Major Gift Director - Alumni

Medical College of Wisconsin

The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) is where a diverse group of thought leaders in science, medicine, education and community engagement work together to build a healthier future. At the core of everything we do with our partner Froedtert Hospital is academic medicine, a model—and a way of thinking—that finds scientists, physicians and students working hand-in-hand with community to solve the toughest challenges in health and society at large. Together, and with the support of the philanthropic donations through MCW or the Froedtert Hospital Foundation, we are committed to exploring every possibility to improve health in the region, the state and beyond.

More than 1,400 students are enrolled in MCW’s medical school and graduate school programs in Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Central Wisconsin. MCW’s School of Pharmacy opened in 2017. A major national research center, MCW is the largest research institution in the Milwaukee metro area and second largest in Wisconsin.In FY2016, faculty received more than $184 million in external support for research, teaching, training and related purposes. This total includes highly competitive research and training awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).Annually, MCW faculty direct or collaborate on more than 3,100 research studies, including clinical trials. Additionally, more than 1,500 physicians provide care in virtually every specialty of medicine for more than 525,000 patients annually.

Position Details

Major Gift Director - Alumni
Southeast Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI

The Major Gifts Director, Alumni will be responsible for identifying, qualifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding major gift alumni prospects. This role works closely with faculty, community leaders, senior administrators and volunteers to secure leadership commitments at the $50,000+ level in support of research and education initiatives supporting the Medical College of Wisconsin programs.

Primary Functions:

  • Understand the mission and philanthropic priorities of the Medical College of Wisconsin and work collaboratively across the organization to build on our collective success. 
  • Comprehensive understanding of the strategic clinical research, education, alumni relations and patient care priorities, as well as specific academic department priorities and needs. 
  • Build and manage a portfolio of approximately 150 alumni prospects and donors with capacity to contribute major gifts. 
  • Partner with the Executive Director of the Alumni Association and Annual Giving team to build a pipeline of philanthropic alumni. 
  • Provide strategic direction to advance alumni donors from leadership giving to major giving, focusing on reunion class giving and innovative alumni engagement strategies. 
  • Utilize predictive analytics and prospect research resources to develop and execute strategies designed to realize the current and lifetime giving potential of prospects. 
  • Work in partnership with teams of annual, leadership, and planned giving staff to identify new sources of funding to achieve individual and departmental goals. 
  • Has ability to raise donor sights, articulate aspirational goals and ideas, set priorities, present philanthropic opportunities and close gifts. 
  • Develop and maintain relationships with boards, academic department leaders, faculty, staff, and volunteers associated with his/her portfolios and educational programs; meet with colleagues across campus to coordinate and execute strategies, utilizing experience and knowledge to build consensus. 
  • Make persuasive verbal and written cases for supporting key priorities, effectively matching the interests of alumni prospects to specific projects and programs and ensure effective stewardship of donor relationships. 
  • Understanding of the complex principles and techniques associated with planned giving and estate gifts; work collaboratively with Planned Giving colleagues to close planned gifts. 
  • Travel as needed to pursue alumni donor prospects and engagement strategies in regions with significant capacity. 
  • Participate in advancement activities and events, including dinners, receptions, and other fundraising initiatives. 
  • Review and ensure continued accuracy of his/her portfolio in database software. 
  • Record proposals and actions about prospects and donors in a timely fashion in database. 
  • Accountable to annual individual performance goal metrics as well as strategic goals and objectives of department. 
  • Prepare and work within division budget and monitor resources and expenditures under span of control.

Organizational Structure Building: Research Park Center

Department: Development

Division: Institutional Development

Reports to (Title): AVP-Philanthropy

Collaborates with (Titles): Major Gift Directors, Planned Giving Director, Individual Giving Officers, Prospect Research Manager and staff

Position Requirements:

Knowledge – Skills – Abilities:

  • Organized professional and with entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and resourcefulness. 
  • Superior interpersonal and collaborative relationship skills, with demonstrated verbal presentation experience and written communication skills. 
  • Ability to work across a complex organization and provide highly visible inspired leadership. 
  • Professional credibility and decision-making integrity to gain trust of key constituents and leaders. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with all constituencies, fostering inclusiveness and diversity of ideas. 
  • Ability to work independently and thrive in a fast-paced deadline-oriented team environment. 
  • Ability to adapt to changing circumstances in a complex environment and embrace challenges. 
  • Demonstrated analytic and strategic thinking capabilities. 
  • Experience with fundraising database software and Microsoft Office, including Excel. 
  • A highly developed ability to deal with sensitive and confidential information related to both alumni and donors, as well as employees. 


Appropriate education and/or experience may be substituted on equivalent basis.

Minimum Required Education: Bachelor’s Degree

Minimum Required Experience: 8 years’ experience

Preferred Education: Bachelor’s Degree

Preferred Experience: Fund raising experience closing major gifts 

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