Director of Programs and Research

Wisconsin Philanthropy Network

As Wisconsin’s only Philanthropy Serving Organization (PSO), WPN is proud to play a meaningful role in advancing our state’s culture of philanthropy. We support charitable foundations (family, independent, community and corporate), corporate giving programs, donor-advised funds, charitable trusts, higher education, community health funders, and individual philanthropists who together represent more than $7 billion in assets and invest more than $600 million annually to advance the lives of Wisconsin residents.

Mission & Vision:

WPN supports and promotes effective philanthropy through philanthropic education, best practices, research, enhanced partnerships and thought leadership. Our vision is to foster a statewide culture of philanthropy with an emphasis on equity, while creating and demonstrating exemplary value to our more than 120 members.

Position Details

Director of Programs and Research
Southeast Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI

The Director of Programs and Research reports to the President and CEO and is responsible for programs and services that increase awareness, understanding and support of effective philanthropy in Wisconsin.

The Director of Programs and Research is an integral leader within the WPN team and will serve as a key driver of WPN’s programs, member relations and outreach. This position promotes a “Close to the Member” mindset by regularly interacting with Wisconsin’s philanthropic community through structured programs, focus meetings and research. The role demonstrates the value of WPN to members and implements innovative strategies while helpingincrease program income to support operations.

The Director will center equity in their work to lead, develop, and implement a comprehensive package of programs that create value for our members and other community stakeholders. You will interface with other staff, our board of directors, community stakeholders and lead our relationships with the program committee. This position ensures effective member programs and develops new products and services.

With support from team members and the program committee, you will develop, from concept to execution, WPN’s Statewide Conference on Philanthropy.

As the Director of Programs and research you will develop plans, manage budgets, support program sponsorship, contribute to the organization bottom line, engage relationships with national, regional, and local speakers, arrange live and virtual events and ensure effective program publicity.

This position responds promptly to member research inquiries, including requests for philanthropic and charitable data, nonprofit financial analysis, issue area data, policies, best practices, and other general research assistance. Identifying relevant local, regional, and national philanthropic trends that are of value to WPN members will be an important goal. Through research, the director is a key contributor to development of our Wisconsin Gives Report.

Participates in multiple member touchpoints to cultivate relationships with the goal of retaining existing members by developing strong relationships and developing satisfaction through programming.

Effectively evaluating programmatic success to assure the satisfactory accomplishment of program goals, you will establish a model for short and long term follow up, measuring the impact and change in grantmaking practice made due to our educational offerings. The position monitors, recommends, and implements teaching and learning techniques and presentation methods for the effective delivery of the organization’s services to membership. Assessing member program needs and utilizing that information to create relevant programming and marketing the services of WPN.

Qualifications include:

Passion for Equity and Building Trust, High Energy, Self-Motivated, Relationship Builder, Entrepreneurial, Coachable, Humbly Confident, Ability to collaborate with diverse stakeholders, Ability to demonstrate contribution and value on day one, Highly Organized, Strategic Thinker, Engaging Personality, Customer Service Oriented, Problem Solver, Asset Based/Can Do Approach, and Team Player.

Key Metrics of Success:

  • Program Attendance and Revenue Goals
  • Number of Programs
  • Member Satisfaction survey results
  • Member Outreach and Touchpoint Metrics
  • Building on-going capacity in philanthropic professional development
  • How we’ll evaluate your potential to be great: Qualifications

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Incumbent will also complete a background and reference check.

Education and Experience:

  • College degree base requirement. Advanced graduate degree or demonstration in research methodology and data gathering a plus.
  • Minimum of five years of professional experience in any combination of philanthropy, non-profit, project management, communications, event planning or research.
  • Special Event and/or meeting planning experience.
  • Ability to read/interpret contracts and agreements.
  • Understanding of philanthropy and philanthropic principals.
  • Proven success in revenue generation.
  • Adept at building and maintaining relationships with various partners and individuals.
  • A demonstrated ability to stay current with sector-based innovations and best practices.
  • Knowledge of adult learning theory and education curriculum development.
  • Demonstrate a natural and authentic ability to inspire others to action and to effectively collaborate within diverse settings.
  • Ability to flawlessly communicate through excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent time management capabilities.
  • Ability to manage effectively within available resource allocations.
  • Working knowledge of virtual platforms, social media and tools for relationship building.
  • Strong project management and organization skills.
  • Resourceful, optimistic, opportunistic, creative, innovative, flexible.
  • Ability to work without micro-supervision.
  • Proficient use or ability to be trained on Microsoft Office applications [Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Cloud], Virtual meeting platforms [Zoom, Teams, Whova], Program Tracking software and SalesForce fund development database.
  • Ability to adjust to the bumps along the way, motivate others, and utilize effective listening skills.

Our goal with this position as well as any open positions at WPN is to remain competitive to the marketplace and seek the best talent. In the spirit of equity, we are listing a salary range for this position. We do, however, encourage all applicants who are interested in our organization to apply.

Salary Range:

$63,000 – $73,000. Offer will be based on qualifications and experience.
Benefits: WPN full time employees are eligible for health, dental, employee savings plan, disability insurance, minimum twelve paid holidays/PTO with winter holiday shutdown. Organizational culture with an emphasis on work-life balance.

Licenses: Valid Wisconsin Driver’s License and insurance required.

Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. The work environment includes virtual hybrid, working in office, meeting, and event space. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

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