Vice President of Development - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee

AFP SE WI Administrator
January 30, 2020


The Vice President of Development is responsible for the direction and oversight of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee’s fundraising efforts. The position manages all fund development efforts to meet revenue goals including annual campaign, individuals, foundations, corporations, government grants, and special events. Department goals include annual revenue, retention of current donors, increased new donors, and increased new revenue. The VP of Development demonstrates the ability to construct, articulate and implement annual strategic development plans. The VP of Development works as part of the senior leadership team to further the agency’s mission, vision and long-term strategic direction. This position leads a team of four FTE’s and one PT staff. This critical role also manages Board Committees, Board Teams, and external partnerships as deemed necessary.



  • BA/BS is required, MA or Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) is preferred


  • Minimum of five years’ experience with multi-faceted fund development, including direct supervision of paid staff
  • Proven track record of achieving revenue goals, development metrics (including new donors, high retention, new revenue initiatives, and managing a portfolio of active donors)
  • Management experience is required; building and leading a team including hiring, motivating, and evaluating team members
  • Budget management and forecasting experience are required

Competencies and Skills

  • Strong managerial skills to lead a team to success by garnering employee engagement, enforcing staff accountability, and effectively managing change
  • Results oriented; ability to create an environment of accountability and urgency that motivates team members to meet annual development goals
  • Demonstrated ability to think critically, creatively problem-solve, and use data analysis for sound decision-making. Highly developed planning skills, goal setting and performance evaluation.
  • Flexible and adaptable style; a leader who can positively impact both strategic and tactical fundraising initiatives. A professional with the ability to manage multiple priorities and projects at one time with accuracy and timeliness
  • Ability to work both independently without close oversite, but also a team player who will productively engage with others at varying levels of seniority within and outside of the agency
  • Collaboration; ability to work effectively with development team and agency colleagues, promoting cross-functional execution, analysis and team work
  • Strong organizational and time management skills with an exceptional attention to detail
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral; ability to influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term relationships
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality throughout daily operations and communications
  • Strong relationship development, solicitation, stewardship, and cultivation skills
  • Advanced computer literacy skills required; experience with Raisers Edge preferred


Staff Management

  • Directly supervise Development Team comprised of Development Coordinator, Grants Manager, Special Events Coordinator, Marketing Communications Specialist, and part time Special Events Assistant
  • The Vice President of Development will need to combine a hands-on role with specific responsibilities and maintain the strategic direction of the department
  • Create and foster a climate of excellence for all development employees with expectations and pathways to meet established goals
  • Create and maintain a donor-centered fundraising team and culture

General Fundraising Responsibilities

  • Have primary responsibility for all development efforts and activities including identifying and building relationships with new and prospective donors, active direct face-to-face solicitations and follow-up
  • Support and partner with the President & CEO to lead all major fundraising initiatives including but not limited to; creating a multi-year, strategic fund development plan to include major gifts, annual campaigns, special events, and grant writing to raise a minimum of $2.7 million annually
  • Participate as an active member of the Endowment Committee as deemed necessary. Participation will include donor research, gathering historic donor data, reporting, developing cultivation plans as deemed necessary, and working with external expertise.
  • Oversee research of funding sources and trends, with foresight, to help position BBBS ahead of major funding changes or shifts in focus
  • Nurture relationships with current and potential donors, including individuals, foundations and corporate givers; design and implement a strategic stewardship plan, including donor cultivation, recognition and special events. Must prioritize building external relationships with in-person contact and manage an active donor portfolio
  • Thorough evaluation and ongoing analysis using data and critical thinking practices to proactively manage fundraising opportunities and potential concerns
  • Manage Board of Directors Team Development Program to ensure and increase board member engagement
  • Provide accurate and timely development reports including weekly status reports, end of month reconciliation with finance and bi-monthly board reports
  • Build awareness by managing and implementing marketing and public relations activities to support aggressive annual fundraising efforts to meet or exceed annual operating goals.

Database Development and Maintenance

  • Supervise the implementation of Raiser’s Edge and oversee staff responsible for timely data entry, gift processing, accuracy and donor recognition
  • Provide detailed reports using RE to track, evaluate, analyze and project results of fundraising efforts to drive continuous improvement and results
  • Supervise Development Coordinator to ensure quality donor database systems, procedures and maintenance are implemented to monitor donor activity and satisfaction

Grants Management

  • Supervise Grants Manager by providing direction & guidance, annual operating plan, strategy development and feedback
  • Work in partnership with program managers to fulfill grant requirements as they relate to service delivery, outcomes and reporting
  • Lead the agency in grant and contract compliance. Ensure all reporting requirements and proposal deadlines are met on time
  • Direct all parties involved in grant and contract application and reporting submission including, program and finance staff, to consistently achieve high-quality results

Special Event Management

  • Supervise and support Special Events Coordinator by providing direction & guidance, annual operating plan, strategy development and feedback
  • Manage three signature special events with annual operating plans (Golf, Gala, Bowl for Kids Sake) to meet annual revenue goals
  • Create and manage volunteer committees to assist with event planning, execution as deemed necessary to meet event goals
  • Evaluate effectiveness of event fundraising and recommend new ideas, strategies to foster continuous improvement
  • Develop annual operating plans for each signature event and establish, or adjust, internal systems to increase efficiency, monitor progress and impact time management challenges

Marketing & Communications

  • Supervise and support Marketing Communications Specialist (MCS) by providing direction & guidance, annual operating plan, strategy development and feedback
  • Manage, produce and deliver development communication internally and externally to increase agency awareness, broaden donor base, recognize partnerships, sponsors and donors as deemed necessary
  • Manage development printed materials including newsletters, appeals, annual report, board correspondence, donor correspondence. Coordinate with MCS including, writing, editing, proofing, mailing and tracking responses. Coordination may include outside vendors
  • Effectively communicate fund development progress to varying audiences including CEO, Senior Leadership Team, Board of Directors, major donors
  • Serve as a public representative of the agency, including cultivating relationships with community members, supporters, donors and potential donors in order to build awareness of and commitment to Big Brothers Big Sisters work

Management & Leadership

  • Collaborate with the VP of Finance & Administration to develop, implement and monitor financial strategies to meet grant requirements and annual audit needs
  • Possess the skills to work with and motivate staff, board members and other volunteers
  • Identify, develop, and mentor the development team
  • Strategically develops annual operating plans with thoughtful options – Plan “B,” and Plan “C” to navigate anticipated, and unanticipated challenges
  • Utilizes data to drive decisions and continuous improvement
  • Collaborate, and assist, staff on the planning and execution of all development activities
  • Lead by example by projecting a positive attitude, expressing empathy, demonstrating self-awareness, self-confidence, common sense and excellent listening skills
  • Provide your team with consistent respect, proactive communication, constructive feedback, reflection, and understanding.
  • Provide solution-driven input that empowers the development team to do their best work and enjoy their job. Recognize successes & individuals. Function as thought partner and proactively trouble-shoot areas of concern.
  • Work in partnership within Big Brothers Big Sisters network to share best practices and nurture continuous improvement for development department.

Other tasks as deemed necessary based on business needs and/or the CEO.


This is an exempt position requiring a minimum of 40 hours per week and occasional nights and weekends. As a senior staff member, you may be attending a variety of community outreach events and meetings as deemed necessary. Outreach may include, but not be limited to; United Way, Community Advocates and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

 Email resume and cover letter to

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