Associate Director, Prospect Research

The Associate Director, Prospect Research provides strategic guidance, analysis, and implementation to inform Orbis‘s prospecting efforts for Major Gifts, Mid-Level, Foundations, and Corporate donors.

This role is based in the US, with the option to work remotely or be assigned to the Orbis NY office. For those who prefer to work in an office setting, our NYC office has temporary and permanent desk solutions for employees already local to NYC that can accommodate those preferences. Orbis’s current policy requires that all staff visiting or working in the NYC office must be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Associate Director, Prospect Research



The Associate Director of Prospect Research provides strategic guidance, analysis, and implementation to inform Orbis‘s prospecting efforts. Responsibilities include developing strategies for prospect identification and portfolio management, conducting comprehensive research on wealthy individuals in the Major Gifts, Mid-Level, Foundations, Corporate and non-donor spheres (reactive and proactive), and collaborating with fundraising teams and leadership to report on opportunities.


This is a US based role, offering the option of remote work or being assigned to the Orbis NY office. Our NYC office has temporary and permanent desk solutions available for local employees who prefer an office setting. Orbis’s current policy requires that all staff visiting or working in the NYC office must be vaccinated against COVID-19.


The Associate Director, Prospect Research reports to the Director of Research & Analytics, collaborates closely with Audience Leads, connects with Orbis employees at headquarters in New York and on the Flying Eye Hospital (FEH), and liaises with colleagues in Orbis offices around the world.


Prospect Identification

  • Proactively identifies new and high-level major gift, corporate, foundation leads and prospects through electronic alerts, analysis, screening information, data mining techniques, push technology, demographic searches, etc.
  • Assume primary responsibility for meeting the prospect identification and research needs of Development staff, enabling them to meet fundraising goals.
  • Responsible for refining and implementing the Due Diligence process for Prospects and Current Donors.
  • Review local and national news and business publications, as well as other internet sources, keeping abreast of prospect information and local and regional business developments and economic trends. Send articles to staff as appropriate. Advise Development staff about new prospect possibilities as appropriate or requested.
  • Stay abreast of prospect research trends and use both standard and novel prospect research techniques and tools to identify new prospects and complete donor background requests, including periodical and electronic screening and/or information provided by the prospect or his/her organization.
  • Reviews Forbes list as well as signatories of Giving Pledge and offers strategies for engagement

Prospect Research

  • Using library of research tools and best practices, produces current and prospective donor profiles and helps determine appropriate solicitation ranges.
  • Meet regularly with gift officers, keeping abreast of their activities and the initiatives and programs underway, to assist with developing strategies for prospects.

Prospect & Data Management

  • Build out the prospect management functions in a CRM system to allow for reporting on prospect allocation and portfolio development, portfolio management, portfolio analysis and review, and pipeline management.
  • Run team prospect management meetings around key funding initiatives including future campaigns, collaborative possibilities, and prospect landscape for Orbis. Maintains and analyzes prospective and upgraded donor data and develops current and prospective donor lists and data. Work in collaboration with Market Research & Data Analysis units to mine and analyze data as needed.
  • Leads list management of Major Gifts, Corporate and Foundation Team portfolios regarding movement of qualified/disqualified leads, treatment in database, communication streams, etc.
  • Reviews and refreshes prospect pool adding leads and prospects with $25,000+ and $250,000+ respectively, estimated capacity to relationship manager portfolios.
  • Develop and implement necessary coding and moves management structure to ensure prospects are moved through a dynamic prospect pipeline from qualification to cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Maintain all prospect research fields of data in the database.
  • Responsible for the integrity of data; capacity ratings and data elements supporting moves management. The Associate Director will ensure Advancement staff understand the data and how to effectively leverage the data to support fundraising.


  • Direct a team of professional research staff with respect to hiring, training, productivity and professional development.
  • Define research priorities, to ensure an appropriate balance of proactive and reactive research.
  • Manage incoming research requests to ensure research efforts are aligned with Orbis’ strategic imperatives and fundraising initiatives.
  • Maintain the professional and ethical standards set forth for the field by the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA).
  • Safeguard the confidentiality of donor information at all times. Must adhere to ethical and confidentiality guidelines.
  • Remain competent and current through self-directed professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues, attending professional development courses, and attending training and/or courses when available.
  • Works with other development staff to improve the organization’s fundraising strategies



  • Minimum 7-year experience in prospect research in a nonprofit organization
  • Proven track record of results and aptitude for analyzing, interpreting, and synthesizing data


  • Knowledge of and interest in emerging concepts and practices in the fields of strategic philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, public private partnerships, and impact investing,
  • Familiar with industry guidelines and standards from the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA), prospect research toolkits and best practices, and ethics around prospect research.
  • Experience leveraging data warehousing, business intelligence, ETL, and analytics tools

Familiarity with CRM platforms


  • Strategic fundraising mindset with a service-oriented approach.
  • Comprehensive understanding of current trends in nonprofit fundraising and prospect management.
  • Strong interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills and comfort working in a high-energy, fast-paced and collaborative environment.
  • Demonstrated history of effectively and promptly sharing relevant information in a clear, timely and concise manner.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, taking projects from conceptual stages to launch, and efficiently manages multiple and often competing deadlines.
  • Adapts and adjusts priorities promptly to address changing situations and conditions, displaying flexibility and resilience.
  • Outstanding, proven time management and organizational skills.
  • Ability to deal calmly with pressure and deadlines and to communicate with diplomacy.
  • Deep, demonstrated commitment to principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Orbis is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

As a global organization, we welcome qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and marginalized communities who are underrepresented in the international NGO sector who reflect the five Orbis values of Accountability, Commitment, Innovation, Integrity, and Equity.

Associate Director, Prospect Research

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