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Chief Development Officer

Company: Wisconsin Public Radio
Date Posted: December 15, 2017

Wisconsin Public Radio

Position Announcement

Working Title: Chief Development Officer          

Unit: Wisconsin Public Radio, University of Wisconsin-Extension

Appointment: Academic Staff 100% fixed term appointment

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Availability: To ensure consideration, please apply by January 8, 2018



The Chief Development Officer (CDO) is a senior leader on the Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) team and reports to the Director of Radio.  The CDO will design and execute an integrated fundraising strategy including membership, planned giving, major gifts, on-air fundraising (pledge), business sponsorship (underwriting), grant proposals, audience services and support, fundraising events and other initiatives.  The CDO works closely with other senior leaders to develop funding goals and plans for WPR and serves as the primary WPR development liaison to the public radio system.   The CDO also serves as the liaison between WPR and the Wisconsin Public Radio Association (WPRA).  Works with the WPRA Chair, the Director of Radio and WPR staff to shape and support agendas for WPRA Board and committee meetings, and ongoing activities. Also provides executive fundraising leadership to the WPRA, solicits gifts from targeted prospects and represents WPR and WPRA development efforts to the public and WPR partners.



  1. Provide strategic leadership to achieve ambitious contributed revenue goals and integrate fundraising efforts designed to meet the financial objectives of Wisconsin Public Radio. Prepare annual and long-term development plans and evaluate plan implementation and outcomes.
  • Assure the highest ethical and administrative standards are applied to fundraising and financial management. 
  • Develop detailed annual revenue and expense budgets.  Monitor expenses and income, making strategic and tactical adjustments as necessary.  Assure that each development program is effective and efficient.
  • Provide overall direction and support for WPR’s fundraising activity portfolio, including WPR pledge drives and selected special events. 
  • Oversee information technology and Web applications related to WPR fundraising.
  • Direct WPR efforts to secure grants.

  1. Lead a staff of 35 in the areas of major gifts, planned giving, business development, and membership and audience services.   Create and inspire a climate where staff are motivated to do their best to help WPR meet its fundraising objectives. 
  • Collaborate with development leadership team to develop and implement clear strategies and challenging yet achievable goals for development team, delegating supervisory responsibilities to managers.
  • Provide feedback, coaching, and insight for managers to attain goals and stimulate self-assessment and accountability.
  • Recognize and celebrate the successful attainment of team and department goals.
  • Encourage, support and mentor the growth and development of staff to meet both their career goals and WPR’s goals.
  • Build positive energy and champion teamwork by reinforcing cooperation and collaboration with the team. 
  •  Create space for learning, dialogue, and innovation among the development team.


  1. Provide executive leadership as WPR’s liaison to the Wisconsin Public Radio Association (WPRA).
  • Maintain positive relationships with board members and provide leadership that helps engage Board members in fundraising efforts for WPR.
  • Consult with and lead WPRA board member major giving initiatives.
  • Manage Board activities including board meetings, annual membership meeting and committee meetings; ensure proper documentation, communication, meeting announcements and other organizational and logistical functions as required.  Contract with service providers as budgeted.
  • Work with WPRA on board recruitment, orientation, evaluation and education.
  • Ensure information exchange, including financial reporting, to maximize efforts of WPR development staff and WPRA board members and serve as the primary contact for questions and concerns regarding board activities and WPR activities.


  1. Represent the development department perspective and serve on the WPR Senior Management Team.  Remain conversant with industry trends to create new fundraising channels and techniques.  Serve as the primary development liaison between WPR, Wisconsin Public Television and the public radio system nationally.

  2. Provide leadership to WPR’s efforts in diversity and inclusion. Encourage and support a diverse and inclusive work environment by promoting engagement with diverse perspectives and experiences in work product and organizational decision-making, including hiring.  Promote professional development for self and staff members on conflict resolution, intercultural communication, dialogue and deliberation, and multicultural awareness.


  1. Maintain the standards of executive ethics and excellence described in Ethical Guidelines for Editorial Staff:



Conceive, plan and implement fundraising strategies to meet the financial objectives of WPR. 

Lead development department staff using emotionally intelligent leadership practices.

Develop annual revenue and expense budgets and track progress. 

Provide executive leadership as WPR’s liaison to the Wisconsin Public Radio Association.

Develop annual departmental plans with program managers and oversee them.

Ability to work non-standard hours for special events and pledge drives. 


SALARY:  Competitive salary based on experience and qualifications.  UW-Extension offers a comprehensive benefits package, including generous vacation, sick leave, healthcare and pension.  Learn more about it here:



  1. Bachelor’s degree with 10 years of progressively more responsible management experience with a broad portfolio in not-for-profit organizations or equivalent.
  2. Proven leadership and management skills with the ability to motivate and inspire teams, and to effectively delegate responsibilities and authority.
  3. Ability to seek and leverage different perspectives to create a respectful, diverse and inclusive environment.
  4. Proven track record of achieving revenue targets and deep knowledge of fundraising practices and ethics.
  5. Demonstrated ability to research, prospect, cultivate, and manage major donors.
  6. Strong verbal and written communications skills with demonstrated ability to express self clearly and persuasively to influence and energize others.
  7. Ability to use range of skills such as tact, diplomacy, empathy, courage and humility when needed. 
  8. Demonstrated ability to think strategically with a thorough understanding of strategic development.
  9. Strong computer skills and proficiency with donor databases and software.


  1. Public media experience.
  2. Experience utilizing social media tools to promote giving.
  3. Board development and leadership experience.

HOW TO APPLY: To ensure consideration, submit all application materials online at our applicant portal by January 8, 2018; this is job #13822. Please include:  a detailed cover letter outlining how your background and experience compares to the job duties and qualifications of this position,  a resume, and the names and contact information, including email addresses, for three to five work references, including at least one supervisory reference and one employee reference  Direct inquiries and online support questions to:  Carla Anderson, Wisconsin Public Radio, 821 University Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, 608-263-2163;



This document can be made available in alternative formats by calling the person listed above.


An offer of employment is contingent upon establishment of identity and verification of employment eligibility as required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.


A criminal records background check will be conducted for final candidates. In compliance with the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, the University does not discriminate on the basis of arrest or conviction record. Convictions and pending charges will be considered only if they are substantially related to the circumstances of this position.


As a unit within the University of Wisconsin Extension, WPR is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer and no qualified applicant will be eliminated from consideration. WPR is committed to achieving a diverse workforce and to maintaining an atmosphere of diversity and inclusion.  We want our staff and programming to reflect the rich culture and diversity of our state and actively encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.