Art Center College of Design | Pasadena, California | Learn to Create. Influence Change.

Title: Assistant Director, Prospect Research and Database Management

Department - Advancement Services

Type - Full-time staff


Reporting to the Director of Analytics and Prospect Management, the Assistant Director of Prospect Research and Database Management is responsible for continually enriching the information available to the College about its alumni, parents, friends, neighbors, advocates, donors, peers and other constituents. Through database screening, data acquisition, and in-depth research on individual prospects, the Assistant Director deepens understanding of the career trajectories of alumni, the engagement of prospects and donors, the involvement of parents, and the activity of volunteers and advocates. S/he captures and integrates data that illuminate our constituents’ preferences, enabling the College to send targeted communications and event invitations; informs strategies for major gift solicitation and cultivation of prospective Trustees; and, as such, plays a vital role in helping the College meet its goals for fundraising, alumni engagement, communications and stewardship.

This position collaborates with colleagues in Development & External Affairs (D&EA), especially those on the Advancement Services and Development teams, which are currently engaged in planning an ambitious fundraising campaign to realize Create Change: Art Center’s Strategic Plan (2011-2016). S/he partners with frontline fundraisers to identify and meet prospect information needs, and gathers, analyzes, and summarizes information to support the cultivation and solicitation of top prospects. S/he identifies new prospects and brings them to the attention of colleagues; generates prospect analyses and reports in a variety of formats for development staff and for College administrators; and is accountable for data cleansing, mailing list management, and gift reconciliation.


  • Identify, research and analyze new and existing donors and prospects for major gift cultivation and solicitation through review and strategic analysis of media, financial documents, files, databases, online information systems and other resources
  • Partner with fundraisers to provide timely, accurate and analytical information to inform the fundraising process—this specialized research is used as a basis for interaction among fundraisers, College executives, Trustees and other volunteer solicitors, and the prospects they seek to engage
  • Prepare thorough, accurate and concisely written research reports to include biographical and financial information, potential for philanthropic support, areas of interest, and affiliations of individuals; as well as research on corporations and foundations
  • Administer efficient research systems and processes; ensure protocols are in place, adhere to all legal privacy requirements and ethical standards upheld by regulatory bodies and professional organizations
  • Lead the implementation of prospect and data mining projects in order to maximize the impact of data and information
  • Proactively identify new donor prospects for the College
  • In consultation with the Director of Analytics and Prospect Management, develop and implement policies, procedures and standards, templates, research request and tracking system, methods, and rating formulas related to prospect research
  • Organize and manage the Development research library, including reference materials, online services, and prospect research files; continually update resources with the most current technologies and techniques
  • Educate Development staff and other members of the College in the methodology and resources of prospect research
  • Assist in data maintenance, clean-up and reporting with Raiser’s Edge
  • Continually enrich, maintain and analyze constituent data in Raiser’s Edge
  • Identify, research, recommend and implement processes to improve data capture and management as it relates to prospect research
  • Research both gift and biographic policies and operating procedures based on innovative techniques or ‘best practices’ that incorporate and complement Art Center policies and procedures, auditor requirements, IRS regulations and data management professional standards as well as College’s requirements for the use of its alumni donor database
  • Generate lists for various mailings, appeals, and events
  • In consultation with the Director of Analytics and Prospect Management, perform basic database imports and exports as new external data becomes available


  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Minimum three years of progressive experience in prospect research, preferably in higher education or complex non-profit environment
  • Excellent research skills and broad experience in prospect research, including proactive prospecting and screening methodologies
  • Initiative, good judgment, discretion and sensitivity to confidential information; ability to formulate, develop and implement proactive research strategies to identify new major gift prospects
  • Understanding and demonstrated competencies in the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA) skills sets—i.e. fundamental and advanced prospect research, research management, and relationship management—are highly desirable
  • Analytical skill to assess practices and procedures, anticipate problems, formulate logical conclusions, develop alternative solutions, make recommendations and implement changes
  • Demonstrated mastery in the collection, analysis, interpretation and evaluation of information
  • Demonstrated understanding of major gifts fundraising and how prospect research supports fundraising efforts
  • Highly developed communication and presentation skills
  • Experience working in information management systems and creating policies, procedures and training materials
  • Advanced working knowledge of The Raiser's Edge and Microsoft Office
  • Experience with Crystal Reports is preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to present information and provide technical training to a variety of audiences
  • Detail-oriented, with strong organizational, analytical, and planning skills
  • Demonstrated success in supporting a high-impact customer-focused service environment
  • Must be able to work in an environment of constant demands and frequent interruptions
  • Self-motivated and able to work as a team member

Applicants are asked to include a cover letter with their resume stating salary history or salary expectations.


Art Center College of Design is committed to excellence through the establishment of a diverse faculty and staff that best represents our student body and its surrounding communities.


To apply, submit cover letter, resume, and salary history to hr@artcenter.edu
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