Director, Annual Giving

Posted on 08/08/2017

Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association

Madison Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA)*, the private fundraising and alumni relations organization for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is recruiting for an experienced annual giving professional to join our team. The Director, Annual Giving is responsible for leading the centralized annual giving program to grow immediate and long-term philanthropic support of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The position also develops, leads, and grows programs to achieve specific fundraising goals in four areas: alumni/donor participation, leadership annual giving, parent, and student giving.

Essential Functions

Lead the strategy, planning and growth of UW’s centralized annual giving program, focused on participation of alumni and friends, students and parents

  • Drive programs and campaigns to increase participation of alumni and friends in giving, to provide a growing base of donors to support the university and its key discretionary funds, in particular.
  • Develop plans and programs for new fundraising initiatives to support that goal (for example, day of giving, young alumni program, recurring giving).
  • Oversee and grow efforts that build a culture of philanthropy and encourage giving among students and young alumni.
  • Serve as chief strategist for annual giving across campus. Collaborate with campus advancement teams, development leadership and other fundraisers on programs, short and long term strategies and new initiatives.
  • Provide strategic oversight for all annual giving projects and campaigns with marketing team to develop creative concepts and detailed tactical plans.
  • Advise cross-functional team on annual giving stewardship plans.

Analyze data to inform business decisions and drive results

  • Analyze qualitative and quantitative data from multiple sources to drive continuously improved campaign performance.
  • Monitor industry/trend reports and benchmarking analyses to identify opportunities for growth or efficiency, and to identify viable new channels.
  • Refine segmentation strategies to identify and target donor and prospect audiences most effectively.
  • In conjunction with Business Intelligence team, develop/refine business rules for annual giving efforts.
  • Monitor, analyze, and report on results to internal and external constituencies. Prepare and deliver reports for boards of visitors and senior campus leadership as needed.

Develop and execute Leadership Annual Giving programs to grow revenue to key discretionary funds and the major gift pipeline

  • Develop strategic plan for engagement and effective solicitation and growth in number of leadership-level ($1,000+) donors for priority school, college and departmental annual funds.
  • Work with development and prospect management teams to refine leadership annual giving audiences and tactics that target managed prospects of all levels.
  • Provide messaging direction and guidance on all LAG communication.
  • Refine and grow leadership annual giving stewardship practices and programs, including but not limited to the 1848 Society. 

Provide leadership skills consistent with WFAA culture

  • Lead cross-functional teams to deliver desired outcomes.
  • Manage relationships with external partners.
  • Work with leadership to determine staffing needs of the annual giving team.
  • Recruit, interview and select highly talented and qualified team members for open positions.
  • Provide ongoing feedback and recognition as well as periodic formal performance appraisals.

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’s degree required, Master’s degree preferred;
  • 7-10+ years of increasingly responsible experience in annual giving, development and/or marketing;
  • High language skills, intermediate mathematical skills, high reasoning ability;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, database systems and cloud-based software applications;
  • Strong knowledge of annual giving strategies, direct response marketing and comprehensive fundraising programs;
  • Skilled in strategic planning, critical thinking, and negotiation; strong analytic aptitude as well as data analysis/interpretation skills;
  • Effective written, oral and interpersonal communication skills;
  • Proven ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships across organizational functions and with campus partners;
  • Demonstrated experience leading teams and cross-functional projects; knowledge and passion for UW-Madison and higher education.

Final appointment will be made at the Director or Managing Director level depending on experience and qualifications. This is a full-time position reporting to the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. We offer a competitive salary and an excellent benefits program.

To apply

Please click on the link below (note – when submitting application materials, cover letter and resume must be combined into a single attachment). Please contact Human Resources if you have any questions at [email protected].  Review of applications will begin on August 21, 2017. 

Mia Kahl
Human Resources
Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association
(608) 308-5392
[email protected]

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.

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