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Prospect Researcher

Job Title: Prospect Researcher

Department: Development

Reports to: Senior Director of Development

Classification: Fulltime, Exempt

Date: January 2019


SUMMARY The Prospect Researcher serves the fundraising/development team of 13 front-line fundraisers at HGO, by identifying potential major donor prospects (individuals, corporations, and foundations), and examining their philanthropic propensity toward greater giving to Houston Grand Opera. As the sole researcher for the Development fundraising team, the Prospect Researcher gathers and distributes information that allows each fundraiser to choose the best possible approach for cultivation, engagement, and solicitation strategies for potential major donors.



• Using a wide array of sources, researches, organizes, and evaluates a prospective donor’s financial capacity, ability to give, willingness to give, charitable interests, and connection to Houston Grand Opera.

• Prepares in-depth reports and narratives on prospective donors by mining data from the donor database, in combination with other identifiers of high quality donors.

• Manages the individual donor moves management system in Tessitura.

• Creates and devises a system for optimizing potential giving by ranking donors for upgraded giving opportunities, and prospective donors for increased and major gift giving opportunities. Works with each fundraiser on the Development team to ensure that each fundraiser is dedicating time and energy to those donors who may allow for the greatest financial impact for Houston Grand Opera.

• Participates in processes and procedures to ensure the quality and consistency of tracking of prospect engagement and solicitations.

• Creates and devises a system for analyzing past giving data patterns of members of the current donor base in an effort to support fundraisers in assessing future giving trajectories of donors.

• Creates and maintains an identifiable prospect pool for legacy, planned, and deferred gift giving.

• Works with front-line fundraisers on the organization and management of portfolio assignments.

• Reviews local and national news and business publications, keeping abreast of prospect information as well as local and regional business developments.

• Creates and updates a library of customized donor profiles by use of Development staff.

• Serves as department liaison with electronic screening vendors, and as department expert on its utilities, analyses, and management of data.


ESSENTIAL JOB REQUIREMENTS Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of three years of demonstrated experience in prospect research, preferably in nonprofit fundraising. Knowledge of the range of resources available to prospect researchers and the ability to apply those resources in an organized manner. Familiarity with data mining tools such as Wealth Engine and Lexis-Nexis required. Demonstrated analytical skills for identifying philanthropic patterns and relationships for individual, corporate and foundation donors. Ability to analyze documents, such as financial documents and public records, for the purposes of wealth assessment. Outstanding computer skills, and demonstrated ability in Internet-based research. Excellent demonstrated writing skill. Excellent interpersonal skills and the demonstrated ability to work independently, while managing competing obligations toward meeting deadlines. Strong project management and problem-solving skills. Ability to maintain confidentiality and work with sensitive data. Must be able to thrive in a highly-productive, fast-paced environment. Requires some night and weekend work.


APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS To apply for this position, please use the link associated with this posting.

Questions about Membership or this application? Please contact Vincent Covatto, organizational membership manager, at VCovatto@operaamerica.org or by calling 646.699.5237.
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