Major Gifts Officer - Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement



UW-Whitewater is a thriving public university located in southeastern Wisconsin. It leads the way in providing world-class, affordable higher education programs to more students than neighboring regional comprehensives in the University of Wisconsin System. A collaborative team of 1,300 faculty and staff are devoted to the success of the university's 11,000 students at its main and Rock County campuses. The team provides high-impact practices and academic programs - online and in person - from associate to doctoral levels. Recognized nationally for affordability, inclusion, and career development, UWW has approximately one-third first-generation students and boasts strength in many areas, especially business and education. The campus and community embrace the Warhawk Family spirit, supporting the university's arts and nationally recognized NCAA Division-III level championship athletics. As a proud institution of access, more than 10 percent of undergraduate students use the acclaimed Center for Students with Disabilities - a priority mission since the 1970s.

UW-Whitewater's campuses are located centrally near Milwaukee, Madison, and Chicago, offering easy access to the cultural and commercial opportunities of major metropolitan areas. Near both Lake Geneva and the Wisconsin Dells, the area attracts numerous visitors from across the country. Whitewater is a vibrant college community near the Kettle Moraine State Forest offering area residents seasonal outdoor enjoyment. The nearby Rock County campus is located in Janesville, a town of 60,000 located on the Rock River and known as Wisconsin's Park Place.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, and actively seeks and encourages applications from women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and veterans.

Position Details

Major Gifts Officer - Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement
Southwest Wisconsin
Whitewater, WI


The Department of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement in the Division of University Relations at the University of Wisconsin -Whitewater seeks a Major Gifts Officer (Gifts Officer, AV013).


The Major Gifts Officer secures significant gifts for the UW-Whitewater Foundation, Inc. to support the mission of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The Major Gifts Officer serves as a liaison to the College of Education and Professional Studies. The position connects alumni and friends in meaningful ways to inspire charitable support at the highest levels. This position reports to the Vice Chancellor for University Relations.


A. Fundraising

  1. Engage a portfolio of 120+ individual donors, including corporations. 
  2. Meet annually and develop strong donor relationships with the UW-Whitewater donors. Connect prospects with appropriate leadership, faculty, programs, and students aligned with the prospects' philanthropic interests and values. 
  3. Work with donors on various giving vehicles, with a commitment to learn new techniques along the way. 
  4. As a member of the University Relations team, participate in setting the long-range and short-term fundraising strategy to reach annual and multi-year goals. 
  5. Partner with campus staff and colleagues to host on-campus and regional UW-Whitewater engagement events. 
  6. Travel efficiently and effectively in-state as well as to assigned out-of-state regions to encourage philanthropy and alumni engagement among top prospects. 
  7. Document and report on donor engagement activities through frequent database updates, regular meetings with university leadership, and demonstrable key performance indicators.
  8. Due to the nature of the work, occasional evening and weekend responsibilities, as well as in-state and out-of-state travel, are essential parts of the position.

B. Program Liaison - College of Education and Professional Studies

  1. Serve as the philanthropy liaison to the College of Education and Professional Studies. Assist the Dean, faculty and staff, in establishing philanthropy and alumni engagement strategy, including donor stewardship events, alumni engagement opportunities, and fundraising. 
  2. Assist program staff in setting annual and long-range fundraising goals and establishing strong donor relationships. 
  3. Actively cultivate a philanthropy culture within the University by developing trust-based relationships with faculty, staff, and students.

C. Alumni Engagement

  1. Work with the University Relations team to plan programs and events to increase alumni engagement. Attend events to provide assistance and identify/cultivate/steward major gift prospect relationships. 
  2. Recruit volunteers for boards and engagement opportunities to involve alumni and friends in the life of the University.

D. Other Tasks

  1. As a member of the University Relations team, maintain accurate records, attend and contribute to division meetings and keep current on Foundation policies and procedures. 
  2. Serve as the lead on special projects, as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree
  • A passion for philanthropy and higher education
  • Fundraising experience
  • Demonstrated strong work ethic 
  • Ability to work independently 
  • Professional track record of proven professionalism, responsibility, success, and team collaboration

Desired Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated interest in fundraising background in a higher education setting 
  • Database and CRM experience 
  • Strong written and oral communication, customer service skills 
  • Two to five years of professional and/or development experience in a higher education or non-profit organization.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Integrity and demonstration of relationship-building skills 
  • Strong written and oral communication skills 
  • Tech-friendly with interests in analytics 
  • A strategic mind 
  • Ability to take direction, work independently, and be a part of a collaborative team 
  • Ability to interact respectfully with people from diverse socioeconomic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds 
  • Willingness and ability to be an active participant in following applicable safety rules and regulations including necessary training and drills


Well-qualified candidates can expect a starting annual salary of $60,000.

UW System employees receive an excellent benefit package. To learn more about the UW System's comprehensive benefit package, review the UW System Employee Benefits Brochure.

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