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Prospect Research Analyst

Job location is 10240 Science Center Drive San Diego, CA 92121

Incumbent is responsible for the prospect research analysis for the Institute's Development Department. Provides background information on a wide variety of constituents for use by Salk Institute management and faculty in pursuit of private funding for research initiatives and other activities. Proactively identifies and qualifies donor prospects with the propensity and capacity to support system-wide initiatives and special target development areas. Incumbent assists fundraisers in developing their programs and portfolios of prospects. Identifies and develops core reports and utilizes analysis of data and trends to develop meaningful projections, strategies and goals. Works in collaboration with many members of the Development team to ensure success of the department for the benefit of the Institute.


Prospect Research & Identification (75%)
  •  Provides consistent high-quality research used to develop accurate solicitation strategies. Provides background information on a wide variety of constituents for use by Salk Institute officials in pursuit of private funding for Salk initiatives and activities.
  • Independently and proactively identifies and qualifies prospective individuals, corporate and foundation major donors consistent with the Institute's priorities and objectives through data mining, wealth screening and ad-hoc research.
  • Ensures fundraising initiatives have a continuous supply of major donor prospects to support and meet ongoing fundraising goals.
  • Accesses complex database services. Designs effective search strategies based on variable database-specific search protocols to identify corporate, foundation and individual major gift prospects. Stays informed of developments in research and technology related to fundraising.
  • Retains prospect knowledge gleaned through research such as ratings, interests, linkages and relationships in the database system.
  • Provides consultative services and orientation sessions on research methodologies and resources to fundraisers.
  • Analyzes and assesses information from local, national and international resources; financial and philanthropy reports; references (both printed and electronic); and Institute files.
  • Utilizes quantitative criteria, including income, assets, liabilities and giving patterns to evaluate each identified prospect's potential and propensity to give.
  • Identifies, obtains and interprets detailed financial and legal disclosures including corporate reports (10k, proxy statements), foundation tax reports (Form 990-PF) and state, county and court documents (corporate records, assessment records, probate cases).
  • Evaluates research results to develop and implement further research strategies utilizing ethical intelligence-gathering techniques of the information profession.
  • Produces high quality donor profiles, briefings, and analysis using style and content appropriate to the specific audience.

Prospect Management Analysis & Strategy Development (15%)
  • Analyze research results to compile data on prospects and recommend strategies for prospect’s qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Synthesizes in-depth research information on prospects and donors. Extracts and communicates key information to provide suitable cultivation and solicitation strategies.
  • Advises on interdisciplinary relationships, interests, linkages, capacity and other areas which influence or impact strategies. Maintains a deep knowledge of all Salk fundraising needs and programs, to assist in connecting potential donors to appropriate fundraisers.
  • Participates in and facilitates regularly occurring, high level meetings with fundraisers to discuss their portfolio of prospects, their goals, and their actions to achieve both. Consults with fundraisers to plan and coordinate donor acquisition, upgrade and renewal strategies, and solicitations. Guides the fundraisers on how best to utilize Salesforce for prospect management. Helps to develop insightful and creative solutions for all levels of donor engagement.

Database Management (10%)
  • Creates new methods of prospect identification and tracking of constituent segments, giving patterns, and pipeline movement, according to either industry best practices or benchmarking standards.
  • Maintains integrity of data in Salesforce through regular cleanup projects, including obituary, date of birth, wealth, and other screenings and ad hoc projects as needed.


  •  3-5 years of prospect research in a sizeable nonprofit.
  • Previous experience identifying, researching or analyzing prospect information.
  • Previous experience recommending donor prospecting strategies.
  • Previous experience in an academic environment.


  •  Bachelor's degree in a relevant field or equivalent combination of education and experience.


  •  Knowledge of electronic sources available through the internet. Demonstrated skill in utilizing multiple electronic resources such as LexisNexis and Dun & Bradstreet to locate and compile business and biographical information. Knowledge of database systems and the types of data necessary to support constituent relations. Demonstrated working knowledge of fundraising databases. Ability to download and/or export information between systems. Ability to maintain a prospect tracking system and record keeping systems. Salesforce experience preferred, but not required.
  • Strong knowledge of Microsoft office suite.
  • Demonstrated ability to think critically and analytically in order to initiate and perform complex analyses. Outstanding ability to integrate diverse information sources to produce original, creative arguments and narratives. Advanced analytical skills and ability to interpret/analyze complex financial and legal disclosures, technical and trade documents, including court and tax records, annual reports, SEC filings and real property files.
  • Knowledge of current trends within philanthropy and research. Skill in analyzing and organizing information to identify philanthropic patterns, tendencies and relationships among individual, corporations and foundations.
  • Ability to recall, recognize and communicate interrelated information pertaining to Institute benefactors and prospects. Demonstrated ability to conceptualize and develop proactive prospecting methodologies to support organization goals; identify prospects (through constituent list segmentation, push technology, electronic database screening and peer/constituency screening and rating); and understand wealth indicators, including income (estimated or public) and assets.
  • Working knowledge of terminology and resources specific to fundraising. General fundraising skills, including proficiency at supporting and participating in prospect management. Knowledge of gift vehicles (cash, securities, real estate, in-kind, personal property) and appropriate fundraising strategies for different organization types.
  • Demonstrated skill in researching and evaluating information, preparing concise, well-organized reports, summaries, correspondence, policy documents and personalized letters. Ability to prepare information in appropriate form for different audiences. Demonstrated skill in writing and editing logical, detailed and analytical reports that support planning and decisions making. Ability to present findings in a clear, meaningful way.
  • Ability to develop and implement persuasive cultivation ideas and techniques for prospects and donors. Proven ability to provide critical analysis, using sound judgement with realistic expectations for prospects and donors.
  • Ability to develop and implement strategic solicitation fundraising plans that incorporate a concise definition of goals, targeted audiences and strategies in line with institutional goals in a higher education setting.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to create effective collaborations among various levels of staff. Ability and skill to exercise tact and diplomacy in dealing with others and to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, prioritize work and independently manage multiple, diverse and competing priorities while meeting deadlines; plan and develop meaningful objectives and integrate the work of prospect research into overall department goals. Patience and persistence to study independently and resolve complex problems.
  • Knowledge of ethics statements by Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and other appropriate industry associations or organizations.
  • Ability to work with sensitive information and maintain confidentiality.

  •  Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute’s background investigation.
  • Must be willing to sign a confidentiality agreement.
  • Must have access to reliable transportation and a valid California Driver's License.
  • Occasional evening and weekend work is required to attend donor events.

This position will be constantly be adjusting focus, hearing, keying, seeing, siting, touching/feeling, analyzing, calculating, communicating, reading, reasoning and working inside. 

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities
The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)