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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.

Reporting to the Development Director, this position is ideal for a highly organized, creative person who is comfortable joining a small, committed and flexible staff working toward a mission to inform diverse communities and create local journalism that strengthens democracy.

We seek a candidate who contributes to an environment that is inclusive, empowering and diverse, supporting staff across the organization to grow and create impact at the Center and in Wisconsin. 

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, sexual orientation, gender, disability and geography all affect point of view. Reflecting these differences in our work leads to better, more-nuanced stories and a better-informed community.

We especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including Black, Indigenous and people of color, LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities.

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 inequitable and failing systems, puts findings into regional and national contexts and explores potential solutions. We aim to spark impact that improves people’s lives and holds power to account.

Wisconsin Watch also trains diverse groups of current and future investigative journalists and entrepreneurs 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.

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. 


This new position will assist in the Center’s fundraising with prospect research, donor correspondence, database management and fundraising strategy. 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 meeting preparation, communication, and acknowledgement.
  • Create and maintain high quality development records in and maintain day-to-day operations of the donor database (the Center’s current donor database is Salesforce).
  • Maintain donation data analytics to understand development and fundraising progress.
  • Assist in the on-going implementation of the Center’s Development Plan.
  • Lead maintenance 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. We are an organization that makes the best use of the skills of its staff and is dedicated to developing them.

  • Experience working in nonprofit development.
  • Strong communication and writing skills with a willingness to learn and grow. 
  • Highly organized with a growth mindset and interest in 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.
  • Dedication to 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 the greater Madison or greater Milwaukee areas and expect to travel regularly to the other city at least twice a month and other Wisconsin locations quarterly. 

Salary range: $40,000-$50,000

Benefits: Generous vacation (five weeks) and holiday time (six days of your choosing), paid sick days, paid family and caregiver leave, subsidized medical and dental premiums, $200/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 Jay Burseth, WCIJ development director, via email: 

We look forward to hearing from you!

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