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Director / Senior Director of Development, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

  • Full Time
  • Madison, WI
  • 72000-125000 USD / Year
  • Salary: 72000-125000

Website Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Associatioon

Helping move the University of Wisconsin - Madison forward.


The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA)*, the private fundraising and alumni relations organization for UW-Madison, is recruiting for a development professional to support the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). The Director of Development is responsible for directly identifying, qualifying, engaging, and soliciting high-capacity prospects for major gift support in the amount of $25,000 or more, for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. In pursuit of these objectives, individual will also be asked to interact with and/or manage board and volunteer engagement and build productive relationships with academic partners.

Please note: This position can be filled at the Director of Development or Senior Director of Development level, depending on skills/experience of selected candidate.

Who is the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences?

The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) is part of the University of Wisconsin­­–Madison, both the flagship and land grant university of Wisconsin. CALS educational and research programs cover fields ranging from physical and life sciences to social science. With a current enrollment of about 3,500 undergraduate and 900 graduate students, CALS prepares students to serve as leaders in agricultural and scientific fields. Undergraduates at CALS have 24 majors from which to choose. In all of them, students integrate classroom instruction with interdisciplinary thinking and “beyond classroom” experiences that foster the creativity and initiative they will need in their careers. This “Wisconsin Experience” model has served nearly 40,000 CALS alumni today, many of whom hold leadership positions in agriculture, business, education, nonprofits and government around the world.

Who is WFAA?

The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association is a private, nonprofit corporation that encourages individuals and organizations to make gifts to the university and to connect with the UW. We believe that private support grows out of good relationships between campus leaders, faculty and program staff who need support, and the alumni and friends who want to invest in UW–Madison. We provide important engagement opportunities to link those interested in supporting the UW to areas about which they are passionate, building a strong community of Badgers.

Diversity and Inclusion

Just as the university community benefits from differing viewpoints, perspectives, and experiences, inclusion and diversity are imperative for the success of our mission. WFAA values people and the differences that they bring to the organization, and creates an environment in which all staff members and constituents feel respected and have opportunities to thrive.

Essential Functions

Major Gift Development

*Develop objectives, priorities and strategies focused on major ($25k+) development activity related to capital campaigns, special programs, and ongoing fund raising in collaboration with Associate Vice President, dean/faculty/staff, WFAA team and colleagues.
*Implement development strategies with assigned constituencies, managing a portfolio of prospects and donors in varying stages of involvement to advance them strategically through the development process.
*Cultivate lead donors for networked philanthropy opportunities as appropriate.
*Work with prospect management, WFAA research and development colleagues to identify, qualify, cultivate, and solicit a portfolio of major gift prospects from existing and potential donors.
*Schedule and conduct initial assessment/exploratory meetings in-person and virtually with prospects, following up with correspondence, phone calls, emails, 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.
*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 prospects.

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.
*Coordinate volunteer or other engagement opportunities to more deeply engage donors and prospects.
*Participate in the external relations activities of the campus unit, attend sponsored events, etc., to solicit, encourage, increase the involvement of alumni/donors in campus unit & UW activities.

Special Campaign Management

*Coordinate with campus partners on special project needs or giving campaigns.
*Work with Advancement team and campus partners (students, faculty and staff) to set goals for campaigns and to determine strategies to achieve those goals.
*Direct content for campaign communications (i.e. website, pledge cards, brochures, etc.).

Campus Relations

*Request data/reports from WFAA staff to meet needs of donors and campus staff.
*Serve as a liaison with the campus unit, other UW entities and friends/booster groups.


Required Qualifications

*Bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional work experience;
*Experience and demonstrated success in fundraising or related activities;
*Excellent oral, written, interpersonal, analytical and organizational skills required;
*Ability to meet travel requirements (@25%).

Other Qualifications

*Bachelor’s degree preferred.
*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 WFAA staff as a collaborative team member, including coordinating activities on prospects/donors, gift administration and planned giving.
*Ability to plan and prioritize work, using time and other resources effectively to maximize desired outcomes.

WFAA is committed to provide our employees with an environment that is inspiring, creative and respectful. We offer competitive pay and an excellent benefits program, which includes a 10% 401k contribution after 1 year of service!

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 ( Its legal corporate name is registered as the University of Wisconsin Foundation.

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