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The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is pleased to announce the hiring of its first Donor Engagement Coordinator, Zachary Peterson, who will manage the organization’s communications with donors, expand the organization’s individual donors, and advance the Center’s mission through the expansion of individual revenue. 

Zachary Peterson joined the Center in May 2022 as the first Donor Engagement Coordinator. He assists in the Center’s fundraising with prospect research, donor correspondence, database management and fundraising strategy. Prior to joining the Center, Peterson served with the Salvation Army of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, East Carolina University, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Ripon College and the Boston Preservation Alliance.

Peterson will assist in the Center’s fundraising with prospect research, donor correspondence, database management and fundraising strategy. As the newest member of the Center’s development department, he will help grow the organization’s donor relationships to support the Center’s staff and overall mission.

Peterson started in May and comes with years of experience in development, higher education and community organization, which have included creating and improving behind-the-scenes processes that have helped transform departments at his previous jobs. Prior to joining the Center, Peterson served as: the Donor Relations Assistant for the Salvation Army of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan; English Instructor at East Carolina University; Graduate Assistant Director of the Writing Center at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; Alumni/ Donor Relations Intern at Ripon College and Advocacy Intern at the Boston Preservation Alliance.

This position is funded by the American Journalism Project (AJP), a venture philanthropy dedicated to local news. Last July, AJP jointly awarded the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service $1.4 million over three years to support their efforts to reshape the local news ecosystem in Milwaukee and across Wisconsin. 

The Center will be hiring an additional position later in 2022 to lead the organization’s marketing and audience expansion efforts.

“Zachary is a great addition to our expanding team and will play a key role in our efforts to transform journalism throughout Wisconsin,” Executive Director Andy Hall said. “His experience in donor relations and skill in building connections to critical supporters will support the Center’s mission. We are excited to have him on board and we are grateful to AJP for helping to make this possible.” 

“Being a part of an organization that makes sure the stories of all Wisconsinites are being told is incredibly important to me.” Peterson said. “Being a member of the LGBTQ+ community and an individual with a disability, I know how the telling of the real stories of diverse communities is how we begin to move public conversations towards more equitable and diverse understandings of the world around us. The stories shared and told through the Center’s journalism help to broaden the mind, bridge gaps of diversity and allow us to hope for a better tomorrow.”

He can be reached at zpeterson@wisconsinwatch.org.

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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.