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Director of Research and Prospect Management

This job is no longer available

Chicago, IL, USAChicagoILUSA

Position Summary

As part of a collaborative Prospect Development and Information Strategy team, manages internal aspects of the Research and Prospect Management (RPM) office, including budget planning, resource selection, and supervision of RPM staff and work.  Identifies and evaluates major and principal gift prospects for the Art Institute of Chicago.  Builds and maintains processes to facilitate the movement of prospects in and out of the prospect pool, and through the pipeline. Creates written reports compiling and synthesizing this information, and oversees appropriate dissemination and presentation based on audience and situation.  Uses prospecting tools such as screening and data modeling to provide analysis of overall prospect pools and targeted groups to support planning and projections.  Provides analysis of and suggests suitable strategy for prospects in relation to institutional fundraising opportunities.  Thoughtfully evaluates and develops the skills and competencies of staff.

Areas of Responsibility: 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Plan, develop, organize, implement, coordinate and evaluate research and prospect identification efforts.
  • With the assistance of RPM Coordinator, monitor portions of departmental budget, including overseeing subscription testing and maintenance and vendor relationships. Regularly evaluate and decide on most effective combination of paid and free resources.
  • Develop standard timelines for all research projects.  Proactively monitor and prepare for key initiatives and events that would benefit from briefing materials
  • Create, define, and implement procedures and policies, including standards for communication, ethics and confidentiality, the research and analysis of prospects, and the dissemination of this information to appropriate staff. Develop and implement standard reporting tools and vehicles to convey research information to users.
  • Oversee and/or execute all aspects of high-functioning prospect management programs, including portfolio and prospect review meetings, pool and pipeline analysis, reporting, and forecasting.
  • Hire, train, evaluate, and proactively supervise research staff, including temporary workers. Work creatively to ensure appropriate staffing levels for all areas and projects.  Thoughtfully design and implement professional development plans for all staff to demonstrate growth and improvement in identified areas.
  • Build strong and effective relationships with individuals and departments throughout the AIC community that provide or benefit from research information; build effective liaison structure throughout Development
  • Train, assist, and counsel Development and related staff on research and analysis information resources and techniques and prospect management principles.  Communicate regularly with Development staff on prospect management, prospect research, and identification initiatives. Oversee training of all new Development staff members, and ensure their compliance with Research-related policies.
  • Establish and maintain turnaround and quality control standards for materials produced by the department. Review outgoing materials for accuracy, content, presentation, and consistency with departmental standards
  • Develop and refine efficient methods for reporting productivity and tying contribution to Development efforts and progress.
  • Lead the development of RPM strategic goals and direction; participate in setting PDIS’ strategic goals and direction. Set aggressive and relevant goals for the development of these functions.
  • Monitor and participate in relevant listserves, publications, and professional groups to maintain a strong knowledge of developments in the field of research, prospect management, data management, and gift functions.
  • Conduct detailed biographical, business and financial research on individuals and organizations using on-line databases, in-house data, and other reference sources.  Provide capacity assessments on prospects in ongoing projects and upon request.  Prepare briefings and other formatted reports synthesizing this information as appropriate for a variety of audiences and situations.
  • Identify potential donors to AIC as new prospects for future research and cultivation. Conduct special prospect identification projects in support of identified priorities and initiatives. Review and validate regular screening results.  Conduct in-depth analysis on leadership groups, as well as financial results
  • Serve on administrative teams as appointed.
  • Perform related duties and assist with projects as assigned.
  • Bachelor’s degree or superior combination of education and experience in prospect research, prospect management, and/or prospect identification.
  • Demonstrated experience as a self-directed leader who can mold existing pieces and processes into a definitive integrated program
  • Demonstrated superior and collaborative skills to navigate a variety of personalities is essential.
  • Proven ability to prioritize and work independently, responsibly, and meet deadlines.
  • Experience and references demonstrating creative and flexible research skills and ability to analyze, interpret, summarize and present information effectively.
  • An understanding of the development process in multiple types of environments, and experience with a high-functioning operation strongly preferable.

Language/Communication Skills: 

  • Ability to communicate effectively; exceptional and succinct writing/reporting skills are essential and will be tested.
  • Ability to make effective and persuasive presentations to internal and external groups and individuals.
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship building and maintenance skills and ability to function well within multiple teams.
  • Proven ability to actively and sensitively manage or lead a team or functional area


Technical Skills: 

  • Mastery and curiosity around research resource materials and prospect management theory and methodologies consistent with APRA’s Advanced Body of Knowledge; ability to use on-line databases creatively and effectively.
  • Experience with Raiser’s Edge preferred, particularly the ability to query and extract data, and to make appropriate data management recommendations.
  • Required proficiency in information management and “poweruser” knowledge of standard Windows applications such as Excel and Access. Understanding of Tableau and similar reporting and visualization tools preferred.


Reasoning Ability: 

  • Ability to apply principles of logical thinking to a wide range of intellectual and practical problems while maintaining creativity in problem-solving.
  • Ability to apply an ethical code and good judgment, and to handle confidential materials and situations with sensitivity and discretion.
  • The Art Institute of Chicago is an equal opportunity, equal access employer fully committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Organization Info

Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
About Us

The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879, is a world-renowned art museum housing one of the largest permanent collections in the United States. An encyclopedic museum, the Art Institute collects, preserves, and interprets works in every medium from all cultures and historical periods. With a collection of approximately 300,000 art works and artifacts, the museum has particularly strong holdings in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting, contemporary art, early 20th century European painting and sculpture, Japanese prints, and photography. The museum’s 2009 addition, the Modern Wing, features the latest in green museum technology and 264,000 square feet dedicated to modern and contemporary art, photography, architecture and design, and new museum education facilities. In addition to displaying its permanent collection, the Art Institute mounts more than 30 special exhibitions per year and features lectures, gallery tours, and special performances on a daily basis

Listing Stats

Post Date: 
May 9 2019
Active Until: 
Jun 9 2019
Hiring Organization: 
Art Institute of Chicago