Advancement Research Specialist Job Description

Job Summary

To support the College in achieving its ambitious plans, the Office of Institutional Advancement is adding experienced staff in areas critical to building a successful fundraising operation. Reporting to the Director of Institutional Support, the Advancement Research Specialist will be responsible for providing high-level research, writing and administrative support to the major gifts and foundation relations areas of the Institutional Advancement office.  The successful candidate will possess excellent prospect research and writing skills in order to help identify donors and foundations; craft donor profiles/briefs and correspondence; and assist in writing materials for communications/PR purposes.

Responsibilities Required

Research and Writing:

  • Use both standard and innovative prospect research techniques and tools to identify new prospects
  • Conduct research and screening of donor prospects using WealthEngine and other tools
  • Write detailed profiles and analyses of individual prospects for gift cultivation and board recruitment
  • Serve as primary writer for acknowledgement letters, stewardship reports and any other correspondence with major donors, alumni, and friends of the College
  • Identify and research foundation prospects for grant proposals; write foundation prospect reports for grants pipeline consideration by VP and Director of Institutional Support
  • Assist in writing foundation grant reports, letters of inquiry, and grant acknowledgement letters
  • Conduct literature reviews and research background information, best practices and other required data for proposal development

Advancement Communications:

  • Assist in the design, development, and dissemination of print and web materials designed to promote the College and its work to external audiences—with specific attention to foundations, corporations, philanthropists, and alumni
  • Work with the Communications/Public Relations/Marketing team to research and write annual giving donor impact stories for reports, publications, websites, videos, etc.

Other Duties and Responsibilities:              

  • Assist in maintaining foundation, corporation, and individual donor files up to date and securely filed
  • Perform administrative support as needed, such as processing reimbursement and check requests, scheduling and coordinating internal and external meetings, and printing and copying meeting materials

Education & Experience Required

  • Bachelor’s Degree with experience in prospect research and writing, preferably related to fundraising
  • At least two years of related advancement experience, preferably in a not-for-profit or higher education institution

Skills and Knowledge Required

  • Demonstrated ability to identify unknown sources and the creativity to tap into new and innovative sources of information
  • Demonstrated proficiency with databases (preferably WealthEngine and Raiser’s Edge) and with Microsoft Office
  • Strong research skills related to fundraising
  • Highly organized; detail-oriented; an independent thinker capable of prioritizing daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, and completing them with minimal direction
  • Comfortable with the use of technology, including social media platforms
  • Ability to communicate effectively and to produce clear, concise, and detail-oriented reports and materials
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced and collaborative environment
  • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information appropriately
  • Some evening and weekend work required
  • Competitive salary and excellent benefits


To apply, please forward cover letter and resume to