Development Assistant opening at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

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The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is seeking a Development Assistant to expand the organization’s fundraising capacity through prospect research, database management and donor communications in alignment with fundraising strategy.

This position is ideal for a highly organized, creative person who is comfortable joining a hard-working staff of journalists and development professionals in a fast-paced environment.

This position is funded by and will receive support from the American Journalism Project, a venture philanthropy firm dedicated to local news. The American Journalism Project believes in civic journalism as a public good and is reimagining its future by building a model to finance and sustain the local news our democracy requires. 

About us

The Center is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that focuses on government accountability and quality of life issues important to the people of Wisconsin. Our multimedia journalism digs into undercovered issues, documents broken and failing systems, puts findings into regional and national context, and explores potential solutions. The Center also trains current and future investigative journalists through workshops, internships and fellowships, mentoring, and collaborations with journalism classes and news organizations. And we share information about journalistic practices, ethics and impact with the public. The Center’s guiding values: Protect the vulnerable. Expose wrongdoing. Explore solutions. 

Wisconsin Watch’s award-winning reports are published at and content is made available at no charge to news organizations through our own distribution system plus a nationwide partnership with the Associated Press. 

Over its 12-year history, the Center has grown from a one-person nonprofit to a million-dollar organization with the intent to double its budget in 2022. This is an incredibly exciting time for the Center. The right candidate will play a pivotal role in growing the organization in a very short period of time and, in doing so, transform journalism in Wisconsin by expanding the Center’s production of investigative, collaborative journalism throughout the state. 

A successful candidate should understand the Center’s role in the news environment and share a commitment to its mission and values. We are looking for someone who possesses an understanding of nonprofit fundraising, philanthropy and journalism. 


This new position will assist in the Center’s fundraising with prospect research, donor correspondence, database management and fundraising strategy, as well as helping with event management, sponsorships and grant management, as needed. Reporting to the Development Director, the Development Assistant will help grow the organization’s development relationships to support the Center’s staff and overall mission. 


The Development Assistant will: 

Research donor prospects using wealth screening tools, online research and databases.Assist in donor communications and donor meeting preparation.Create and maintain high quality development records in and maintain day-to-day operations of Salesforce, including recording donations on an ongoing basis in the donor database.Maintain donation data analytics to understand development and fundraising progress.Lead donor acknowledgement process. Assist in the on-going implementation of the Center’s Development Plan.Assist in maintaining accuracy of development team materials, including updating lists of supporters on the Center’s website.Manage development administrative duties including scheduling meetings, updating the organizational calendar and managing correspondence.Manage merchandise orders and shipping.Support and help execute special events, including major donor events and special fundraising events.Manage event admin and logistics, including sending invitations, tracking RSVPs and managing correspondence.


If you have just some of the skills listed below, or other skills not listed below, please consider applying for this position.

Experience working in nonprofit development.Strong communication and writing skills with a willingness to learn and grow. Flexibility and comfort working in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.Highly organized with an entrepreneurial and growth mindset.Mission-driven with a passion for public-service news and the impact news can have on our communities.Ability to handle confidential and sensitive information professionally and with discretion.Detail-oriented and energized by doing behind-the-scenes work.Enthusiasm about working in an environment that appreciates and reflects the diversity of Wisconsin.Proficiency with office software, primarily Google Suite.Experience in implementing practices for a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.Interest in solving problems and improving systems, processes and approaches. 

Bonus points if you’ve got: 

Experience researching donors and giving trends.Experience managing and tracking multiple prospects and donors.Knowledge of fundraising principles and ethics.Comfort with Salesforce and revenue data.Background in or knowledge of journalism and a curiosity about nonprofit journalism.Experience at a dynamic, statewide nonprofit.

Location: The Development Assistant should be located in or within 90 minutes of Madison or Milwaukee and expect to travel regularly to the other city and other Wisconsin locations. 

Salary range: $40,000-$50,000, commensurate with experience.

Benefits: Generous paid vacation and holiday time, sick days, family and caregiver leave, subsidized medical and dental benefits, transportation benefits and self-funded 403(b) retirement plan.

Deadline: The initial application window will be open until January 7, 2022. 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 Jay Burseth, WCIJ development director, via email: 

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism embraces 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 excluded communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Development Assistant opening at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is a post from, a non-profit investigative news site covering Wisconsin since 2009. Please consider making a contribution to support our journalism.

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