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Development Program Specialist

Company: College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Date Posted: July 7, 2017

The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA)*, the private fundraising and alumni relations organization for the UW-Madison, is recruiting for an experienced administrative professional to join a team responsible for supporting development programs on behalf of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and potentially other campus units. Responsibilities for this position are directed to donor and campus relations, office administration, stewardship, and information management. The Development Program Specialist has significant contact with faculty, staff, alumni, and other donors to the University.

*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.

Primary responsibilities include:

Donor and Campus Relations (40%)

  • Serve as primary liaison to campus partners, working to build mutually beneficial relationships, improve communication and collaborative teamwork, and increase campus understanding of the development process.
  • Coordinate fund administration process, including all activities related to the creation, legal documentation, notification, review, and stewardship of unit funds and assist as fund liaison for campus partners.
  • Collaborate with events team and campus on events designed to identify and cultivate new prospects and build relationships with existing donors.
  • Actively participate in meetings and other activities with campus partners that support unit development efforts.
  • Respond to donor and campus questions regarding unit gifts and funds, identifying those inquiries, requests or issues that require higher-level review and action.

Office Administration (25%)

  • Perform all required office management functions in support of assigned directors of development.
  • Provide directors of development with materials as requested in preparation for donor visits and assist with on-site logistics, greeting and hosting guests, and responding to miscellaneous needs as required.
  • Coordinate the direct mailing of solicitations, announcements, event invitations, and other materials.
  • Suggest areas for process improvement and assist in improvement implementation when appropriate.
  • Other special projects as determined by the Managing Group Leader to support major gift development.

Stewardship (20%)

  • Prepare gift, milestone, and other acknowledgements for assigned team members.
  • Coordinate and distribute routine gift reports.
  • Coordinate the annual endowment report process and gift impact reporting.
  • Collaborate with Development Program Manager on other special stewardship projects as required.
  • Work with directors of development to review and implement new opportunities for donor engagement.
  • Refine and customize donor lists for special mailings, invitations, donor recognition, etc.
  • Coordinate stewardship meetings with donors, student recipients, and directors of development.

Information Management (15%)

  • Request reports from query team.
  • Maintain contact updates, donor biographic information, and other prospect management duties.
  • Work with Research to request biographical information.
  • Maintain advisory board memberships, donor recognition society memberships, and other affiliated groups as needed.

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 is preferred or equivalent combination of education and work experience;
  • Minimum of 3 years of relevant professional work experience in a dynamic, team-orientated environment;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
  • High level proficiency with MS Office products, particularly Word, Excel, and Outlook.

Key Competencies:

  • Ability to manage several projects simultaneously, set priorities, and meet deadlines;
  • Strong team player who also has the ability to prioritize and work with a high degree of independence;
  • Uncompromising attention and commitment to matters of discretion and confidentiality;
  • High degree of customer service skills;
  • Excellent analytical and interpersonal skills;
  • Highly organized, close attention to details, and a tenacious willingness to do what it takes to find an answer.

This is a non-exempt position requiring 40 hours per week. The Development Program Specialist reports to a Development Program Manager. We offer an excellent work environment as well as competitive pay and benefits.

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

Please contact Human Resources if you have any questions at Application deadline is Monday, July 24.  

Mia Kahl
Human Resources
Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association
(608) 308-5392

The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer