Development and Communications Manager

Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc.

About Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc.:

Since 1968, Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc., has provided high-quality civil legal aid to those who otherwise would be denied justice. Whether it’s securing FoodShare for a family in need, obtaining a domestic abuse restraining order for a single mother, preventing homelessness for a veteran, or disputing a predatory loan for a vulnerable elder, Legal Action delivers high-quality, personalized legal representation to every client. We emphasize the legal work that will create systemic change for all.

Legal Action fights tirelessly in the southern 39 counties of Wisconsin to ensure equal justice. With funding from the Legal Services Corporation, the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation, and other sources, our non-profit law firm represents low-income and elderly individuals at no cost to clients. Attorneys in Legal Action’s six offices focus their work on housing, public benefits, family law, consumer issues, and removing barriers to employment.

Position Details

Development and Communications Manager
Southeast Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI

Legal Action seeks a full-time Development and Communications Manager, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Our new Development and Communications Manager will be dedicated to the pursuit of equal justice for low-income people. The Development and Communications Manager will be the primary fundraising and communications partner with Legal Action’s Executive Director and Board of Directors. This person will be responsible for creating and driving all development and external communication plans, maintaining and expanding a robust, diverse grant portfolio, and supporting the statewide equal justice fundraising campaign (housed at the Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund)

We value a diverse staff and work environment. We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQIA, people with disabilities, and people with life experiences or education that add to our diversity and our capacity to provide high-quality legal aid to our clients. We encourage applicants to include a statement about the ways that their unique background and personal, professional, and life experiences contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and our law firm’s mission along with their other application materials.


Grants Management, Grant Writing, and Fundraising

  • Maintain and implement our firmwide development plan.
  • Maintain and grow our diverse portfolio of grants and contracts for services, with an intense focus on public (federal, state, and local) sources.
  • Continually research potential new funding sources, including active involvement with existing and potential collaborative partners.
  • Overhaul our client service data and outcome collection system for purposes of grant compliance and reporting and supporting external communications and messaging.
  • Develop and submit complete and high-quality grant proposals.
  • Maintain a calendaring system for proposals and program compliance reporting.
  • Timely submit reports and other information to ensure compliance with grant and contract terms.
  • Collaborate with CFO and other finance and accounting staff on budget development and financial reports for funders.
  • Maintain relationships with current funding sources and cultivate relationships with potential new funding sources.
  • Engage other Legal Action managers in project and proposal development. grant writing, and reporting.
  • Provide support to the Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund staff and board in their work to raise funds for Legal Action and other legal aid providers.

External Communications

  • Working with research and support from our national partners (Voices for Civil Justice, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, and the Legal Services Corporation), develop and then implement an external communication and publicity plan.
  • Engage, train, and support Legal Action staff on external communication and messaging and effective responses to media requests.
  • Ensure consistency in all areas of the firm’s branding and messaging.
  • Maintain and cultivate relationships with sources to earn media.
  • Develop and implement the firm’s budget for unearned media exposure.


The responsibilities listed illustrate the general nature and level of work to be performed. It is not a comprehensive inventory of all duties and responsibilities. Other duties may be assigned. 

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations will be made for people with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Highly skilled in producing edited and polished long-form (e.g., grant proposal narrative) and short-form (e.g., talking points) written texts and products.
  • Precise and accurate editing skills.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills to persuade external audiences about the critical importance of equal justice and Legal Action.
  • Ability to work cooperatively and harmoniously with and under the direction of the Executive Director.
  • Ability to work cooperatively and harmoniously with other Legal Action staff.
  • Ability to set and stay within clear priorities and tasks.
  • Excellent verbal presentation skills.
  • Ability to influence and engage a wide range of stakeholders and build long-term relationships
  • Strong organizational skills; deadline and success driven.
  • Ability to work independently without close oversight.
  • Open to working in a fluid, fast-paced environment.
  • A commitment to and passion for equal justice for low-income people is essential.
  • Fluent in using Microsoft Office, the Internet, a database, and other software and applications for communications, grant writing and other fundraising, and data and information gathering.
  • Legal Action will provide training, as necessary.


  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred. Degrees and/or experience in writing are highly desired.
  • 4 years of experience in the non-profit grant writing or communications field is preferred, though training will be provided if necessary.
  • Valid driver’s license.


  • Regular in-state travel (2 times/month) throughout southern Wisconsin will be required. 
  • Occasional out-of-state, overnight travel (at least 2 times/year) is also required.


We prefer to house this position in our Milwaukee office, but we will consider housing it in our Madison, Oshkosh, or Racine offices. After satisfactory completion of the probationary period and performance reviews, a telecommuting arrangement may be considered under Legal Action’s personnel policies. 


Starting salary will depend upon the applicant’s experience and qualifications, with a range of $45,000 - $65,000 per year. The position includes a full fringe benefit package, which currently includes: fully paid health, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance; a modest contribution to a firm-sponsored retirement plan; generous paid sick time; four weeks of annual leave and four days of personal leave per year; and four weeks of paid parental leave.


The position is subject to a probationary period of up to one year.


The position is governed by the Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. Personnel Policies which are subject to unilateral change by the Legal Action Board of Directors. As with any Legal Action position, there is no guaranteed period of employment and employment is “at will”, subject to termination at any time.

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