Advancement Researcher
Southern Methodist University Inc

Dallas, Texas


Salary Range:

Mid to upper 40's
Job Summary:

The Advancement Researcher provides comprehensive research to internal clients to advance major gift fundraising and meet the University's development goals. The consultant will identify and evaluate major gift prospects; implement prospect identification and prioritization strategies; and provide actionable analysis of development activity. These activities impact DEA's development goals which impact funding university-wide.

Essential Functions:

  • Implement prospect identification strategies as needed to ensure that prospect pipelines are in place to meet the University's fundraising goals. Partner with clients to provide comprehensive research services and conduct research on prospects proactively and per client request
  • Collaborate and consult with internal clients regarding prospect identification efforts and initiative-specific strategy
  • Liaise with Constituent Records Colleagues to maintain and enhance data quality and integrity in the constituent relationship management system (BBEC)
  • Stay abreast of and work to apply trends in prospect research. Participate in professional development opportunities, training, webinars, workshops, and regional conference


Education and Experience:

Bachelor's degree is required.

A minimum of three years of work experience is required. Experience in development, fundraising or related field is also required.

Experience in prospect and/or donor research in the non-profit fundraising field is preferred.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Candidate must demonstrate strong verbal and interpersonal communication skills with the ability to build relationships with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community. Must also demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in writing to clearly convey critical information. A strong customer service orientation is essential.

Candidate must demonstrate strong time management, organizational and planning skills. Must be able to work independently on requests, manage workflow, and meet multiple deadlines, as well as, collaborate on work with other team members. A strong focus on attention to detail is essential.

Candidate must demonstrate the knowledge and the ability to analyze and synthesize significant quantities of information and communicate the most critical and actionable data within.

Candidate must possess strong project management skills, including the ability to define goal/objective of the initiative and the means to achieve the goal. A strong commitment to confidentiality and professionalism is required, as the person in this role will be called on to handle confidential information with discretion.

Candidate must have a strong working knowledge or acquire a strong working knowledge within one year, in certain skills outlined in the Apra Body of Knowledge. Knowledge about and/or the ability to understand and articulate ethics as defined by industry standards of prospect development is essential.

Candidate must possess a strong working knowledge of MS Office and Microsoft Excel. Must also possess a strong knowledge of advanced search techniques and Internet search engines. Experience with and/or knowledge relational database and/or constituent relationship management software is highly desirable, preferably Blackbaud Enterprise CRM.
Deadline to Apply:

The position is open until filled.
Physical and Environmental Demands:

COVID Vaccination

SMU must comply with President Biden's Executive Order (EO) 14042 requiring those that receive federal contracts and their employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they apply for and are granted an exemption for religious or medical reasons.

For more information regarding this requirement, please visit our website.

EEO Statement: SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,

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