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Job ID: 195863

Director of Prospect Development and Strategy (4888)
Northern Illinois University

Date Posted Sep. 30, 2022
Title Director of Prospect Development and Strategy (4888)
University Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL, United States
Department Development Operations
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Director/Manager
  • Development/Institutional Advancement
This is a leadership position within Development Operations, providing essential support to the Gift Planning Team. The Director leads the overall Division’s strategies to utilize ethically gathered prospect and donor information required to identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit and steward engaged relationships in support of NIU. The primary responsibilities are to manage the information resources critical to best practice prospect research and management, and the team of researchers and analysts who conduct the work.
Position Summary
This position serves as an essential member of the University Advancement/NIU Foundation team to establish overall goals and strategies for increasing private support and engagement for the University. Responsible for the planning and implementation of a comprehensive program of prospect research, prospect strategy, data management, and analysis. The Director will ensure that prospect and donor data is properly maintained and coded within the NIU Foundation CRM and will use this data to produce improved reports highlighting fundraising KPI’s and performance metrics that will help inform strategies. The Director will supervise a team of 3+ staff and will need to build strong relationships with all teams and leadership across the organization.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
General Duties and Responsibilities
The Director reports to the Senior Director of Operations, and works closely with the data and systems teams, and the gift planning team. The work involves individual and organizational prospect research and profile development, strategy development and data analysis.

25% Prospect Strategy
    • Provide quantitative and qualitative analysis of pipeline activity and movement to drive strategic planning across University Advancement, including modeling and donor journey analytics.
    • Collaborate with Data Services and Information Technology to make recommendations for database modifications needed to support effective reporting and analysis.
    • Design and create reports and dashboards to help monitor and track fundraising performance and progress made towards goals. Collaborate with members of the Information Technology and Reporting Services teams to develop reports, while also offering recommendations for other reporting tools and data visualizations.
    • Ensure highest quality standards and set team metrics based on expertise and industry best practices. Mentor members of the research team so that they have the skills and training necessary to achieve these expectations.
    • Oversee annual strategic business plan for the unit.


30% Prospect and Portfolio Management
  • Oversee all aspects of the prospect management system. Develop and implement comprehensive policies and procedures to ensure quality and consistency across all activities related to prospect research and management.
  • In coordination with Executive Director(s) of Development, assess and assign donors and prospects for 15+ gift officers. Lead monthly moves management meetings and quarterly portfolio reviews with all relationship managers and supporting coordinators to monitor performance metrics and ensure that actions, strategies, and revenue projections are being accurately uploaded to the database.
  • Manage the assignment (and reassignment, including prospect clearance) of prospects and partners in collaboration with the Executive Directors to ensure that fundraising activity is coordinated, and prospects are moved successfully through the fundraising cycle.
  • Establish prospect pipeline guidelines and workflows that ensures a steady flow of new prospects while holding portfolio managers accountable to moving all assignments through the donor cycle. Customize pipeline strategies for principal giving prospects to better identify and strategize next steps while working in close collaboration with the Executive Director of Advancement.
30% Prospect Identification and Research
  • Implement a comprehensive program of quality prospect research (biographic, financial, and philanthropic) to support cultivation and solicitation activity by advancement staff, campus partners (such as Deans) and campaign volunteers as appropriate.
  • Proactively manage alerts and other proactive research tools to keep fundraisers up to date on principal gifts prospects (changes to wealth, employment, philanthropy, and other news).
  • Ensure that current research activities are aligned with organizational priorities and revenue goals. Assess current prospecting procedures and research queue and make recommendations to improve existing processes. Create structures to better visualize network connections and relationships that will allow us to identify strong potential prospects with the help of volunteer engagement.
  • Guide and inform our annual external database screening and analysis in close collaboration with the Information Technology and Data Services departments. Incorporate new data into current research systems in an effort to uncover new donors and update information on current prospects.
15% Management and Budget
  • Manage and support all members of the prospect management and research team focused on creating development plans for each staff member, providing mentorship, and identifying professional training opportunities. Oversee all hiring and onboarding for the team.
  • Define long term vision for team structures and responsibilities that aligns with goals and priorities set by the senior leadership team. Ensure that the team’s structure is able to support the constituent management and research needs across all revenue generating teams.
  • Monitor the budget for the prospect management and research team and inform recommendations to ensure that the organization is positioned for fundraising success.

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