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Prospect Research and Gift Specialist
Position Overview:

This role leads our research efforts to strengthen the pipeline of current and prospective donors and institutional funders.


Responsible for the research, analysis, and synthesis of large quantities of data into user-friendly and concise documents, this person will play a key role in supporting our fundraising efforts by ensuring development staff and senior leaders have the information they need to gain funding.


Overseeing the department’s constituent relationship management (CRM) software to ensure data integrity and reporting accuracy, this role supports prospect and donor moves management through portfolio reports and analysis.


This is a one year assignment, with the possibility of extension.   In addition to salary, health benefits and paid time off are provided.

Key Responsibilities:

Prospect and Philanthropic Research

  • Based on institutional fundraising strategy and priorities, conducts research using a broad range of internal and external data sources to build a pipeline of prospective institutional and individual prospects with the propensity and capacity to make substantial grants or major and principal gifts.
  • Conducts scans of the funding landscape to provide sophisticated analyses of trends and fundraising opportunities in specific issue areas to guide the institution’s and the department’s strategy.
  • Organizes and evaluates research on prospects, which includes biographical and business backgrounds, financial capacity, giving propensity, compensation, stocks/options and retirement plans, property transactions, networks and affiliations, and philanthropic and personal interests. For institutional funders, research and evaluation includes current and historical funding priorities, portfolio of grantees, public profiles of board, executive and programmatic staff, and other key relationships.
  • Develops briefings based on research and previous interactions to inform fundraising strategy and to prepare team members, executive leadership, and program staff for donor/funder visits, calls, and events. Provides timely updates and news on individual and institutional prospects drawing on traditional media, social media, and other data sources.
  • Supports CR’s Donor Acceptance Policy by screening donors and prospects to identify potential conflicts of interest with CR’s core work or other risks to reputation.
  • Remains current and fully informed on prospect research trends, best practices, and available resources in the field.
  • Ensures the Development team and executive leadership are current with trends and innovations in the field of philanthropy through regular news updates and other methods.


Prospect Management

  • Partners with the Development team, including the Directors of Individual and Institutional Giving, to identify and prioritize individual donor and institutional funding prospects and provide strategic support through research.
  • Helps the senior leadership of the Development team establish metrics for a healthy pipeline, including targets for the prospect stages of identification, qualification, cultivation, and solicitation.
  • Provides reports and analysis to guide the senior leadership of the Development team in prioritizing staff time to reach revenue goals.
  • Provides recommendations and input on the selection of donors and prospects for events, mailings, appeals, etc.
  • Supports donors in accomplishing their philanthropic goals through a meaningful relationship with CR while simultaneously securing major gifts that are aligned with CR’s mission and strategic priorities.
  • Works with the development team to manage an existing portfolio of donors and prospects; contributes to expanding the portfolio.
  • Under the guidance of senior members of the development team, may support direct, face-to-face solicitations
  • Acknowledges major donors through public and private recognition
  • Tracks and reports on progress using specific metrics


Data Management

  • Oversees the department’s donor data with regards to data entry, data hygiene, and data integrity to drive fundraising success.
  • Develops and produces reports that inform fundraising strategy and provide actionable information for fundraisers.
  • Works to integrate and align Development’s data with the institution’s data sources through the Consumer Data Hub, considering supplemental database products and other resource options to optimize synchronization.



  • Represents the Development team in cross-functional initiatives related to research, consumer data, and other initiatives.
  • Performs other duties as assigned but not those of a higher level.

Minimum of 5 years of professional experience in fundraising or related research and database management.  Expertise in fundraising databases required.  Must demonstrate strong analytical skills with ability to identify groupings, trends, etc. in large groups of data.  Strong verbal and written communication skills, particularly in distilling complex information into useful insights and developing presentations for a wide variety of audiences.  Previous experience supporting donor relations and driving development goals is beneficial; confidence and communication skills to act as an externally-facing representative of the development department is required.  Must have demonstrated success multi-tasking in a deadline driven environment.

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