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Senior Prospect Development Consultant | University Development Researcher II

Michigan State University
East Lansing
Closing date
Jul 15, 2021

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Administrative Jobs
Academic Affairs, Research Staff & Technicians, Institutional & Business Affairs, Alumni Relations & Development
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Job Details

Job no: 713812
Work type: Support Staff
Pay Grade: 11
Major Administrative Unit / College: University Advancement
Department: Advancement Info Sys Donor Strategy 10069727
Sub Area: AP- Professionals
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Administrative/Business/Professional, PR/Media/Graphics/Comm/Fund Raising, Administrative Professionals- AP, Full Time (90-100%), Union
Working/Functional Title

Senior Prospect Development Consultant

Position Summary

The mission of University Advancement is to secure support for Michigan State University in terms of money, talent, service and advocacy by delivering an integrated program of communications, marketing and engagement. Our objective is to build deep and long-term relationships with alumni, potential partners and other stakeholders that will ensure increased support in the future.


As a member of the Prospect Development Team, the Senior Prospect Development (PD) Consultant provides leadership, oversight, and strategy for the Individual Giving Unit (IGU) and Central Programs with regard to prospect management, research and analysis. Using an account management model, the consultant oversees all prospect management and research activity for assigned constituency programs and academic units. The position serves as a partner to ensure excellence in service to fundraisers in pipeline and portfolio development. This position will work closely with the Executive Director and Associate Director of Regional and Central Programs to ensure efficient portfolio and prospect management.

Note: IGU and Central Programs are comprised of but not limited to regionally located development staff, Planned Giving, Special Constituencies, Alumni Office, and Annual Giving.


  • Oversees all prospect and portfolio management for assigned units and programs.
    • Oversees all prospect management, prepares research and analysis for assigned units, actively participates in regular portfolio review meetings with unit/program development officers and/or leadership (Executive Management, Senior Directors, Directors, Asst/Assoc Directors) to ensure that prospects and proposals are being moved appropriately through the development continuum. Sr. PD Consultants have the ability and experience to effectively handle prospect management responsibilities for larger units with more development officers.
    • Capable of, and comfortable with, leading meetings and conversations, offering insight based on research and analysis, and participating in prospect strategy discussions. Able to set and manage agendas and redirect conversation if necessary.
    • Partners and consults with program or unit lead development officers to ensure portfolio composition and stage migration is in compliance with Advancement guidelines and policies.
    • Responsible for implementing prospect management strategies, business processes and protocols, specifically those activities focused on informing and motivating portfolio managers to move their prospects to give to MSU.
  • Offers guidance on prioritizing prospects for engagement. Provides research and analysis to help development officers identify, connect with and move prospects through the continuum.

  • Researches prospects, performs complex analyses, and clearly communicates findings to help development staff connect with, cultivate and solicit the best prospects for MSU.

  • Critically evaluate information and sources, formulate effective searches, perform thorough and accurate research into wealth, biographic, network and giving information.
  • Utilize subscription and other resources to find required information on prospects.
  • Understands wealth indicators and donor motivations for giving, knowledge of ethics statements by the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Association of Fundraising Professional (AFP) and related organizations.
  • Able to perform complex analyses and organize information to identify philanthropic patterns, tendencies and relationships primarily among individual donors and prospects. Collaborates with Advancement partners to complete analyses as needed.
  • Able to analyze and interpret complex financial documents for the purposes of wealth assessment (i.e. SEC filings, real property records, legal documents, etc.)
  • Able to train student workers and co-workers on use of research resources. Provides counsel to individual fundraisers and UA staff in appropriate use and application of research materials in prospect assessment.
  • Organizes information effectively and presents research clearly in a format that meets departmental standards. Able to edit and proofread profiles, reports and other documents.
    • Independently manages workflow and competing priorities to complete research requests, projects, meeting preparation and other tasks in a timely manner.
      • Builds strong working relationships and professional trust through a collaborative, collegial and customer service focused approach. Strong interpersonal and diplomacy skills required.
      • Actively participates in team, unit or departmental meetings, as needed. Able to effectively initiate and lead meetings with team members, development officers and other UA staff. May take minutes and track action items.
      • Demonstrates leadership skills thorough active participation in meetings and discussions, offering insight based on research and experience, and ability to coordinate and lead projects.
      • Communicates effectively in person, over the phone, and through electronic channels with all levels of Advancement staff. Able to present information to small or large groups.
      • Participates in and may lead unit or cross-departmental initiatives to support UA and PD goals. Collaborates effectively with colleagues.
  • Manages time effectively. Able to work in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to train and clearly articulate business rules, procedures and practices.

  • May assist in hiring, coordinating and training of student employees.

  • Works closely with student employee supervisor to help coordinate scheduling, training and assignment tracking.
  • Coaches and trains student employees and helps coordinate training by other PD staff
  • Performs administrative duties, such as approving student time.


  • Supervisor- in order to receive direction and clarify assignments, procedures and priorities.
  • Central Advancement management and staff.
  • Executive Management and Development Officers - to provide prospect identification.
  • Prospect Development Peers - discuss methodology of research, evaluate procedures, share information, and assist in training.
  • Registrar's Office - to obtain or verify enrollment records.
  • Government Agencies - to procure public information.


    Direction is received from the Senior Associate Director of Prospect Management and Research and the Associate Director of Regional and Central programs.


    May provide first level supervision over student employees.


    No assigned responsibility.


    Proper use of research skills enlarges the potential donor base, provides fundraising staff with critical information for decisions regarding cultivation and solicitation of prospects, and ultimately increases the total dollars raised through University Development’s fundraising efforts. Errors or omission of factual data can adversely affect donor relationships and results in financial loss and/or serious embarrassment and loss of goodwill for the University.


    Standard office environment. The job requires very little physical effort.

  • Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills

    knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in Business, Journalism, Pre-law, History, Psychology or Information Science or related field; three to five years work experience in research methods including on-line electronic searching, large main-frame databases, and PC-based software; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

    Desired Qualifications
  • Bachelors degree preferred.
  • 3-5 years of work experience in fundraising, development, prospect research and management, library or other similar research filed or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience in prospect development, portfolio management or relationship management strongly preferred. Work with a project management or consulting component is a plus.
  • Leadership skills, including the ability to initiate and lead effective meetings and discussions with co-workers at all levels. Comfort providing guidance and insight to colleagues based on research, analysis and experience. Previous leadership or supervisory experience preferred.
  • Proficiency using Microsoft Office, particularly Word and Excel.
  • Strong research skills using online and other information resources. Ability to critically evaluate, analyze and synthesize information.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, including both written and verbal presentation skills.
  • Highly organized, takes initiative and is detail oriented.
  • Ability to prioritize work and independently manage multiple, diverse and competing priorities while meeting deadlines.
  • Excellent customer service, relationship and time management skills and an innate sense of curiosity.
  • Ability and desire to learn new software/databases quickly; high level of computer literacy. Experience using a CRM database or similar a plus.
  • Possess an understanding of wealth indicators, donor motivations for giving, knowledge of ethics statements by the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Association of Fundraising Professional (AFP) and related organizations.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

    All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.

    Required Application Materials

    Resume and Cover Letter

    Work Hours

    Work hours are 8AM to 5PM with some nights and weekends

    Bidding and Eligibility Ends on 6/22/2021 at 11:55 PM

    Advertised: Jun 16, 2021 Eastern Daylight Time
    Applications close: Jul 15, 2021 Eastern Daylight Time


    Working at Michigan State University 

    Spartans work every day to advance the common good in uncommon ways.

    Together, we tackle some of the world’s toughest problems to find solutions that make life better—from alternative energy to better food safety to breakthrough medical and environmental applications achieved through rare isotope research.

    We teach. We explore and we discover. We collaborate and lead. We innovate, inspire, and empower. We achieve our potential and create circumstances that help our students and others achieve theirs.

    We're good at it, and we've been at it for more than 150 years.

    The nation’s pioneer land-grant university, MSU began as a bold experiment that democratized higher education and helped bring science and innovation into everyday life. The revolutionary concept became a model for the nation.

    Today, MSU is one of the top research universities in the world—on one of the biggest, greenest campuses in the nation. Home to nationally ranked and recognized academic, residential college, and service-learning programs, we’re a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, scientists and leaders.

    In ways both practical and profound, we work to create a stronger, more sustainable, and more hopeful future for all.

    Top Distinctions

    U.S. News & World Report ranks MSU

    • 29th among the nation’s public universities
    • First in the nation for 19 years for graduate programs in elementary and secondary education
    • First in the nation for graduate programs in nuclear physics and industrial and organizational psychology
    • First in the nation for undergraduate program in supply chain

    Recognized for 11 consecutive years as one of the top 100 universities in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in its annual Academic Ranking of World Universities

    Ranks 46th among public universities for in-state students in Kiplinger’s 2013 edition of Best Values in Public Colleges

    Silver rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s STARS program, which measures and encourages sustainability in education and research; operations; and planning, administration, and engagement

    Member of the prestigious 62-member Association of American Universities

    Only university in the country with on-campus medical schools graduating allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) physicians, and veterinarians (DVMs)

    Among the largest single-campus residence hall system in the country with 27 halls in five neighborhoods and two apartment villages.


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