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Job Description


Prospect Researcher (#574)


40 hrs. per wk, 52 wks. per yr.

8:30 am to 5:00 pm  Some overtime and evening/weekend as required

Summary of Duties

The Prospect Researcher reports directly to the Director of Advancement Services, Scholarship & Stewardship but works closely with the University Advancement Staff to deal with functions related to prospect research. The Prospect Researcher identifies and profiles individual, corporate, and foundation donors, and researches prospects for major gifts, endowed gifts, special project funding, and annual/sustaining support; provides written reports about specific donors and prospects, containing an analysis of information gathered from public sources. The Prospect Researcher is expected to use initiative and sound judgment in carrying out related responsibilities within the framework of Development policies and procedures. He/she strategize with Development Staff regarding prospect identification and cultivation, and collaborates to develop donor prospect reports appropriate to departmental needs.



Bachelor's degree or equivalent combination of education and work experience. 

Work Experience Requirements

One to two years of experience in higher education development, specifically in prospect research preferred.  This position requires the ability to make sound judgment to identify unknown sources.  Strong written and verbal communication skills, an attention to detail, an aptitude for logical thinking, a commitment to professional ethics, and the ability to interact with development staff, as well as experience working in non-profit sector and with sensitive and confidential information.  Strong computer skills, including proficiency with Microsoft Office, The Raiser’s Edge, searching on-line databases and the internet. Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment and meet goals in a timely manner.

Essential Elements

General responsibilities fall into the areas of Prospect Identification, Prospect Research, Prospect Tracking, and Prospect Management. 

  • Assume primary responsibility for meeting the prospect identification and research needs of Development staff, enabling them to meet fundraising goals.  Conduct research on individuals, corporations, and foundations (utilizing various search engines, print and electronic sources, Donor Search, and the Raiser’s Edge). 
  • Develop and implement necessary coding and moves management structure to ensure prospects are moved through a dynamic prospect pipeline from qualification to cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. 
  • Anticipate the necessity for and conduct in-depth prospect research and produce factual and evaluative information on parents, alumni, potential trustees, and other prospective donors. Write profiles, event bios, and research memos as necessary in a consistent manner. 
  • Meet regularly with gift officers, keeping abreast of their activities and the initiatives and programs underway within their departments, in order to assist with developing strategies for prospects. 
  • Maintain all prospect research fields of data in the Raiser’s Edge database. 
  • Review local and national news and business publications, as well as other internet sources, keeping abreast of prospect information and local and regional business developments and economic trends.  Send articles to staff as appropriate. 
  • Advise Development staff about new prospect possibilities as appropriate or requested. 
  • Stay abreast of prospect research trends and use both standard and novel prospect research techniques and tools to identify new prospects and complete donor background requests, including periodical and electronic screening and/or information provided by the prospect or his/her organization.  
  • Maintain policies and procedures for the prospect research program.  Manage research information services and negotiate annual contracts.  Utilize Development database (The Raiser’s Edge) to track contact with prospects by all University Officials and store prospect data including ratings, status, and profile information.  
  • Maintain estate files of established bequests and handle all processes needed to finalize the procurement of estate funds including communication with estate representatives and attorneys, completing paperwork, and keeping all relevant University offices apprised of estate statuses. 
  • Create reports and queries in the Raiser’s Edge database; assist with general analysis of data as it relates to alumni activities, fundraising, and donor recognition. 
  • Demonstrate ability to work independently, prioritize work, and independently manage multiple, diverse and competing priorities while meeting deadlines. 
  • Working with the Director of Advancement Services, Scholarship & Stewardship, become proficient in the use of Raiser’s Edge software and assist in providing training to staff within University Advancement. 
  • Safeguard the confidentiality of donor information at all times.  Must adhere to ethical and confidentiality guidelines.  
  • Remain competent and current through self-directed professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues, attending professional development courses, and attending training and/or courses when available. 
  • Maintain the professional and ethical standards set forth for the field by the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA). 
  • Assist with database maintenance projects including global changes. 
  • Perform other responsibilities as required.

Other Elements

 Must have a strong commitment to the mission and goals of Marywood and the desire to assist the University in achieving these goals.


Physical Demands

Walk, sit, stand, reach, travel, evening and weekend schedules as necessary.

Marywood University is committed to being an equitable and inclusive workplace, and we encourage applicants who share our vision to apply. EEO/AA employer.
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