Director of Advancement Research

  • University of Michigan
  • Ann Arbor, MI, United States
Full Time Education

Job Description

Job Summary

The target salary range for this position is $65,000-$75,000. Higher salary possible for an exceptionally qualified candidate.

LSA Advancement champions the liberal arts at the University of Michigan by creating access and opportunities for learning, engagement, and giving that will improve the world. We seek a Director of Advancement Research who will develop and direct a proactive strategy to build a robust pipeline of local, national, and international major and leadership gift prospects for the College of LSA.


S/he will leverage various information sources and analytical methods to identify, qualify, research, and rate prospects and their affiliated charitable foundations, ensuring that this information is properly documented in the university's Donor Alumni Relationship Tool (DART database). The ideal candidate will prepare and deliver actionable information about LSA's prospects in ways that are readily accessible by LSA Advancement staff. S/he will devise success metrics by which the research program can be measured and evaluated annually. The Director of Advancement Research will partner with the LSA major gift officers to match prospects with specific LSA fundraising initiatives, which requires a comprehensive knowledge of the college's academic departments and programs and the Dean's fundraising goals. In addition, s/he will perform and communicate ad hoc research to other advancement professionals. Must be able to work cooperatively and effectively with the Office of University Development's Prospect Development and Analytics office (PDA), as well as other researchers and development officers on campus as appropriate. Respond to a wide variety of research requests, and undertake special projects as assigned. Proficiently utilize a wide variety of electronic and hard sources that are the standards of this profession. S/he will effectively communicate appropriate qualitative research findings to leadership, major gift officers, and other development professionals.

The Director of Advancement Research is a key member of LSA Advancement's Business Intelligence Team and reports to the Director of Business Intelligence (BI). BI combines a profound understanding of the college's business needs with the creative use of technology, transforming complex data into actionable information, to advance the college's mission. Though not a data analyst, the Director of Advancement Research should be familiar with and be able to directly contribute to the mission of the Business Intelligence Team.

Required Qualifications*

Bachelor's degree and minimum 5 years of experience in prospect research, prospect management, or a related field in a fundraising environment.

Advanced knowledge of campaign planning and prospect pool development.

Advanced knowledge of research techniques, methods, and resources including externally available databases.

Strong interpersonal and excellent communication skills with the ability to effectively communicate to a diverse audience.

Exercises good judgment in setting priorities in order to meet deadlines.

Comfortable working independently and handling multiple research projects at a given time.

Able to think strategically and develop both short and long-term goals.

Proven ability to work collaboratively and build and maintain effective relationships with both internal and external colleagues.

Must be able to identify and adapt to shifting priorities, be flexible and resourceful, and exercise professionalism with numerous constituencies.

Some experience and/or great interest in performing international research, a growing and essential aspect of the work of LSA Advancement.

Great attention to detail is essential.

Familiarity with data mining, prospect screening, and other wealth identification programs.

Understanding of and strict adherence to professional ethical standards and confidentiality is required.

Demonstrated ability to handle confidential materials and situations with good judgement, sensitivity, and discretion.

Desired Qualifications*

Some familiarity with data visualization applications such as Tableau.

Experience with developing and/or using predictive modeling.

The Director of Advancement Research should be an intensely curious person, who naturally wants to fully investigate and fulfill requests within the scope of his/her work, who can learn to anticipate those requests, and who can build both an electronic and verbal/mental “library” of his/her findings.

He/she should be able to track trends in fundraising in general, as well as trends and issues in higher education.

The ability to do some institutional and historical research as well as advancement research is desired.

Ideally, this person should be a voracious consumer of information both from printed materials as well as electronic sources (magazines, newspapers, articles), and be supremely comfortable in a liberal arts setting, as befitting the mission of the college.

Additional Information

The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitments to serve the diverse people of Michigan, fulfill the College's Guiding Principles, and sustain the excellence of LSA.

To learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion visit

To learn more about LSA's Guiding Principles visit

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future. The University of Michigan is committed to foster learning, creativity and productivity, and to support the vigorous exchange of ideas and information, not only in the classroom but in the workplace by:

Creating a work environment in which people treat each other with respect and dignity, regardless of roles, responsibilities or differences.

Providing support, direction and resources enabling us to accomplish the responsibilities of our jobs and to reach the goals that are set for professional and personal growth.

How to Apply

Interested candidates must apply through the UM Jobs website ( A cover letter, not to exceed one page, is required. Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single electronic document. Candidates who are not in compliance with these requests will not be considered.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

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