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Director of Prospect Research

Job Details

Fairfield University is a co-educational, comprehensive Jesuit university with a 200-acre campus located along the scenic shoreline community of Fairfield, CT. The University is comprised of approximately 3,500 undergraduate and 1,200 graduate students pursuing degrees within 5 schools: The College of Arts and Sciences, The Charles F. Dolan School of Business, The School of Engineering, The Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, and School of Education and Human Development. As an expression of our Jesuit, Catholic mission and identity, Fairfield embraces a liberal humanistic approach to education, encouraging critical thinking, cultivating free and open inquiry, and fostering ethical and religious values.

Job Description:

About the Position

Reporting to the Senior Associate Vice President for Advancement (SAVP), the Director of Prospect Research and Management (the Director) will be an integral member of the Advancement team and will play an important role in campaign planning activities. The Director will define, implement, and manage the prospect research and management program and will leverage innovative analytics to maximize the potential of the University’s overall prospect pipeline to ensure the success of the campaign and all fundraising efforts. Using industry best practices, the Director will develop, implement, and streamline business processes, including those relating to prospect research, portfolio development and management, and fundraiser performance metrics. The Director will lead, develop, and manage a staff of two and will work collaboratively with the Assistant Vice President, Advancement Operations & Campaign Director, and the Senior Director of Advancement Technology & Information Services to ensure the work of the departments is coordinated to maximize prospect and fundraising opportunities.

Key Responsibilities
  • Provide strategic leadership for the Prospect Research and Management department by articulating, implementing, and achieving the department’s strategic vision and annual work plans and goals, in alignment with University Advancement’s current and long-range fundraising and campaign goals.

  • Develop and implement proactive strategies to execute dynamic wealth and propensity reviews, discover new major gift pipeline prospects (alumni and parents) and young alumni prospects, and identify new sources of funding (corporations, family foundations, and community members) for priority initiatives, and ensure timely assignment of newly identified prospects.

  • Develop robust fundraiser portfolios containing the strongest prospects, and utilize industry best practices to develop and implement strategies and processes to rate, identify, assign, and track leadership, major, principal, and planned gift prospects.

  • Develop strong relationships with Directors of Development and other fundraisers to provide regular consultation, strengthen and review prospect portfolios, and ensure the appropriate number of prospects are assigned to support fundraising priorities.

  • Manage and implement an effective prospect management and tracking system, to help ensure prospects are moved efficiently and successfully through the fundraising cycle and to create fundraising performance metrics and other management reports.

  • Meet regularly with the SAVP to review management reports and analyses, discuss progress toward division, department, and individual goals, and anticipate future prospect needs.

  • Lead the Prospect Research and Management team of two by utilizing and achieving SMART goals for the department and staff, and developing staff members’ skill sets through mentoring, coaching, and training.

  • Work closely with and collaborate with the Senior Director of Advancement Technology & Information Services on cross-departmental projects. This will include assessing the department’s technology needs, including predictive modeling and data analytics.

  • Contribute to high-level strategic discussions relating to campaign goals, prospects, portfolios, and pipelines, by providing analyses, reports, and other input for decision-making. This includes developing and overseeing a system of regular analysis of prospect portfolios and providing strategic information on individuals, family foundations, and corporations to development officers and senior leadership.

  • Work effectively with division and campus colleagues to advance the mission, vision, and strategic priorities of University Advancement.

  • Effectively manage the department’s annual operating budget.

  • Develop and implement policies and standards for donor/prospect research projects to ensure data collection conforms to ethical principles, confidentiality requirements, FERPA regulations, and public information laws.

  • Participate at an appropriate level in professional associations such as APRA, AHP, and/or CASE to increase knowledge and skills and to stay abreast of industry trends and concerns; train staff in research methodology and the most efficient and economical means to utilize resources.

  • Serve as the principal authority on prospect research and philanthropic trends.

Key Qualifications
  • A minimum of seven years of demonstrated experience in prospect research, prospect data analytics, prospect management, and managing research efforts.

  • A minimum of three years of experience in a leading role, managing a staff of prospect researchers in support of fundraising and alumni relations activities and goals.

  • Strong analytical, organizational, and communication skills.

  • Understanding of major gifts fundraising practices and best practices in prospect research.

  • Experience utilizing data modeling and data analytics.

  • Demonstrated experience with Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge, NXT, and Research Point.

  • Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office, PowerBI/Power Pivot, and cutting-edge research tools.

  • Proven leadership skills and the ability to motivate and manage a team.


The starting salary for this position begins at $120,000 annually, commensurate with the candidate’s experience, skills, and professional track record.

To express interest, please submit your cover letter and resume in confidence here .

For more information, please visit .


Advancement - Admin

Performs such other duties, responsibilities, and activities as required by supervisor and as departmental/University needs indicate.


The above information indicates the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain and should not be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, activities, and/or qualifications required or expected of employees assigned to this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change and new ones may be assigned at any time, with or without notice.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a satisfactory background check.

Fairfield University provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

Load a resume or CV first, then upload supporting documents including a cover letter at the bottom of the third page under the "My Experience" section where it says to upload a Resume/CV. You will be able to upload up to 5 other documents in this section. You will be unable to edit your application, so please have all documents available before applying. Faculty Positions : If you need to upload more than 5 documents, please either combine them to upload or email the additional documents to the applicable contact in the job description. Staff positions : If you need to upload more than 5 documents, please either combine them to upload or email them to


Fairfield Univesity

Our scenic, 200-acre campus is situated on the Connecticut coastline, just 60-minutes away from the heart of Manhattan and less than a mile from the beaches of Long Island Sound. But it’s more than just our surroundings that make our campus unique — it’s our commitment to each and every student’s personal and professional growth and their journey to becoming individuals of purpose.

For more than 80 years, Fairfield University has been graduating adept, accomplished, and socially responsible leaders in an academic community where the learning goes deeper, the friendships are more meaningful, and the experiences stay with you long after graduation. As a values-based, student-centric, outcomes-focused Jesuit Catholic University, we are committed to educating the whole person — mind, body, and spirit — and providing students with experiential learning and professional development opportunities that give them a competitive edge in today’s job market. At Fairfield, the future is filled with opportunities as limitless as your potential, and they all begin with you.

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