundation personnel. 

  • Implement development strategies, develop and manage a portfolio of prospects and donors in varying stages of involvement to advance them strategically through the development process.

  • Work with prospect management, WFAA research and development colleagues to identify and qualify a portfolio of planned and major gift prospects from existing and potential donors.

  • Schedule and conduct initial assessment/exploratory meetings with prospects, following up with correspondence, phone calls and additional visits as appropriate to qualify prospect.

  • Plan and conduct visits/trips, events and other ongoing contact to build relationships with donors, effectively presenting the case for philanthropic support and explaining gift opportunities.

  • Develop and write gift proposals in conjunction with WFAA constituency staff, WFAA specialized staff and University personnel, utilizing both current and planned gift opportunities to best meet donors’ needs, interests, and financial capabilities, including structuring complex or special gifts as appropriate.

  • Artfully ask for the right gift, at the right time, in the right way.

  • Collaborate with colleagues, discussing donor prospects, sharing advice/information, and coordinating activity on shared prospects.

  • Coordinate development efforts with the colleges/schools/programs, working closely with WFAA constituency staff, deans and faculty to develop and implement strategies related to gift opportunities and optimizing campus involvement in the development process.

  • Serve as a Gift Planning liaison to one or more development groups within WFAA.

Donor Relations/Stewardship/Recognition

  • Plan and implement recognition for donors, including writing thank you letters, making personal calls, arranging meetings, hosting events, etc.

  • Plan and implement ongoing communication and stewardship with donors.

  • Develop and maintain volunteer involvement, recruiting, organizing, staffing and training volunteers as needed to support fund raising activities and coordinating the involvement of deans, faculty and staff in organizing volunteers for unit activities.

  • Participate in the external relations’ activities of various University units, attend WFAA events when appropriate, etc., to solicit, encourage, and increase the involvement of alumni/donors in UW activities.

Campus Relations

  • Communicate, problem solve and anticipate needs of campus staff regarding the use and accounting of donor created funds.

  • Request data/reports from WFAA staff to meet needs of donors and campus staff.

  • Serve as UW Foundation liaison (as needed) with various college and school programs, UW Alumni Association, other UW entities and friends/booster groups.


  • Write regular progress reports on prospect cultivation and solicitation, completing and filing thorough reports of all contacts in a timely manner.

  • Work with WFAA personnel on materials needed for promotional brochures, invitations, announcements and other written material.

  • Report/record/document development activity and results.

  • Make own travel arrangements and submit timely expense reports.

  • Communicate details for Memoranda of Agreement (MOA’s) as needed in gift situations; submit them for review and approval by appropriate University staff and WFAA Legal Affairs.

  • Monitor giving patterns and results for prospects/donors in portfolio and provide regular written or oral reports on progress and results of work with these prospects.


  • Understand and access resources within WFAA to support the fund development process, e.g., research, Gift Planning, real estate, accounting, investments.

  • Oversee the work of designated support staff, providing training and development, assigning and reviewing work, and providing input into personnel decisions including hiring and performance evaluation.

  • Attend WFAA and college/school/program meetings for development staff.

  • Become an active member of the Wisconsin Association of Charitable Gift Planners and engage with the local gift planning and/or estate planning community as much as possible.

  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues, deans, campus staff, donors, volunteers and others.

  • Continually acquire and utilize professional knowledge/skill/ability and share that expertise with others in the organization.

  • Act in accordance with the WFAA core values.

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

  • Strategic beliefs

    • The University of Wisconsin-Madison has a transforming impact on students, alumni, and society;

    • Authentic, lifelong relationships and engagement with alumni, donors and friends are fundamental to sustaining the reputation and continued success of the University;

    • Philanthropy has an essential and growing importance on the future progress of UW-Madison;

    • The highest level of stewardship and fiduciary responsibility in financial, investment, data and gift administration is vital to maintaining trust with our stakeholders;

    • Diverse views, experiences and perspectives strengthen WFAA and the university community.

  • Organizational values

    • We are serious about delivering results;

    • We work together and with our campus partners as a team;

    • We are committed to alumni, donors, volunteers and others;

    • We are open-minded;

    • We create a positive work environment.


  • Bachelor degree is required.  Advanced degree preferred.

  • Minimum of five-(5) years experience in a fund raising capacity.  Prior Gift Planning experience, background in trust operations, law or other related fields preferred.

  • A high level of skills in working with people is essential to success in this job. 

  • Ability to communicate effectively and meaningfully with groups and individuals in diverse settings using a range of techniques including face to face, telephone, email, written correspondence, public speaking and meeting facilitation.

  • Ability to work effectively with other WFAA staff and University Faculty/Staff as a collaborative team member, including coordinating activities on prospects/donors, gift administration and Finance.

  • Ability to plan and prioritize work, using time and other resources effectively to maximize desired outcomes.

Cognitive Skills

  • High language, high mathematical and high reasoning ability.

Computer Skills

  • Ability to use a computer for communicating via e-mail, writing, researching prospects, completing reports, etc. Familiarity with Excel, database programs and the ability to work with specialized Gift Planning software packages is a plus.

Physical Demands Summary

  • Frequent travel is a job requirement.  The individual must be willing and able to travel in Wisconsin and across the US frequently by car, plane, cab, and foot (or with assistive device, e.g. wheelchair).

The Director of Development reports to the Associate Vice President and Managing Director, Gift Planning. This is a challenging, exciting and meaningful full-time position involving travel. 
To apply, please submit cover letter and resume to: 

Please contact Human Resources if you have any questions at Application deadline is September 7.

Mia Kahl
Human Resources
Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association 

The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer
*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.

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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