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Senior Researcher

Smith College
Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted date
Aug 4, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Development & Advancement, Grants & Contracts, Alumni Affairs
Salary Band
Not specified
Employment Type
Full Time
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Alumnae Relations & Development Job Description

Job Summary

Provide research support for the President, Senior VP for Alumnae Relations & Development, and philanthropic officers, including the specialized areas of presidential prospects, international and parents and families programs.

Provide groundwork for the College’s fund-raising activities by identifying, researching and prioritizing potential sources of financial support using electronic and Web-based databases. Collaborate with fundraising staff using a team-based, prospect pipeline approach. Create and solidify the relationship between prospective donors and the College by providing comprehensive biographical, financial, organizational and statistical research for Alumnae Relations & Development, key campus constituencies, trustees and other high-level volunteers.

Take appropriate actions to support a diverse workforce and participate in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.

Essential Functions

  • Assist philanthropic officers in portfolio management by providing support and attending portfolio review meetings. Partner with assigned gift officers to prioritize and develop strategies for their assigned donors. Provide data for consideration, including screening scores and relationship mapping.

  • Provide support for the President’s and Senior VP’s interaction with top donors, including event bios and full profiles. Bring forward and research potential candidates for the Board of Trustees. Undertake special projects for the Senior VP, AVPs, and other senior management as needed.

  • Employ data mining, predictive modeling, data visualization, and donor profiling techniques to increase the number and improve the quality of newly identified prospects and to address targeted fundraising initiatives. Work with vendors such as Blackbaud, Pro iWave, and Relationship Science to apply advanced analytics to our research work. Learn new research technologies as they become available.

  • Identify and research potential sources of financial and volunteer support for the college using a variety of research methods Analyze financial information to estimate all assets. Utilize Banner, Cognos, and Salesforce for reporting and business intelligence.

  • Analyze and strategize prospective donors’ gift potential, readiness to give, special interests, and connections to the college. Determine solicitation range. Develop detailed profiles containing accurate and up-to-date financial information on prospects with the potential to make significant gifts. Suggest volunteer opportunities or honors for alumnae and other potential supporters. Recommend strategies for contacting and involving prospective donors. Update research profiles and adjust ratings as circumstances change or new information is obtained.

  • Maintain ongoing communication with fund-raising staff to determine research needs; set priorities for individual work flow. Responsible for developing a working relationship with frontline fund-raisers, understanding their regional and class fund-raising priorities, managing their prospect research requests and proactively bringing new prospects to their attention. Responsible for prospect research for special initiatives.

  • Serve as a resource to Alumnae Relations & Development on various task forces such as prospect management, financial indicators, technology, optical scanning and orientation. Work with Information Services staff to improve reports, solve technology problems with our databases, etc.

Other Functions

All employees are expected to participate in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.

Minimum Qualifications (knowledge, skills, education, experience, certifications, licenses)

  • Bachelor’s degree and 5 years’ experience and/or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Experience in major gifts prospect research required, preferably in an educational fund-raising environment.

  • Experience and versatility supporting specific constituencies and fund raising initiatives such as parents and families program, international development, milestone reunions, and principal gifts preferred.

Experience working with individuals from diverse backgrounds.


  • Excellent analytical skills.

  • Proven ability to communicate in person and in writing.

  • Ability to multi task and prioritize work.

  • Ability to work as an effective member of a team.

  • Strong attention to detail.

  • Ability to discern relevant facts.

  • Proficiency in synthesizing material from multiple sources into a coherent and accurate presentation, an understanding of the role of prospect research in development.

  • Respect for privacy and confidentiality.

  • Skills in computer and information resources.

  • Ability to interact and collaborate with front-line philanthropic officers and other colleagues.

  • Strong working knowledge of computers including ability to manipulate and retrieve data, MSOffice, on-line/Web-based research, push technology and capacity to learn ever-changing technology sources

Please attach BOTH a current resume and a cover letter in order for your application to be considered for this position . You may combine your resume and cover letter into a single file or attach multiple files to your application, but BE SURE you have provided all attachments BEFORE SUBMITTING your application. You will NOT be able to attach additional files after you have hit the Submit button.

Review of applications will begin

August 9, 2021

Compensation Grade:

Grade J

Position Type:


About Smith College

Located in Northampton, MA, Smith College is one of the largest women’s colleges in the country and is dedicated to excellence in teaching and research across the liberal arts. A faculty of outstanding scholars interact with students in small classes, as advisors, and through student-faculty research projects. The College is a member of the Five College Consortium with Amherst, Hampshire and Mt. Holyoke Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students cross-enroll and faculty cross-teach across the Five Colleges.

Smith College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or veteran status in the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of any of its programs and activities, as specified by all applicable laws and regulations. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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