Development Associate

Badger Institute - Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Are you passionate about free markets and creating a more prosperous Wisconsin? Are you interested in building the reach of a rapidly growing nonprofit? Are you ready to launch a rewarding fundraising career that connects passionate supporters to a cause they care about?

The Badger Institute seeks a Development Associate that will be part of a small fundraising and communications team that supports its public policy programs. This full-time position with benefits in our downtown Milwaukee office will provide support to senior staff with a focus on acquisition and stewardship efforts for individual donors and foundations.

The ideal candidate will have some working knowledge in the non-profit industry, some experience in the conservative/liberty network, confidence in oral and written communication, and strong organizational and project management skills.

He or she should be highly skilled at multitasking and managing priorities independently and demonstrate consistent and close attention to detail. Flexibility and adaptability are key.

The Organization

The Badger Institute, formerly the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit institute established in 1987 working to engage and energize Wisconsinites and others in discussions and timely action on key public policy issues critical to the state’s future, growth, and prosperity. The institute’s research and public education activities are directed to identify and promote public policies in Wisconsin that are fair, accountable, and cost-effective.

The Institute’s work focuses on such issue arenas as state and local government tax policy and spending, federalism, education, transportation, economic development, professional licensure requirements, criminal justice, and other issues that have a significant impact on the quality of life and future of the state.

The Badger Institute is guided by a belief that competitive free markets, limited government, private initiative, and personal responsibility are essential to our democratic way of life.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Consistently and promptly conduct donor communications including introductory, thank-you, and follow-up phone calls and emails.
  • Organize and send written communications to include thank-you letters, letters of inquiry to charitable foundations, and collateral materials.
  • “Manage up” to the President by teeing up personal donor meetings and prompting key donor moves.
  • Moves management and data tracking within a donor database (CRM) portal. This will include but not be limited to tracking activities and contact with donors, list segmentation and management, and tracking donation data.
  • Attend events with Badger Institute staff, and assist with donor acquisition efforts, data collection, and cultivating current donors.
  • Coordinate and support the organization’s senior staff members to prepare them for events, donor visits, and for making asks.
  • Design and carry out donor-recognition steps for individual donors.
  • Coordinate email campaigns and social media content as needed.
  • • Other duties as assigned by the President and as required by the organization. Some travel (mostly in-state) and evening/weekend assignments required.

Required Qualifications

  • A bachelor’s degree, preferably in liberal arts or the humanities.
  • Strong writing ability.
  • Exceptional conversational ability, in person and over the phone.
  • Superior organizational and task management skills, and user skills with office software including word processing, spreadsheet, and database programs

Desired Qualifications

  • Paid and/or volunteer experience at a conservative, libertarian, or right of center organization.
  • 1-3 years professional experience in a nonprofit, particularly in a development role.


This is a full-time position with benefits including two weeks paid vacation, sick pay, and a SEP-IRA retirement plan. Starting salary range is $40,000-$45,000 depending on experience, with room for professional growth over time.

To Apply: Send a resume to Matt Gerken at

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