• Senior Director of Prospect Research

    New Brunswick
    New Jersey
  • Overview

    The Rutgers University Foundation (RUF) seeks a strategic, service oriented, and experienced Senior Director of Prospect Research to serve as the trusted partner to the high performing fundraisers at Rutgers University. The Senior Director will be a forward focused, data-savvy professional who possesses a track record of building development industry leading best practices in the area. With a focus on proactive prospect identification and data provision, the Senior Director will require the capacity to work on both high-level and nuanced aspects of prospect research to support the creation and maintenance of rich, deep and continuously updated donor portfolios.


    S/he will work with some of the best fundraisers in the industry, who along with the rest of the Foundation team, have successfully raised over $200 million this past fiscal year, constituting the best fundraising year in the history of the University. The Senior Director will be joining the Foundation at a time of great enthusiasm for a future multi-billion dollar campaign, new Foundation facilities and office space, as well as an environment that encourages creativity, cutting-edge technology and out-of-the-box ways to work efficiently and intelligently.


    Reporting the Vice President of Strategic Advancement Solutions, the Senior Director will oversee a team of eight research professionals, as well as work closely with a growing Prospect Management team and newly created Data Analytics team. The successful candidate will have an entrepreneurial spirit, and be willing to initiate and lead projects to strengthen gift officer portfolios and partner with fundraisers to deploy creative strategies to help identify and strategically classify new prospects capable of making philanthropic contributions to Rutgers University. The challenge of making continual improvements while maintaining a high level of client service presents an extremely exciting and rewarding opportunity for this role as the Foundation increases its investment in departments such as Prospect Research. The incumbent will provide reliable and timely high-level quantitative data and provide strategic counsel to the Foundation’s development officers that will increase operational effectiveness of key fundraising programs including principal, major, annual, and planned giving. The Senior Director will be responsible for ensuring that prospect research policies and data are up-to-date and meet the needs of the Foundation. Excellent verbal and written communication skills; a current and comprehensive knowledge of data sources and research tools; computer literacy to include industry standard software; and experience articulating values, information, and compelling cases to multiple audiences, one-on-one, and through formal proposals and/or presentations are required.  S/he must have solid management experience, preferably overseeing teams with a track record of motivating staff, embracing change and encouraging colleagues to take initiative and lead by example. S/he must have a sincere desire to partner with internal colleagues, spending significant time with his/her team and with other teams across the Foundation.


    Rutgers University Foundation

    Created in 1973, the Rutgers University Foundation advances Rutgers' pursuit of excellence in education, research, and public service. The Foundation provides the bridge between donors and the schools, programs, faculty, and students that make up the University. The Foundation helps to match caring people with satisfying and meaningful opportunities to make gifts that have an impact on Rutgers. Founded in 1766, Rutgers is the eighth oldest institution of higher education in the nation. Today, Rutgers, a member of the Association of American Universities, is New Jersey's premier public research institution and flagship state university. More than 100 majors offer students vast opportunities. On July 1, 2014, Rutgers University joined The Big Ten Conference of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. The Foundation is a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization with the sole mission of supporting Rutgers University. The organization includes the areas of Alumni Relations, Development and related Communications. Lead by Foundation President Nevin Kessler and his senior cabinet – the Executive Leadership Group (ELG) – the Foundation successfully completed a $1 billion campaign in 2014 and is preparing for another multi-billion dollar campaign in the near future.

    Julie Shadle, Vice President of Strategic Advancement Solutions


    Julie Shadle joined Rutgers University Foundation in July 2010, was named Vice President for Campaign and Development Operations in November 2010, and continues to provide executive leadership for the rebranded division of Strategic Advancement Solutions.


    In her capacity at Rutgers, Shadle served as the campaign director for the University’s successful $1 billion campaign, Our Rutgers, Our Future.  She provides strategic and managerial leadership to the functions of Donor Relations, Development Research, Prospect Management, IT and Gift Processing/Records, Campaign Operations as well as administrative leadership for the activities of the Foundation’s Board of Overseers.


    Prior to joining Rutgers, Shadle had a long and distinguished career at Princeton University, where in her final position she served as Director, Development Services.  Julie made an indelible impact on Princeton’s success providing technical, information, and communication support to three highly successful comprehensive campaigns and contributing to university-wide process and change management efforts.  She has served the advancement services community through user group and product advisory leadership positions.  She holds a B.A. in History from Shepherd University.


    Senior Director of Prospect Research:


    Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Lead in the development of a University-wide Prospect Research strategy to include outcomes, identified users, Mand appropriate tools and policies. Utilizing best practices and industry benchmarking, identify the tools necessary to maintain an informative prospect research strategy that relates directly to goals and targets.
    • The Senior Director will lead the eight person Prospect Research team and implement an organizational structure that is a best-in-class, capable of providing exemplary research partnership across all entities in the Foundation. Much like other team leaders, this Senior Director will be expected to create policies and guidelines for the team that fosters efficiency, expedience, high quality and excellent partnership services as key markers for success. Of particular importance is leading and participating in cross functional collaboration partnership with Prospect Management, Data Analytics, and Information Technology teams.
    • Act as a proactive strategic partner for frontline fundraisers by delivering information about new and known donors to educate on potential prospect engagement and giving strategies.
    • Develop and manage an annual operating plan in conjunction with Prospect Management and development officers to provide robust and accurate data related to all donors and prospects. Work closely with the Senior Director of Prospect Management to manage the prospect assignment process and collaborate with the appropriate managers to facilitate assignment of seemingly viable prospective donors into the appropriate portfolios.
    • Ensure protocols are in place that adhere to all legal privacy requirements and ethical standards upheld by regulatory bodies and professional organizations. Act as an advisor to meet schedules and resolve technical and procedural/policy issues.

    Qualities of the Ideal Candidate:

    The Senior Director can be expected to have the following personal characteristics and professional qualifications:


    • Requires a Bachelor’s degree (Master’s desirable) in fields such as library and information science, marketing research, journalism, data analysis, social science research, business, and/or similar fields.
    • Candidate should have demonstrated understanding of prospect research and prospect management processes and methodologies in a fundraising environment. Experience in higher education development is preferred, especially with a demonstrated understanding of institutional advancement processes. Past experience working in the field as a Development Officer is also desirable.
    • Minimum of five to 10 years of prospect research, moves management, development, fundraising, market research and/or relevant experience. Preference given to candidates with understanding of and competency with the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA) Advanced Skill Sets – specifically in Research Management and Relationship Management. 
    • Demonstrated analytical, project design/management and creative problem-solving skills required. Ability to manage multiple projects and priorities and meet challenging and changing deadlines.  Supervisory experience required; ability to mentor and train others; willingness to share skills and techniques with peers and colleagues. 
    • Proficiency with MS Office Suite products, including Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint and Outlook are required. Strong background utilizing a variety of data sources and research tools that help assess wealth and assess as well as reporting software such as Tableau, Crystal Reports, etc. Experience with Advance fundraising software is also highly preferable.
    • Excellent communication skills, including written and oral are required. Highly developed interpersonal skills will also be needed since this is a managerial position that will supervise eight full time staff members and manage relationships with fundraisers and management.
    • The ability to quickly gain substantive knowledge and comprehension of an ever-evolving multi-faceted University and the interest in understanding those qualities to identify the philanthropic aspirations of new and existing donors. The maturity, judgment, and respect requisite to intelligently engage with leaders across the Foundation; Integrity, creativity, energy, and independence; a collegial, understanding leadership style that values team members and internal partners and allows an appropriate amount of responsibility delegation;
    • Must be able to work independently as well as coordinate projects with others.  This individual must possess a high degree of professionalism and ethics and be sensitive at all times to the discretion necessary to be successful in this field.


    Sorry the Share function is not working properly at this moment. Please refresh the page and try again later.
    Share on your newsfeed