Development Writer and Prospect Research Officer - The Royal Conservatory

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The Royal Conservatory (RCM) is one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world, providing the definitive standard of excellence in curriculum design, assessment, and teacher certification. Graduates of its two performance training programs, The Glenn Gould School and The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists, regularly perform on major international stages. The RCM is also a leader in the development of early childhood education programs and arts-based social programs, and presents a diverse range of concerts featuring the finest Canadian and international artists in its magnificent performance space, Koerner Hall. Please visit for more information.


Reporting to the Senior Director, Development Services, the Development Writer and Prospect Research Officer will be responsible for carrying out activities to identify and profile potential individual, corporate and foundation donors and potential leadership volunteers by utilizing a variety of reference materials, databases and online research. She/He will provide written reports about donors and prospects, and will strategize with the Conservatory’s fundraising team to develop lists for new prospect identification.

Working closely with the Manager, Development Communications, the Development Writer and Research Officer will also be responsible for creating written materials for a variety of external and internal print and digital projects. The incumbent will collaborate with the Conservatory’s fundraising and stewardship staff to prepare acknowledgement letters, invitation copy, memos and other correspondence, newsletters, brochures, website content and other documents.

The successful candidate will have excellent writing, editing, proofreading and analytical skills, and will communicate in a clear, compelling and persuasive manner. She/He will ensure research and analytics are strategic, focused and incorporate industry best practices. Candidates must be self-motivated, detail-oriented, highly organized, and be able to synthesize information and communicate in a succinct manner.


Prospect Research

  • Conduct biographical and financial research on individual, corporate and foundation prospects and potential leadership volunteers, and analyze, interpret and evaluate the information to prepare concise and informative prospect profiles
  • Identify and qualify prospective donors capable of significant financial support through the use of proven research methodologies and information resources
  • Collaborate with Development staff on cultivation and solicitation strategies to maximize the addition of new prospects to the prospect pipeline and identify prospects that are directly aligned with fundraising priorities
  • Prepare background briefings for Board and committee meetings, strategy planning sessions and fundraising events, and fulfill other specific research requests as needed for staff and volunteers
  • Participate in prospect review sessions and support fundraising staff in a variety of tasks such as building lists of potential supporters and matching donors with giving opportunities
  • Maintain up-to-date central donor/prospect files and develop methods for storing and retrieving prospect data and managing research resources
  • Perform other duties as required

Written Materials

  • Oversee the process for creating and generating donor acknowledgment letters, including drafting and refreshing templates for letters produced through the fundraising database and writing custom letters as required
  • Write and edit a variety of publications including donor newsletters, e-blasts, direct mail pieces, event invitations, brochure copy and fundraising collateral
  • Collaborate with the Conservatory’s marketing staff to refresh fundraising-related content on the RCM website and onsite digital signage as required
  • Assist the Manager, Development Communications and RCM stewardship staff in the preparation of customized stewardship and impact reports for major gift donors and corporate partners
  • Prioritize and keep multiple projects moving in a timely manner, meet deadlines and manage supplemental material required to complete writing projects
  • Ensure that RCM brand standards, messaging and style guidelines are adhered to in all materials prepared, and that written materials are presented in an appealing and professional manner
  • Manage, maintain, organize, update and archive written materials


  • 3–5 years’ experience in a prospect research role with a non-profit organization, or advanced training in prospect research for fundraising
  • Superior writing and communication skills, exhibiting a superior command of grammar and spelling and the ability to synthesize information and develop concise and compelling written materials
  • Excellent computer skills, including proficiency with Microsoft office software, on-line databases, commercial information services and Internet searches
  • Excellent attention to detail with strong organizational, planning, problem solving, and time management skills
  • Ability to work under pressure, handle competing deadlines and prioritize a large volume of work in a fast-paced, high-performance team environment
  • Able to handle sensitive information ethically, accurately and confidentially
  • Team oriented with the ability to work independently, take initiative and exercise good judgment
  • Flexible, with a positive, helpful attitude and excellent interpersonal and listening skills

The RCM is committed to a policy of equity and inclusion. In accordance with Ontario Human Rights Code, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the RCM’s Access and Equity policy, accommodation will be provided in all parts of the hiring process. Applicants are asked to make their needs known in advance.

Interested candidates are asked to submit a cover letter and current résumé online (please upload a single file combining both documents) at by Monday, September 9, 2019.

The RCM thanks all applicants for their interest in this position; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Please note that this position may be filled prior to the application deadline if a suitable candidate has been identified.