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Prospect Research Associate

Company: LSU Foundation
Date Posted: February 14, 2017


  • 55% Prospect Research, Analysis and Writing
    • Provide high-quality research on individuals, corporations, and foundations, by gathering information on known wealth indicators (from financial, biographical, and organizational sources, and other ethical intelligence-gathering techniques) as well as known liabilities.
    • Analyze the confidential and relevant information to assess financial capacity, philanthropic tendencies, giving propensity, and affiliation to LSU. Communicate key information to fundraising clients that will inform assessment and cultivation strategies.
    • Identify and research potential candidates for board and campaign committees and specialized engagement events.
    • Compose documents (profiles, biographies, project/event summaries) using style, grammar, and content appropriate to LSU standards.
    • Manage proactive “alerts” on a defined set of prospects; keep clients updated as needed on changes that inform prospect strategy.
    • Interpret and translate complex financial, legal, and corporate language into easily comprehensible terms, while adhering to LSU Foundation standards of discretion and confidentiality.
    • Prospect knowledge (e.g., assets, biographical information, ratings, interests, connections) acquired through research is to be preserved and maintained in the Advance database that is accessible to campus wide fundraising staff and used to develop future cultivation and solicitation strategies.
  • 30% Major Gift Prospect Identification
    • Proactively and independently plan and execute strategies to identify sources of major and principal gift support, using proven research methodologies to ensure that campus wide fundraising initiatives have sufficient prospects to meet fundraising goals.
    • Working in collaboration with the Prospect Management department, develop and execute strategies to ensure that newly identified prospects are presented and assigned to the appropriate fundraisers in a timely manner.
    • Reactively research and qualify potential prospects identified through various sources.
  • 10% Consultation
    • As a liaison to development officers, collaborate with the Prospect Management department and other LSU Foundation and campus contacts to anticipate needs of portfolio development, and assess assessment and cultivation strategies.
    • Interpret results and provide direction on the segmentation and management of large groups of prospects identified through peer and vendor screenings.
    • Provide consultative services and orientation sessions on research methodologies and resources to development officers and other key campus personnel involved in fundraising.
    • Maintain a working knowledge of assigned fundraising initiatives and academic units.


  • Collaborate with the Prospect Management and Records departments to maintain data quality and integrity.
  • Participate in prospect research and development related trainings and meetings. Seek professional development opportunities through various mediums (e.g., listservs, articles, peer calls, webinars, conferences).
  • Complete projects and assume additional duties as requested by the Director of Prospect Research.


  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Demonstrated experience in prospect research, development, library research, or an information related field, preferably in a higher education environment.
  • Demonstrated knowledge about or the ability to understand and articulate ethics as it is defined in the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA) Body of Knowledge.
  • Demonstrated experience using analytical skills to initiate and perform complex analyses and organize information.
  • Demonstrated project management skills, including the ability to define goal/objective of the initiative and the means to achieve the goal. Demonstrated ability to work in a demanding environment.
  • Strong computer skills and demonstrated background in Internet-based research. Experience working with a relational database extracting data and reporting, preferably Advance. Experience working with the Microsoft Office suite of products, including Excel. Ability to download and export information between systems.
  • Excellent oral and interpersonal skills, including diplomacy required to function effectively among development officers, leadership, and other campus constituencies to bring large scale projects to completion. Ability to work in a team environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, prioritize work, and independently manage multiple, diverse, and competing priorities while meeting deadlines. Ability to maintain confidentiality and work with sensitive information.
  • Exhibit a strong customer service and solution-oriented work ethic.
  • Ability to recall, recognize, and communicate interrelated information pertaining to donors and prospects.


  • Knowledge of ethics statements by APRA, Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and other related associations.
  • Demonstrated analytical skills to initiate and perform complex database queries and analyses. Ability to organize information to identify philanthropic patterns, tendencies, and relationships among individuals, corporations, and foundations. Ability to analyze and interpret complex financial disclosure documents for the purposes of wealth assessment (e.g., SEC filings, real property files, financial and legal disclosures).
  • Demonstrated ability to conceptualize and develop proactive prospecting methodologies to support organizational goals, including data mining, sophisticated constituent database queries, etc.
  • General fundraising skills, including proficiency at supporting and participating in prospect management and tracking processes and staying informed of trends in the field.
  • Knowledge of ethics statements by APRA, Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and other related associations.