Prospect Research Officer - University of Waterloo Advancement

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The primary purpose of the position is to support strategic and donor-centred fundraising efforts at the University of Waterloo through research and analytical activity.


Research & Strategic Intelligence

  • Prepare and provide prospect research material to inform Advancement fundraising strategies
  • Conduct targeted, complex searches using Boolean logic and multiple e-databases as well as social media to identify relevant information
  • Exercise expertise, independent thought and analytical judgement in selecting information to include in research materials based on reliability of source, client needs, departmental goals and university strategy
  • Produce concise yet thorough prospect research reports and documents
  • Familiarity with and understanding of fundraising techniques and strategies for each phase of the moves management cycle (qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship)
  • Provide input and make recommendations on prospect strategy based on prospect research materials and personal expertise
  • Identify and interpret financial and wealth indicators and their potential impact on giving including stock transactions, real estate values and corporate holdings
  • Understanding of wealth indicators and available research resources in key international Waterloo markets such as Hong Kong
  • Monitor global news sources to uncover opportunities for building relationships with potential new Waterloo prospects, or leveraging and developing existing ones
  • Aware of best practices in Prospect Research

Prospect Identification & Pipeline Development

  • Conceptualize, develop and implement proactive prospecting methodologies to identify potential major gift donors
  • Conduct regular portfolio analyses and reviews with members of assigned Faculties/Units
  • Develop and create capacity ratings based on industry standard formulas and an understanding of the impact of life stage and wealth indicators on capacity
  • Uncover university affiliations and new opportunities for prospect engagement/connection
  • Familiarity with departmental processes for managing prospects including reports and database tracking processes
  • Aware of best practices in Pipeline Development and Prospect Management

Faculty/Unit Liaison

  • Liaise with assigned Faculties/Units on behalf of Prospect Research
  • Understanding of Faculty/Unit priorities, strategies and goals and how they relate to prospect research needs and services
  • Communicate on deadlines and negotiate project details with assigned Faculties/Units on behalf of Prospect Research
  • Monitor and contribute to management of pipeline development in the Faculties/Units
  • Bring forward opportunities for Advancement training sessions to the Associate Director, Prospect Research


  • Assist with maintenance of Advancement print and electronic prospect and donor files
  • Ensure fundraising and research data are accurately recorded on the Advancement database with the help of the Research Specialist and other Advancement Services units
  • Make recommendations regarding purchases of Prospect Research subscription resources to the Associate Director, Prospect Research
  • Train new Prospect Research staff and/or supervise co-op students as required
  • Be an active Team Player with all Advancement units


  • Completion of a Bachelor’s degree; Masters of Library & Information Science preferred
  • Equivalent work experience related to key accountabilities may be considered
  • 3 years+ at a charitable organization preferred. Familiarity with The Raiser’s Edge an asset. Competencies will include attention to detail, strong computer skills, diplomacy, excellent client service, sense of curiosity, collaborative mind set, ability to work independently, problem solving, interpersonal, organizational and communication skills
  • Familiarity with The Raiser’s Edge an asset
  • Ability to build searches using Boolean logic
  • Knowledge of electronic news, business databases and social media, their search features and available content
  • Advanced skills in MS Word, and Excel

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