Director, Annual Giving

Job Locations US-WI-Madison
Regular Full-Time


WFAA encourages individuals working out of WFAA offices or conducting in-person business to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. WFAA does not at this time require vaccination for in-person work or other business activity, but reserves the right to put in place such a requirement in the future. Should it do so WFAA will consider requests for accommodations only as required under applicable law.


Want to bring your philanthropic ideas to life?  Want to work with a large and talented team?  Want to jump around?  Sure, you will do all of that but most importantly, you’ll lead and innovate.  We are not about recycling old ideas or settling for good enough. Here, we expect much more while advancing UW-Madison as one of the world’s greatest universities.


As our Director of Annual Giving, you’ll collaborate with your team and others to concept big ideas and develop them powerful campaigns to grow UW – Madison. You will be the one who sets our strategy, collaborates with campus partners and leads a talented team all in an effort to make a world-class university even better.


Here's a short list of what we're looking for in our next Director of Annual Giving:

  1. Leadership skills that inspire and influence your team and the organization
  2. A passion for philanthropy and making a world-class university even better
  3. Stellar organizational skills to help manage projects and bring them to life
  4. Ability to innovate and the willingness to try new things
  5. Commanding presentation skills to shows your thinking and gains buy in
  6. Great attitude | How we get the work done is as important as the work we do; positivity and can-do attitude required


For more detail…keep reading


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. In 2014, the UW Foundation merged with the Wisconsin Alumni Association® to better serve a growing population of UW alumni and donors. 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 UW–Madison alumni to each other and to their alma mater, 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

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lead the Donor Experience team to retain and grow donor participation through innovative, digital fundraising initiatives.
  • Develop plans and programs for specialized fundraising initiatives to support that goal (for example, day of giving, crowdfunding, recurring giving).
  • Grow scope, efficiency and effectiveness of one-to-many programs and work in tandem with marketing, development and campus partners on integrated strategies for messaging, solicitation and stewardship.
  • Provide strategic oversight for all annual giving projects and campaigns with marketing team to develop creative concepts and detailed tactical plans.
  • Oversee and grow efforts that build a culture of philanthropy and encourage giving among students and young alumni.
  • Direct Badger Call (call center) management to deliver against channel goals.
  • Manage departmental budget.
  • Review and advise on donor communications and messaging.
  • 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.
  • Refine segmentation strategies to identify and target donor and prospect audiences most effectively.
  • Monitor industry/trend reports and benchmarking analyses to identify opportunities for growth or efficiency, and to identify viable new channels.
  • 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.
  • Assist in coordinating the flow of data/information between internal teams and external partners.

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 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.
  • Refine and grow strategic approach to prospective leadership-level donors; set goals around growing number of $1,000+ donors each year.
  • Provide messaging direction and guidance on all LAG communication.
  • Drive business decisions based on the review of campaign performance and reporting analytics.

Provide leadership skills consistent with WFAA culture.

  • Recruits, selects and leads highly talented and qualified team members.
  • Leads cross-functional teams to deliver desired outcomes.
  • Develops and manages relationships with cross-functional and campus partners.
  • Works with leadership to determine staffing needs of the annual campaign team.
  • Provide ongoing feedback and recognition as well as periodic formal performance appraisals.


Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
  • 7 + years of increasingly responsible experience in annual giving, development and/or marketing.
  • 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.


Other Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree.
  • Proven ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships across organizational functions and with campus partners.
  • Demonstrated experience leading teams and cross-functional projects.


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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