Director of Prospect Development and Research
Duration of Position:
Full year / Full time
About Vassar College
Located in the scenic Mid-Hudson Valley, Vassar College is a highly
selective, residential, coeducational liberal arts college. Vassar
is deeply committed to fostering a community that reflects the
values of a liberal arts education and to promoting an environment
of equality, diversity and inclusiveness. Vassar seeks to create a
pluralistic community for all staff, faculty and students. Vassar
College is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity employer, and
applications from women, individuals with disabilities and members
of historically underrepresented groups are especially
encouraged. Vassar College is a smoke-free, tobacco-free
Position Summary and Responsibilities
Founded in 1861, Vassar was established with a mission to offer
young women a liberal arts education equal to the best men's
colleges of the day. Coeducational since 1969, Vassar continues to
reflect its bold and distinctive history of progressive leadership
in higher education and is consistently ranked among the country's
top residential liberal arts institutions.
Today, under the leadership of President Elizabeth Bradley, Vassar
is deeply engaged in a comprehensive and participatory approach to
the ongoing work of becoming a fully inclusive and equitable
community. We affirm the inherent value of a diverse campus through
a commitment to need-blind admissions and a curriculum that is
reflective of the interconnectedness of our lives as members of
multiple local and global communities.
Vassar is poised to launch an historic $500 million comprehensive
campaign that will deepen our investment in financial aid and
student life, expand research opportunities for our world-class
faculty, and provide critical support for curricular innovation,
racial justice and community engagement, environmental
sustainability, admissions and career education.
The Office of Advancement seeks a Director of Prospect Development
and Research to lead a comprehensive program that encompasses
proactive and reactive prospect identification, donor research,
wealth and giving capacity assessment, market research, data
mining, and related vendor screening products and relationships.
Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Individual Giving,
the Director will manage the strategic organization of the team,
bringing both strong data analytics skills and
appreciation for the complexities of relationship management to the
work of building a pipeline of prospective donors to support
Vassar's ambitious campaign goals. Working in close collaboration
with the Advancement leadership team, the Director will provide
consultation on portfolio management, metrics and benchmarking, and
moves management tracking for the principal gifts, leadership
gifts, parent giving, and gift planning teams. Innovation,
collaboration, good humor, and a drive to make a measurable,
positive impact on fundraising results will be essential to success
in this important role.
We welcome candidates who have experience within and beyond higher
education who embrace Vassar's mission and its commitment to
diversity and inclusion, and who wish to have a real impact on
advancing the College at this pivotal time.
- Plan and manage a robust program of prospect identification,
research, and prospect development by employing sophisticated data
analytics and modeling techniques to build and refine Vassar's
pipeline of qualified donors and identify areas for growth.
- Work closely with the VP for Advancement, AVP for Individual
Giving, and the Individual Giving leadership team on campaign
planning and strategy.
- Perform advanced prospect research aligned with special
campaign and presidential priorities, which may include but would
not be limited to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives; The
Francis Lehman Loeb Art Museum; Health, Wellness, and Athletics;
capital and program support for a new Admissions and Career
Education Center; increased giving through trusts and estates,
complex assets, and family wealth strategies.
- Collaborate with Advancement and campus partners to design and
implement an annual wealth screening process for newly admitted
parents and families.
- Ensure that timely delivery of a high-quality prospect research
is consistently achieved within a fast-paced, campaign-driven
- Manage two highly skilled and experienced Senior Associate
Directors as well as a Research Specialist; oversee individual and
departmental goal setting; conduct performance appraisals, and
support professional development for the team.
- Implement and monitor best practices to ensure compliance with
business practices, fundraising systems, and information gathering
that conforms to privacy and ethics standards as dictated by the
Association for Professional Researchers in Advancement.
- Manage departmental budget, vendor relationships, and service
- Work with the Director of Campaign Operations to develop
prospect pipeline analytics, modeling, forecasting, and
• Bachelor’s degree or commensurate experience necessary.
• 10+ years of experience; background in higher education
• Demonstrated success in a team-management/supervisory role
• Commitment to working in a diverse and inclusive
• Expertise and facility with wealth screening, data mining, donor
modeling, and data analytics techniques, tools, and
• Strong organizational, planning, and project-management
• Ability to distill and explain complex information in a variety
of formats, including written documentation, graphic
representation, and verbal presentations.
• High level of attention to detail, accuracy, and
• Willingness to work in a demanding, fast-paced environment.
• Appreciation for the impact of philanthropy and the value of a
liberal arts education.
• Flexibility, curiosity, and enthusiasm for problem-solving.
• Knowledge of CRM database management systems and reporting
• Proficient in MSWord, Excel, Powerpoint, Google Suite, and the
ability and curiosity to learn new software.
Special Instructions to Applicants
To complete your on-line application, you will be required to
attach your resume, cover letter, and contact information for 3
professional references. All attachments must be in PDF format.
Review of applications will begin immediately. If you have any
questions, please contact Human Resources, 845-437-5820.
For full consideration applicants should apply by:
All applicants must apply online at: https://employment.vassar.edu/postings/2064.