This position serves as an essential member of the University
Advancement/NIU Foundation team to establish overall goals and
strategies for increasing private support and engagement for the
University. Responsible for the planning and implementation of a
comprehensive program of prospect research, prospect strategy, data
management, and analysis. The Director will ensure that
prospect and donor data is properly maintained and coded within the
NIU Foundation CRM and will use this data to produce improved
reports highlighting fundraising KPI’s and performance metrics that
will help inform strategies. The Director will supervise a team of
3+ staff and will need to build strong relationships with all teams
and leadership across the organization.
This is a leadership position within Development Operations,
providing essential support to the Gift Planning Team. The
Director leads the overall Division’s strategies to utilize
ethically gathered prospect and donor information required to
identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit and steward engaged
relationships in support of NIU. The primary responsibilities
are to manage the information resources critical to best practice
prospect research and management, and the team of researchers and
analysts who conduct the work.
General Duties and Responsibilities
The Director reports to the Senior Director of Operations, and
works closely with the data and systems teams, and the gift
planning team. The work involves individual and
organizational prospect research and profile development, strategy
development and data analysis.
Description of Job Duties
25% Prospect Strategy
- Provide quantitative and qualitative analysis of pipeline
activity and movement to drive strategic planning across University
Advancement, including modeling and donor journey analytics.
- Collaborate with Data Services and Information Technology to
make recommendations for database modifications needed to support
effective reporting and analysis.
- Design and create reports and dashboards to help monitor and
track fundraising performance and progress made towards goals.
Collaborate with members of the Information Technology and
Reporting Services teams to develop reports, while also offering
recommendations for other reporting tools and data
- Ensure highest quality standards and set team metrics based on
expertise and industry best practices. Mentor members of the
research team so that they have the skills and training necessary
to achieve these expectations.
- Oversee annual strategic business plan for the unit.
30% Prospect and Portfolio Management
- Oversee all aspects of the prospect management system. Develop
and implement comprehensive policies and procedures to ensure
quality and consistency across all activities related to prospect
research and management.
- In coordination with Executive Director(s) of Development,
assess and assign donors and prospects for 15+ gift officers. Lead
monthly moves management meetings and quarterly portfolio reviews
with all relationship managers and supporting coordinators to
monitor performance metrics and ensure that actions, strategies,
and revenue projections are being accurately uploaded to the
- Manage the assignment (and reassignment, including prospect
clearance) of prospects and partners in collaboration with the
Executive Directors to ensure that fundraising activity is
coordinated, and prospects are moved successfully through the
- Establish prospect pipeline guidelines and workflows that
ensures a steady flow of new prospects while holding portfolio
managers accountable to moving all assignments through the donor
cycle. Customize pipeline strategies for principal giving prospects
to better identify and strategize next steps while working in close
collaboration with the Executive Director of Advancement.
30% Prospect Identification and Research
- Implement a comprehensive program of quality prospect research
(biographic, financial, and philanthropic) to support cultivation
and solicitation activity by advancement staff, campus partners
(such as Deans) and campaign volunteers as appropriate.
- Proactively manage alerts and other proactive research tools to
keep fundraisers up to date on principal gifts prospects (changes
to wealth, employment, philanthropy, and other news).
- Ensure that current research activities are aligned with
organizational priorities and revenue goals. Assess current
prospecting procedures and research queue and make recommendations
to improve existing processes. Create structures to better
visualize network connections and relationships that will allow us
to identify strong potential prospects with the help of volunteer
- Guide and inform our annual external database screening and
analysis in close collaboration with the Information Technology and
Data Services departments. Incorporate new data into current
research systems in an effort to uncover new donors and update
information on current prospects.
15% Management and Budget
- Manage and support all members of the prospect management and
research team focused on creating development plans for each staff
member, providing mentorship, and identifying professional training
opportunities. Oversee all hiring and onboarding for the team.
- Define long term vision for team structures and
responsibilities that aligns with goals and priorities set by the
senior leadership team. Ensure that the team’s structure is able to
support the constituent management and research needs across all
revenue generating teams.
- Monitor the budget for the prospect management and research
team and inform recommendations to ensure that the organization is
positioned for fundraising success.
Education and Experience Required
- Bachelor’s degree
- 7+ years of relevant prospect management and research
experience in a non-profit setting or similar industry.
- Proven track record of managing teams in both in-person and
- Strong analytical, problem-solving and research skills.
- Experience in data analysis and interpretation; ability to
translate information into reports and presentations.
- Solid computer skills in a PC environment and high proficiency
using donor databases Excellent skills in the functional use of
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams;
PowerBI and SharePoint a plus).
- Record of showing initiative and independently setting up
effective systems and workflows that meet outcome expectations in
quality and timeliness.
- Comprehensive knowledge of the latest prospecting and research
tools and systems (WealthX, ResearchPoint, LexisNexis, Noza
- Exceptional communication skills, including ability to
collaborate effectively across departments.
- Ability to handle confidential and sensitive information with
integrity, maturity and exceptional judgement.
Education and Experience Preferred
- Advanced degree
- Membership in APRA
List the knowledge, skills, and abilities critical to
the performance of this position
- Demonstrable commitment to the highest standard of ethical and
professional conduct in accordance with
the CASE Statement of Ethics, the Association of
Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethical Principles and Standards,
the Association of Processional Researchers for Advancement (APRA)
Code of Ethics, and The Donor Bill of Rights. (Memberships not
- Deep, personal commitment to diversity in all forms, the
recognition of all individuals to mutual respect, and the
acceptance of others without biases. Demonstrable commitment to
leading by example, modeling diversity, equity, and inclusion
throughout the university.
- Demonstrably strong work ethic and entrepreneurial mentality. A
high-level of integrity, focus and commitment to achieve ambitious
goals is essential.
- Demonstrated exceptional writing skills, strong oral
communication with group presentation skills.
- Familiarity with the “moves management” approach to major gift
- Experience working within a matrixed organizational structure
where performance responsibilities are evaluated in different
- A flexible attitude and clear ability to modify and adapt as
- Familiarity with fundraising tools. Knowledge of computerized
systems of donor record keeping, data tracking of prospects, and
- Exceptional organizational and project management skills.
- Excellent attention to detail.
- Exceptional communication skills.
- The ability to synthesize multiple sources of information.
- The ability to think critically and strategically; capable of
taking responsibility for specific goals within designated time
frames. Capable of coordinating multi-task initiatives to
- A flexible attitude and clear ability to modify and adapt as
situations and conditions change, as well as a resilience about the
rigors of public higher education and the increasing pressure of
- A proven ability to build strong relationships anchored in
trust and integrity.
The physical demands described here are representative of those
that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the
essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of
this job, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear. The
employee frequently is required to stand for long periods of time;
walk; use fingers and hands to feel, grasp, operate or handle
objects, tools, or controls; and reach with hands and arms. Must be
able to lift and carry 20 lbs. regularly.