The Director of Prospect Research performs advanced prospect research, generates new leads, recommends gift officer portfolio assignments, contributes to prospect development strategies, and writes profiles of key prospects. The role’s work is a combination of proactive data mining to identify new leads and responsive fulfillment of data requests from gift officers and University leaders. This role requires flexibility, confidence, strategic thinking, and the ability to provide deep, targeted research on new opportunities for philanthropic support. Using a broad spectrum of both public and specialized proprietary data sources, the director retrieves, organizes, analyzes, synthesizes, and evaluates a prospect's financial net worth, capacity to give, propensity to give, charitable interests, and current and potential connections to the University. Equipped with this information, the Director recommends potential paths for relationship development and, at later stages, appropriate specific ask types and sizes.
The Director prepares biographical profiles that highlight insights that can support gift officers' successful efforts. To address various needs, profiles vary from simple event/activity participant profile reports to extensive, multi-faceted studies. This role anticipates the necessity for in-depth prospect research to produce factual and evaluative information on Alumni, Profiles and organizations, potential trustees, and other prospective donors. THe Director will monitor the University calendar, plans of the President and senior executives, and upcoming events and begin preparations well in advance. This role reports to the Associate Vice President of Strategic Planning and Analytics and will manage staff, make hiring decisions, provide coaching, training and mentoring, manage performance, and determine staffing needs.
10+ years experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience, with at least three years’ experience overseeing the work of other professional staff. Understanding of fundraising and prospecting in a complex organization.
15+ years prospect research experience in a higher education setting, and demonstrated strengths in prospect strategy development, profile writing, and crafting suggested asks.
Required Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:
• Understanding of greater philanthropic landscape, including foundations and corporate giving
• Understanding of fundraising-focused prospect research principles and methods
• Understanding of corporate and organizational structures and hierarchies
• Understanding of relational databases
• Experience with subscription research tools to conduct detailed background research on individuals, businesses, and organizations, including relationship mapping
• Experience with donor databases and prospect management systems
• Familiarity with Data mining methodologies
• Familiarity with strategic planning, budgeting, business analytics, and productivity projections
• Strong analytical, written, and verbal communication skills
• Collaborative & collegial style with ability to manage complex situations
Preferred Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:
• Manage priorities of multiple simultaneous projects and meet assigned deadlines
• Access and collect information from relational databases
• Demonstrate discretion, robust professional ethics, and confidentiality with personal data
• Take initiative and work independently
• Comprehend, analyze, digest, and summarize complex sets of information
• Synthesize complex data and produce concise, clear, and actionable reports
• Learn quickly and adapt well to new situations
• Willingness to learn new tools, technologies, and skill sets, and adapt to a growing and changing development environment
• Work successfully in a diverse team environment
• Maintain positive and respectful engagement with colleagues and clients
• Adhere to unit and university policies and procedures
• Work effectively in a multi-faceted organization and develop mutually respectful relationships with stakeholders at all levels as well as diverse individuals and communities