Assistant Director, Advancement Research

Carnegie Mellon University

Website Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon is enjoying its most productive fundraising years in its history, raising more than $950M over the last three years. University Advancement (UA) supports the entire CMU community in building relationships with key constituencies and securing the financial resources the university needs to continue its ascent. As the division grows, we are seeking an assistant director, Advancement Research. This is an exciting opportunity if you thrive in an interesting and challenging work environment. Reporting to the senior director, Advancement Research, you will research and profile individual, corporate and/or foundation donors and prospects to support fundraising and development efforts. You will prepare detailed reports with strategic recommendations regarding cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors and prospects for gift officers and senior management. You will partner with school-based advancement teams and serve as the Research liaison working with school-based gift officers.

Your core responsibilities will include:

  • Prospect research, analysis, and synthesis of information to assess prospect giving potential, interests and possible solicitors. Evaluate, organize, and edit verified and extrapolated data into comprehensive standardized dossiers.
  • Managing the Research queue in T360, taking responsibility for your school’s requests and enlisting additional support from other team members as necessary to assure thorough and timely responses
  • Conceiving and managing various prospecting strategies to identify new prospects that are appropriate for school or fundraising program needs; ensure that compelling prospects are assigned
  • Meeting regularly with school-based gift officers to maintain productive working relationship.
  • Managing complex research projects. Regularly exercise advanced research skills/abilities and consult with team on best practices in the field of prospect research.
  • Ensuring the accuracy of information in University Advancement’s database of record.
  • Prospect tracking/daily information maintenance – peruse various media sources for donor and prospect information and activities. Identify and evaluate articles for circulation to other staff members or storage in advancement files. Find/verify facts for advancement staff and for senior management. Ensure that selected information obtained from various sources such as research reports, newspaper articles, staff contacts and advancement files is reflected in the alumni database.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Passion, excellence and flexibility are vital qualities within University Advancement. A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; collaboration; and cultural sensitivity are valued competencies at CMU. Therefore, we are in search of a team member who is able to effectively interact with a varied population of internal and external partners at a high level of integrity. We are looking for someone who shares our values and who will support the mission of the university through their work.

You should demonstrate:

  • The ability to:
    • learn and develop facility using on-line information, tools and resources provided through educational, government and commercial sources
    • analyze and synthesize information from various research sources and present it effectively
    • work independently, but collaborate and contribute to a team environment
    • communicate information clearly and cooperatively with others
    • work under pressure; meet inflexible deadlines
    • deal with difficult situations while maintaining composure
    • pay close attention to detail
    • maintain confidentiality
  • Strong analytical, writing, organization, and problem-solving skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills


  • A bachelor’s degree is required
  • One to three years of experience
  • Knowledgeable of and capable of navigating various information sources and databases
  • Knowledge and familiarity with development, research, and prospect management practices
  • Foreign language skills and database experience is a plus


  • Successful background check

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