Prospect Research Associate

Washington D.C.
Feb 08, 2021
Mar 10, 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level

About the Position

The Prospect Research Associate is a member of the Data Services Team and works in close partnership with the Prospect Development Manager to support major individual, corporate, and foundation fundraising and development efforts. Together, they are responsible for a wide variety of prospect donor research and major gift activities that increase the major gift pipeline. This position will be based in Chautauqua’s Washington, DC office.

About Us

Chautauqua Institution is a not-for-profit global convener of dialogue on the most significant issues of the day through engagement across four pillars of the arts, education, religion, and recreation. The Chautauqua community is located on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State and comes alive each summer with a unique mix of visual and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship/programs, and recreational activities.  The Institution has just recently passed a strategic plan (150 Forward) that endeavors to expand its reach to year-round programming and to harness its brand for continuous impact.  A new Washington, DC, office has opened to allow the Institution to play an ongoing role in the cultural conversations of the nation. 

Chautauqua Institution is committed to creating conditions in which everyone feels that they can engage as full and valued participants in the Chautauqua experience.

About Your Day

  • Research, analyze, compile and organize development and prospect data; write and disseminate highly sensitive, confidential documents.
  • Provide accurate and timely information on donors and prospects to increase major gift qualification, identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship support.
  • In collaboration with the Prospect Development Manager, provide in-depth research on individuals, corporations and foundations using a wide variety of biographical, organizational and public sources, including online database services, internet websites, library and government sources, and other external information sources.
  • Produce clear, concise and accurate research briefings, profiles and reports on donor giving capacity, inclination to give, interests, other philanthropy and biographical data for advancement staff. Extract, synthesize and communicate key information which directs cultivation and solicitation strategies.
  • Identify new prospects aligned with evolving strategic plan and organizational priorities by keeping abreast of local, national and international news and industry trends, as well as collaborating with internal colleagues.
  • Perform related data entry and maintenance; review and update constituent records with information culled from research, periodical review and office correspondence (letters, emails, trip reports); ensure accurate and consistent recording of research in the database.
  • Administrative support for the Vice President of Advancement, as needed, and basic operations for Chautauqua’s Washington, DC office.

About You

Required Education:  Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Library Science, Business, or related field.  Work experience may substitute for formal education requirements on a case by case basis.


Preferred Education: Master’s degree in Journalism, Library Science, Business, or related field. Training through Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA), Association for Advancement Services Professionals (AASP), or Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) seminars and workshops for prospect research and management.


Required Experience:  Five years of successful prospect research experience, library science, information management, higher education development, analytics, or related field. 


Preferred Experience:  Experience in prospect research and management experience in higher education development. Experience using a CRM database, iWave, LexisNexis, WealthEngine, Relationship Science and/or other prospect research subscription services.


Skills and Abilities:


  • Excellent written communication skills and a clear, concise writing style.
  • Significant aptitude with research methods and experience with computers and relational databases.
  • Ability to follow ethical standards, utilize discretion in dealing with sensitive and confidential information.
  • Exceptional interpersonal communication skills and highly professional demeanor required to provide a premiere relationship with potential gift givers. 
  • Demonstrate a fluency of ideas and commitment to a collaborative approach to work.  Prioritization of multiple projects/work simultaneously with competing demands and balanced patience while focusing on accuracy/attention to detail.
  • Advanced word processing skills including reading comprehension, research, summarizing, editing/writing and daily utilization of MS Office 365 (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, One Drive/Share Point) and other web-based software.

Hours of Work/Travel

The Prospect Research Associate will average 35-40 hours per week with a periodic increase of working hours (approximately 50-hours per week) required based on business needs. 

Self-coordination of business travel and occasional flights required.  Potential to visit Chautauqua Institution’s Western New York offices. 

How to Apply

Please apply at