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The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is seeking an Operations Administrator to help build and maintain the organizational infrastructure to support nonprofit journalism in Wisconsin and our mission to inform diverse communities with fact-checked reporting that strengthens democracy. This person will report to the Associate Director.

This position is ideal for a highly organized person and strong communicator who is comfortable joining a small, hard-working and flexible staff in a fast-paced environment.

This position is funded by and will receive support from the American Journalism Project, a venture philanthropy 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, the Center’s news outlet, publishes its award-winning reports at WisconsinWatch.org and content is made available at no charge to news organizations through our own distribution system plus a nationwide partnership with the Associated Press. 

A successful candidate should understand the Center’s role in the news environment and share a commitment to its mission and values. 

The Position

This new position will support our day-to-day operations and our rapidly growing team. As Operations Administrator you will work on projects big and small to further WCIJ’s work and support the organization’s staff and overall mission. You will play a central strategy role across key areas of our operations and have the following responsibilities:

Responsibilities

Human resources

  • Manage onboarding process for new employees, interns and contractors
  • Manage employee offboarding process
  • Manage WCIJ’s HR/Benefits provider and ongoing benefits administration/selection
  • Draft offer letters
  • Establish and maintain an employee handbook that is aligned with organizational strategy and values
  • Lead recruitment efforts, including posting job descriptions, fostering a diverse candidate pool, developing consistent and equitable hiring procedures, and overseeing screening of candidates
  • Manage employee HR files and legal documents
  • Plan, lead, develop, implement and coordinate policies, training, initiatives and surveys to support the organization’s mission and staff needs
  • Ensure diverse equitable and inclusive practices are established and aligned with organizational culture
  • Support other human resources activities as needed

Office and IT

  • Research and recommend in-person and remote work solutions, including co-working space and technology
  • Research, recommend and purchase centralized services, with an emphasis on procurement and sourcing of diverse businesses and vendors
  • Oversee and develop contracts and manage vendor agreements, resolving issues when they arise
  • Procure and manage laptops and office equipment for staff
  • Help to coordinate meetings and travel schedules; assist staff with calendar management
  • Manage general/admin email inbox
  • Be a go-to person for senior colleagues to help resolve operational issues
  • Communicate operational matters to the wider team as relevant

Finance

  • Assist with bookkeeping and monthly financial reporting in coordination with staff and CPA
  • Support tracking and oversight of the operations team budget
  • Support the development of the annual budgeting process and budget tracking
  • Administer various financial platforms, including payroll. Keep team members up to speed on deadlines and action items assigned to them in the systems.
  • Manage company credit card
  • Manage mail collection and Bank deposits
  • Closely support our annual audit
  • Oversee donor platforms (Paypal, Benevity, etc.) and provide support to the development team
  • Track and provide financial information as needed for grant reporting purposes
  • Assist with preparation for Board of Directors meetings

Qualifications

If you have just some of the skills listed below, or others we failed to list, please consider applying for this position. We are a small, nimble organization that makes the best use of the skills of its staff and is dedicated to developing them.

  • Great task and project management skills, including the ability to integrate big picture goals with specific tasks needed to move complex projects forward effectively 
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to keep track of multiple competing demands 
  • Excellent problem-solving ability and superior attention to detail 
  • Strong customer service approach and solution-oriented mindset 
  • Discretion and confidentiality when communicating about sensitive topics 
  • Ability to build trust-based relationships with WCIJ’s full team, even in a virtual setting. We may be remote but we use smart tools to stay engaged and attentive to one another. We also have regular in-person meetings to help us remain unified as a team. 
  • Flexibility and comfort working in an environment where multitasking is the norm, the pace is fast, and priorities will evolve 
  • Proficient with office software, primarily the Google Suite, including strong spreadsheet and presentation (slides) design skills 
  • Relevant work experience (e.g. nonprofit operations, human resources, executive support, back-office support for a growing company)

Bonus points if you’ve got: 

  • Curiosity about philanthropy or nonprofit journalism, and a connection to our mission 
  • Experience using customer relationship management tools (Salesforce) and document management solutions (e.g. Box.com, Google Drive) 
  • Experience with human resources software and policies

Location: The operations administrator 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: $50,000-$60,000, 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 December 10, 2021. 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: jburseth@wisconsinwatch.org 

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 underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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The byline "Wisconsin Watch" represents members of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's editorial and public engagement and marketing staff.