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Duke University
Development Services
Closing date
Jul 30, 2021

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

Occupational Summary:

A variety of duties involving the collection, interpretation, analysis, and documentation of data on prospective donors. Submit reports to leadership and gift officers across schools/units/initiatives with strategic recommendations regarding identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors to Duke University. Position reports to the Associate Director of Research in PRMA.

Work Performed:

Prospect Identification, Research, and Analysis

  • Identify new prospects and projects that meet strategic priorities and objectives for annual, planned, major, and principal giving.
  • Responsible for design and upkeep of system for proactive research aligned with portfolio, pipeline, & campaign priorities.
  • Respond to requests from senior leaders and fundraisers in a timely, thoughtful, and complete manner.
  • Demonstrate ability to partner with research requesters to identify specific research needs.
  • Monitor news sources for information on prospective and existing donors & trends in business, higher education, and philanthropy. Distribute news alerts to the appropriate researchers.
  • Maintain, update, and query donor records in the university database; provide system-generated reports for analysis and interpretation.

Interpretation of Data

  • Discover, record, and interpret evidence of philanthropic interests in organizations and evaluate impact.
  • Using hard, soft, and public wealth indicators identify, evaluate, and track highly appreciated assets & estimate donor gift capacity through the analysis of complex individual, corporate, and foundation financial information.
  • Summarize information relevant to the timing of a gift synthesizing large amounts of complex financial data to create a concise and confidential research report in a variety of formats.
  • Train and mentor Research staff on use of research capacity ratings for prospect prioritization and strategy.

Collaboration Leadership & Strategy

  • Independently plan, organize, and coordinate multiple tasks, prioritizing and organizing work to accomplish departmental goals.
  • Build strategic partnerships with development officers across Duke that are positive, mutually respectful, and productive; successfully navigate processes that include responsibility for outcome with peers, managers, and leaders.
  • Work in a collaborative team environment, share knowledge and newly identified sources with Development Research team, and lead group projects that strengthen the pipeline.
  • Safeguard the confidentiality of donor information at all times. Adhere to ethical and confidentiality guidelines of Duke and APRA.
  • Participate at an appropriate level in professional associations such as APRA and CASE, both to increase knowledge and skills and to foster professional relationships with colleagues outside of Duke.
  • Perform other related duties incidental to the performed work described above.

Strategic Prospect Pool Growth


  • Lead projects to proactively identify, qualify, and quantify segments of the University’s prospect pool through screening and data mining. Bring the most promising opportunities for the University to the attention of appropriate colleagues.
  • Plan, coordinate, and implement a screening plan from conception to achievement of plan goals, working and negotiating timelines with staff, management, and partners (including expectations for database integration, prospect identification, and utilization by Gift Officers).
  • Prepare data for screening, including segmenting data to select records and data clean-up, working with vendors to create data files, segment and prioritize screening results for evaluation. Evaluate and utilize screening results, including data validation, thorough assessment of source validity and the creative use of additional sources, to analyze capacity, inclination, and readiness.


  • Present prospects qualified through screening work to fundraisers to determine appropriate donor-centric strategy. Work with Research and Prospect Management teams on appropriate presentations of data.
  • Foster campus collaborations during strategic group research projects including wealth screenings, officer onboarding, and targeted prospecting.
  • Present research in strategic and relevant ways to help officers determine who to solicit and when and for the right amount. Summarize key findings and create actionable recommendations to appear prominently in profiles, prospect lists and other research products.
  • Determine strategy and next steps for a prospect based on research. Determine what constitutes a good prospect for Duke through analysis, conversations with staff, and knowledge of organizational history
  • Determine fundraising strengths, priorities and goals, and align research efforts to those priorities and goals.
  • As needed, coordinate, write and prepare briefing and bio materials for the President of Duke University, and leadership briefing materials for the Dean of the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, the Dean of the Graduate School, the Dean of Undergraduate Education, and the Provost as assigned.

Perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein.

The above statements describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this classification. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required of personnel so classified.


  • Advance computer skills and proficiency with industry standard tools of prospect research including subscription databases (Lexis-Nexis, iWave Pro, Windfall, etc.), free online tools, and other reference resources required.
  • Well-developed interpersonal skills & excellent written & oral communication skills with an aptitude for critical thinking & problem-solving; ability to work well under pressure and maintain flexibility. Ability to support peers and leaders is essential.
  • Ability to learn to navigate unfamiliar information systems and use a variety of computer applications with little guidance.
  • Position requires diplomacy and sensitivity related to institutional prioritization of needs.
  • Skillful problem solving, curiosity, discretion, & continuous attention to detail
  • Excellent analytical skills and ability to interpret and analyze data

Behavioral Competencies:

  • Curiosity and Information Seeking
  • Attention to Detail
  • Planning, Prioritizing and Multitasking
  • Collaborating with Others
  • Expresses Ideas Orally and in Writing
  • Shares Knowledge

Minimum Qualifications


Work requires the skills and knowledge normally acquired through completion of a Bachelor's degree.


Work generally requires three years of experience in development research or a related field. Work experience in research methodology is required. OR ANY OTHER EQUIVALENT COMBINATION OF RELEVANT EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE.

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.


Read our Diversity Profile History

Duke University was created in 1924 by James Buchanan Duke as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke. The Dukes, a Durham family that built a worldwide financial empire in the manufacture of tobacco products and developed electricity production in the Carolinas, long had been interested in Trinity College. Trinity traced its roots to 1838 in nearby Randolph County when local Methodist and Quaker communities opened Union Institute. The school, then named Trinity College, moved to Durham in 1892, where Benjamin Newton Duke served as a primary benefactor and link with the Duke family until his death in 1929. In December 1924, the provisions of indenture by Benjamin’s brother, James B. Duke, created the family philanthropic foundation, The Duke Endowment, which provided for the expansion of Trinity College into Duke University.Duke Campus

As a result of the Duke gift, Trinity underwent both physical and academic expansion. The original Durham campus became known as East Campus when it was rebuilt in stately Georgian architecture. West Campus, Gothic in style and dominated by the soaring 210-foot tower of Duke Chapel, opened in 1930. East Campus served as home of the Woman's College of Duke University until 1972, when the men's and women's undergraduate colleges merged. Both men and women undergraduates now enroll in either the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences or the Pratt School of Engineering. In 1995, East Campus became the home for all first-year students.

Duke maintains a historic affiliation with the United Methodist Church.

Home of the Blue Devils, Duke University has about 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students and a world-class faculty helping to expand the frontiers of knowledge. The university has a strong commitment to applying knowledge in service to society, both near its North Carolina campus and around the world.

Mission Statement

Duke Science"James B. Duke's founding Indenture of Duke University directed the members of the University to 'provide real leadership in the educational world' by choosing individuals of 'outstanding character, ability, and vision' to serve as its officers, trustees and faculty; by carefully selecting students of 'character, determination and application;' and by pursuing those areas of teaching and scholarship that would 'most help to develop our resources, increase our wisdom, and promote human happiness.'

“To these ends, the mission of Duke University is to provide a superior liberal education to undergraduate students, attending not only to their intellectual growth but also to their development as adults committed to high ethical standards and full participation as leaders in their communities; to prepare future members of the learned professions for lives of skilled and ethical service by providing excellent graduate and professional education; to advance the frontiers of knowledge and contribute boldly to the international community of scholarship; to promote an intellectual environment built on a commitment to free and open inquiry; to help those who suffer, cure disease, and promote health, through sophisticated medical research and thoughtful patient care; to provide wide ranging educational opportunities, on and beyond our campuses, for traditional students, active professionals and life-long learners using the power of information technologies; and to promote a deep appreciation for the range of human difference and potential, a sense of the obligations and rewards of citizenship, and a commitment to learning, freedom and truth.Duke Meeting

 “By pursuing these objectives with vision and integrity, Duke University seeks to engage the mind, elevate the spirit, and stimulate the best effort of all who are associated with the University; to contribute in diverse ways to the local community, the state, the nation and the world; and to attain and maintain a place of real leadership in all that we do.”

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