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Senior Researcher, Development

Southern Poverty Law Center
Georgia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Oct 27, 2021

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Position Type
Fundraising, Fundraising Administration, Major Gifts, Prospect Research, Other Fundraising
Advocacy, Legal Services
Salary Band
Commensurate with Experience
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Senior Researcher, Development will plan and implement a comprehensive research program that identifies and rates potential and current donors who have the capacity to make major gifts from all philanthropic sources that support achievement of SPLC’s financial goals.

The Senior Researcher, Development will be responsible for providing relevant information to help facilitate strategic development, engagement and solicitation of current and prospective donors; as well as creating and maintaining confidential, easily retrievable donor profiles. 

This position is data-driven and coordinates closely with the entire fundraising team to achieve multiple program goals.

Primary Job Functions:

  • Develops a strategic plan based on the goals of the organization that includes donor identification and rating goals as well as donor profile-development goals;
  • Increases the number of identified potential donors according to the gift levels required for achieving fund raising goals;
  • Develops and implements a variety of prospect rating efforts for development officers in order to achieve donor identification goals;
  • Actively participates in donor strategy sessions to gather strategy feedback and support needs, promoting the best moves management practices to transition prospects to major donors;
  • Regularly reviews contact reports and other prospect activity entered by development officers to keep informed on donor relationships and gain insight about prospect strategies;
  • Monitors individual development officer portfolios, assessing them for composition of prospects in assessment, cultivation and solicitation stages and providing suggestions for new prospects;
  • Provides prospect management reports;
  • Responsible for batch and individual screenings, and the related successful implementation, use, and deployment of the data resulting;
  • Ensures impactful use by development officers of wealth screening results and other related research information;
  • Increases the quantity and quality of information on all known potential donors rated capable of giving $25,000 or more;
  • Monitors news, journals, magazines and various mediums for new prospects as well as information relevant to current prospects and philanthropy and ensures the timely and accurate entry of information into the database;
  • Provides briefings for the CEO and President, Executive and Leadership Teams, Board of Directors, and members of the major, planned, and midlevel gift teams in anticipation of upcoming cultivation and solicitation visits and events;
  • Develops and implements policies and procedures for the department;
  • Maintains accurate, confidential files and information;
  • Cleans, consolidates, and adds to existing files so that they are useful tools for staff;
  • Trains and supports fundraisers on prospect management/research policies, procedures, metrics, and strategy;
  • Ensures that all research and records are conducted and maintained in an ethical and confidential manner;
  • Protects the organizational reputation and minimizes risk of damage to the brand, by conducting due diligence screenings on individuals, corporations, and foundations with the assessment of potential red flags, financial or reputational risks as it relates to SPLC’s gift acceptance policies;
  • Continually reviews donor research systems and suggests and implements changes to make them more efficient and effective; and
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications –

Education and Related Work Experience:

  • Three years of experience conducting prospect research;
  • Experience using constituent relationship management systems, CRM, external vendor tools, and public information to study and summarize biographical and financial information;
  • Experience perusing large volumes of information, finding the details relevant to fundraising, presenting findings and recommendations clearly, concisely, and accurately;
  • Strong knowledge of Excel; and
  • High school diploma or GED.

Knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Understanding of non-profit fundamentals, including fundraising practices, concepts and techniques;
  • Ability to use data to inform strategy and decisions;
  • Ability to prepare and present information in various report formats;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment with proven ability to manage multiple competing tasks and demands and prioritize several projects at once;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to develop strong working relationships across teams;
  • Ability to establish goals, objectives, timelines and meet deadlines under pressure;
  • The ability to work independently and/or with a team;
  • Commitment to ideals of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion; and
  • Commitment to fostering an anti-racist work culture and to anti-racist principles and learning.

Other Special Considerations:

This job is performed under general office conditions, and is not subject to any strenuous physical demands or dangerous conditions.

This position is represented by the Washington-Baltimore News Guild.


The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the employee in this position.  These statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in this position.

Due to COVID-19, our offices are currently closed, and staff is working remotely.  If this position is filled while our offices remain closed, the new employee will work remotely until the offices reopen.  We are not asking newly hired employees to relocate while the offices are closed. 

An Equal-Opportunity Employer with a Commitment to Diversity

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and as an organization committed to diversity and the perspective of all voices, we consider applicants equally of race, gender, gender identity, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, disability, political affiliation, national origin, or prior record of arrest or conviction

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