Program Manager, Advancement Programs

The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA)*, the private fundraising and alumni relations organization for UW-Madison, is recruiting for a Program Manager to join our Alumni Relations and Engagement Team!  In this position, you will lead the design, development and implementation of advancement programs and initiatives that meaningfully engage UW-Madison alumni and donors and amplify their relationship with the university.  Successful candidates will have demonstrated the ability to develop engagement strategies, plan and oversee the execution of a variety of constituent events and activities, form positive relationships with partners and stakeholders, and take initiative to ensure project success. This is a hybrid role that will require you to work in our Madison, WI office location at least two days weekly.

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

Program Design and Management

  • Leads the planning, development and implementation of organization-sponsored activities which engage alumni and donors in the life of the university and with each other.
  • In collaboration with colleagues in other functional areas, create annual plans for engaging alumni and donors through high quality, meaningful activities which advance the university and organizational objectives.
  • Create program briefs that state clear intent and goals of programs and initiatives.
  • Leads and manages program planning and implementation teams.
  • Provides expertise on matching appropriate content and event experience to audience and objectives.
  • Identifies, recruits, and manages the relationship with faculty, staff, and alumni speakers and other program content providers.
  • Communicates regularly with appropriate stakeholders on program planning.
  • Provides on-site leadership and oversight during program and event implementation.
  • Applies alumni engagement metrics to strategic engagement planning to maximize return on investment.
  • Manages staff and alumni volunteers leading up to and during event implementation.
  • Manages and oversees program evaluation and data collection.

Constituent Relations

  • Provides exceptional customer service to internal and external constituents.
  • Responds professionally, promptly and courteously to inquiries from internal and external constituents, taking the initiative to seek information and resolution.
  • Communicates frequently and proactively with internal and external constituents and stakeholders.
  • Intentionally solicits feedback and participation from alumni and donors in the design and development of engagement activities.
  • Strengthens relationships with alumni and donors by attending organization-sponsored activities.
  • Cultivates and manages relationships with volunteers.


  • Effectively manages programs and project plans, consistently meeting deadlines and using available resources to address challenges.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of and effectively utilizes organizational administrative polices, processes and technology tools.
  • Manages documentation of program concept, design and development.
  • Initiates and oversees reporting on engagement outcomes.
  • Actively engages in process improvement and implements changes to make improvements when appropriate.

Requirements and Qualifications

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelors Degree or equivalent experience.
  • 3 + years full-time professional work in outreach programs, education, event planning or similar.

Other Qualifications:

  • Experience with higher education advancement and working with volunteers and donors is preferred.
  • Demonstrated abilities in project management, program development and event planning. 
  • High degree of proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and Outlook) essential.
  • Experience with higher education advancement and working with volunteers and donors is preferred.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment, and lead inclusive program teams with participants from diverse backgrounds
  • Excellent oral and written skills and strong planning, organization and administrative skills.
  • Ability to effectively interact with internal and external clients and constituents of diverse backgrounds.
  • Excellent verbal and written skills; at ease when speaking and presenting ideas in a group setting. Willingness to share knowledge and initiate knowledge transfet.
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities from multiple stakeholders.
  • Ability to work independently, take initiative, demonstrated engagement in projects and meet deadlines.
  • Delivers and receives feedback objectively for the good of the team and the project.

WFAA is committed to provide our employees with an environment that is inspiring, creative and respectful. We offer a competitive salary 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.