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Are you passionate about ensuring access to fair, nonpartisan information for everyone? Do you believe that communities across our state deserve access to information about the issues that affect their lives?

Wisconsin Watch is excited to announce a search for a Director of Institutional Giving who is energized by our mission to drive positive change through investigative journalism and rebuilding local news. You can play a pivotal role in securing critical resources that support the goals of our growing newsroom. As an integral part of our team, you will leverage your expertise in cultivating relationships with foundations, corporations, and philanthropic organizations to generate sustainable funding that allows us to achieve our vision. Your strategic thinking, persuasive communication skills, and ability to articulate the transformative power of investigative journalism will enable you to forge strong partnerships and secure vital financial support. Together, we will empower the public with accurate, unbiased, and timely news, making a lasting difference in our changing world. Join us and become a catalyst for change in Wisconsin and beyond.

This role is funded by the American Journalism Project and is part of a multiyear partnership between Wisconsin Watch and Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service to reshape the local news ecosystem in Milwaukee and across Wisconsin.


  • Develop and implement a comprehensive institutional giving strategy aligned with Wisconsin Watch’s mission and funding needs.
  • Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with current and prospective institutional donors through regular communication, meetings and networking events.
  • Prepare compelling grant proposals, applications and reports in collaboration with program and development staff and ensure timely submission.
  • Work with the Development Operations Manager to identify and research potential institutional donors that align with the organization’s goals.
  • Collaborate with the finance and operations team to ensure compliance with grant requirements and reporting obligations.
  • Manage a portfolio of institutional donors, tracking key deadlines, deliverables and stewardship activities.
  • Assist in planning of special events designed to engage corporate and foundation program officers.
  • Stay informed about trends, best practices and policies in institutional giving and incorporate them into fundraising strategies.
  • Represent Wisconsin Watch at relevant industry conferences, events and meetings to enhance visibility and networking opportunities.


  • A strong commitment to the mission and values of Wisconsin Watch and a passion for nonprofit journalism.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in institutional fundraising, including grant writing, donor cultivation and relationship management.
  • Proven track record of successfully securing grants from foundations and corporations.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills, with the ability to articulate complex concepts clearly and compellingly.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail, with the ability to manage multiple priorities and deadlines effectively.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain strong relationships with diverse stakeholders, including institutional funders and program staff.
  • Familiarity with the Wisconsin philanthropic landscape and knowledge of relevant funding sources is highly desirable.
  • Proficiency in using fundraising databases, CRM systems and other relevant software tools.
  • Ability to work independently, take initiative and contribute to a collaborative team environment.

Location: The Director of Institutional Giving should be located in Wisconsin, preferably in the greater Madison or greater Milwaukee areas, and expect to travel to those cities at least twice a month and other Wisconsin locations as needed. 

Salary: Starts at $80,000

Benefits: Generous vacation (five weeks) plus holiday time (six days of your choosing), paid sick days, paid family and caregiver leave, subsidized medical and dental premiums, vision coverage, short term & long term disability, on-demand telehealth, $300/year transportation allowance and self-funded 403(b) retirement plan.

Deadline: Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

To apply: Please submit a PDF of your resume and answer some brief questions in this application form. If you’d like to chat about the job before applying, contact Lauren Fuhrmann, Associate Director, via email: 

Wisconsin Watch embraces anti-racism, diversity and inclusiveness in its journalism, training activities, hiring practices and workplace operations. The complex issues we face as a society require respect for different viewpoints. Race, class, generation, gender and geography all affect point of view. We especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities.

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The byline "Wisconsin Watch" represents members of the Wisconsin Watch editorial and business staff.