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Associate Director, Prospect Research

Department: Offices of Development & Alumni Affairs Effective Date: February, 2010

USG 12-13

35 hr/wk

Reports to: Senior Director, Advancement Services

General Accountability

Reporting to the Senior Director, Advancement Services, the Associate Director of Prospect Research (Associate Director), is responsible for providing a full range of research support to the University’s development programs with a focus on major gift fund-raising ($100,000+ capability) and principal gifts ($1M+). In this capacity, the Associate Director will provide strategic leadership and oversight for the prospect research function, direct research staff, and work closely with development officers as a partner in helping them achieve their fundraising objectives. The Research unit plays an important role in identifying donors with the capacity to give, and in effectively helping to focus the efforts of the major gifts staff.

Nature and Scope

The Associate Director Prospect Research oversees a team of three Research Officers, a Research Data Specialist and the occasional co-op student.  She/he works with External Relations fundraisers including Associate Vice Presidents, Directors, Associate Directors and other Development professionals to assist with and provide strategy, analysis and research support on $100,000+ capacity prospects to the University.


The Associate Director is also directly involved in the collection, analysis and interpretation of biographical, corporate, foundation and financial information gleaned from a wide variety of sources. The Research team gathers, records, and utilizes information on current and potential significant donors to the University, develops and implements donor prospect rating and tracking systems, develops written profiles on donor prospects, maintains currency of data on the database, and recommends funding strategies as appropriate.


Analysis and interpretation of vast amounts of information to identify the most pertinent points is a key task for the Prospect Research unit. The resulting profiles are used in the cultivation and solicitation process by the University President, the V-P, External Relations, Deans and Faculty Members, Corporate and Peer Volunteers, and Development and Alumni Officers in ODAA, the six faculties, some unique departments (Library & Athletics), and the Colleges.


The Manager’s role is proactive in expanding the pool of potential major gift prospects and is also reactive and responsive to research requests from staff in the Development Office, President’s Office and Faculty offices. Writing/proofreading need to be employed and a good understanding of the English language, both written and spoken, is highly important.


The Manager develops, implements, and maintains effective research methods, administrative processes, and efficient data collection and dissemination. The incumbent is an essential resource person in the development and maintenance of various databases. In this capacity, the Manager is responsible for ensuring data integrity, and upholding standards of input for Major Prospect information. The Manager plays a significant role in systems upgrades, new systems acquisitions and implementation.


The Manager maintains a prospect tracking and clearance system for all major donor prospects. This involves regular interaction with all Development Officers to determine who their major prospects are, determining others who are interested in these prospects, and ensuring that clearance and coding in all databases reflects the current clearance status. In conjunction with this responsibility, he/she co-ordinates the information flow among Development staff for major prospects/donors and participates in regular Major Prospect Management meetings. The Manager is an integral partner in the preparation of prospect solicitation strategies. This requires a firm understanding of projects requiring funding so that relevant information is included in profiles.


The Manager is a member of the Advancement Strategy & Knowledge (ASK) Team, Principal Gifts Team, Prospect Clearance Committee, Directors & Associate Directors (DAD) Team, and other ad hoc committees as required.


Other positions reporting to the Senior Director, Advancement Services include: Associate Director, Systems; Manager, Finance (ODAA); and Administrative Secretary.


The Associate Director of Prospect Research works closely with the Associate Vice President, Principal Gifts & Campaigns; Associate Vice President, Development & Campaigns; Director, Corporations & Foundations; Faculty/College Advancement Directors; Associate Directors; Senior Development Officers; Leadership Officers; and Managers in the Central Office; Faculty Development Officers, and Annual Fund and Alumni professionals to gather contact notes, track results, handle diverse research and reports requests. He/she also maintains close working relationships with Records, Gift Processing and Systems staff, as well as other departments on campus including Cooperative Education and Career Services and the Office of Research. These departments provide valuable information regarding prospect involvement with the University.

Statistical Data

# Major Research Profiles annually- 500                          

# Minor Research Profiles annually- 600

# major prospect records on the database – 2,700

# records on the database – 335,000

# paper files in the department – 12,000+

Research budget - $40,000 (non salary) per year

Specific Accountabilities

Working Conditions