Chief Financial Officer

The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA)*, the private fundraising and alumni relations organization for the University of Wisconsin-Madison is recruiting for a Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the CFO has a critical role in developing and implementing fiscal management and reporting strategies across the organization. As a member of the senior leadership team, the CFO will be an advisor to the CEO, President and Chief Advancement Officer, board of directors, and other relevant internal stakeholders, evaluating and assisting them with their budgeting, financial monitoring, planning, and analysis. In conjunction with the board of directors and the budget, audit, and investment committees of the board, the CFO will be responsible for overseeing all fiscal and fiduciary responsibilities for the organization. Within this financially complex foundation, the CFO will provide a breadth of expertise, supervision, and guidance in the areas of fund accounting, financial reporting and analysis, audit oversight and management, risk management, policy development, internal control, general accounting, budgeting and forecasting, financial investment accounting, and gift services. The CFO is a key point of contact and liaison to the Chief Investment Officer and the investment team. The CFO is also an important partner to campus finance departments regarding management of gift funds.

Who is WFAA?

The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association is a private, nonprofit corporation that encourages individuals and organizations to make gifts to the university and to connect with the UW. In 2014, the UW Foundation merged with the Wisconsin Alumni Association® to better serve a growing population of UW alumni and donors. We believe that private support grows out of good relationships between campus leaders, faculty and program staff who need support, and the alumni and friends who want to invest in UW–Madison. We provide important engagement opportunities to link UW–Madison alumni to each other and to their alma mater, building a strong community of Badgers.


Diversity and Inclusion:

Just as the university community benefits from differing viewpoints, perspectives, and experiences, inclusion and diversity are imperative for the success of our mission. WFAA values people and the differences that they bring to the organization and creates an environment in which all staff members and constituents feel respected and have opportunities to thrive. 

Primary Responsibilities

  • Assesses organizational performance against both the annual budget and the organization’s long- term strategy; develops tools and systems to provide critical financial information to the CEO and President and Chief Advancement Officer and makes actionable recommendations.
  • Engages the CEO and President and Chief Advancement Officer, and budget committee of the board of directors to develop short, medium, and long-term financial plans and projections.
  • Responsible for advising the CEO on the appropriate recommendations for key business model parameters such as the institutional advancement fee, chargeback rates, and interest payments on the short-term investment pool.
  • Advises the CEO and President and Chief Advancement Officer on the appropriate rate of growth in advancement operations and levels of organizational reserves, while ensuring the business model can deliver those objectives.
  • Advises the CEO on appropriate level of risk to implement the Board’s goals and risk tolerances to design an investment strategy for the general fund and short-term investment pool.
  • Advises the CEO on management and risk taking in the STIP in relation to other revenue opportunities.
  • Oversees all accounts, ledgers, and reporting systems, ensuring compliance with appropriate GAAP and regulatory requirements. Maintains internal control safeguards and directs all audit activities.
  • Oversees budgeting and the implementation of budgets to monitor progress and present financial metrics both internally and externally.
  • Develops financial business plans and forecasts in alignment with organizational strategy.
  • Develops and utilizes forward-looking, predictive models and activity-based financial analyses to provide insight into the organization’s operations and business plans.
  • Directs the development, implementation and maintenance of financial policies and accounting controls; ensures compliance with all laws, regulations, and standards.
  • Coordinates with independent audit and tax team and organization personnel to ensure audits run smoothly, are completed in a timely manner, and any issues are resolved.
  • Designs, implements, and maintains operating policies and procedures to ensure gift/other revenue transactions are recorded in the CRM system on an accurate and timely basis, consistent with donor intent, core WFAA objectives, and industry standards.
  • Provides oversight of facilities and optimizes their value to WFAA.

Requirements and Qualifications

Required Qualifications:

  • 10+ years financial leadership experience within accounting, compliance, investment, and management.
  • 10+ years of broad finance experience including gathering and evaluating financial information and making actionable recommendations to senior leadership.
  • Bachelor’s degree in finance, Business Administration, or equivalent experience. Master’s degree preferred.


The following describes the ideal experience and attributes a successful candidate will offer:

  • CPA designation with the knowledge and experience necessary to manage and lead within a financially complex organization.
  • Significant experience providing oversight to audit activities as well as managing reporting, budget development and analysis, general ledger, and accounting for investments.
  • Experience in a senior financial management role, partnering with executive staff to develop, model, and implement financial management strategies.
  • Proven experience assessing and managing financial and business risk and making appropriate recommendations and decisions.
  • Strong leadership skills with the ability to influence and engage direct and indirect reports and peers.
  • Proven track record of success facilitating progressive financial system, process, and procedural changes within a financially complex organization.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills with the ability to effectively interface with senior management, staff, the board of directors, and various external constituents and partners.
  • Excellent analytical and abstract reasoning skills.

WFAA is committed to provide our employees with an environment that is inspiring, creative and respectful. We offer competitive pay and an excellent benefits program, which includes a 10% 401k contribution after 1 year of service!

The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer *The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association ( is the “doing business as” name of the merged organization comprising the University of Wisconsin Foundation ( and the Wisconsin Alumni Association ( Its legal corporate name is registered as the University of Wisconsin Foundation.