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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position. In your cover letter, please indicate how you discovered this opportunity.

Job Summary

Reports to: Assistant Director of Development Research

This position will be filled at either the Lead Development Research Analyst level or the Development Research Analyst level depending on the skills and experience of the top candidate. The Research Analyst partners with a portfolio of liaised schools, colleges, and units to support efficient prospect identification, cultivation, and solicitation of potential donors.  The analyst gathers, analyzes, and summarizes information to support development events along with the cultivation and solicitation of top prospects. The analyst independently manages his or her own workload and contributes to the continued growth of the Development Research team.   


Event Support and Prospect Research (55%)

  • Conduct reactive and proactive research.  Be creative in devising new ways to secure information of critical importance to the effective solicitation of significant constituents of the University of Michigan (UM).
  • Provide insights on prospective donors for development staff members including estimates on donor gift capacity and possible areas of philanthropic interest at UM.
  • The Research Analyst is responsible for making sure that the president, and other executive officers when applicable, are fully informed for their development-related meetings. To achieve this, they will work with appropriate senior leadership to coordinate event support and craft confidential research documents for executive officers. 
  • Organize and streamline the events process, building efficiencies.
  • Outreach to development colleagues to get all the necessary information to create a full picture of the constituent.
  • Assist departmental leadership as needed.  Examples include assigning last-minute requests, completion of data integrity projects, and assisting with strategy sessions. 

Needs Assessment, Outreach, and Collaboration (25%)

  • Build fundraising success for their units by consulting on their prospect development needs to achieve fundraising initiatives. Negotiate project feasibility, scope, and deadlines directly with colleagues
  • Establish monitoring and seek feedback to ensure their clients receive appropriate support.
  • Improve development officers’ understanding and strategic use of development data through cross-departmental projects.

Team Development (10%)

  • Develop and maintain expertise that improves the team’s impact. Serve as an internal consultant on research and analysis related to core projects and processes. Lead periodic peer education sessions to promote professional development and teamwork.
  • Mentor and help train the Research Analyst(s). Coach the analysts in research techniques and educate them about the department’s policies and procedures. Model best-in-class prospect development engagement.
  • Ensure the team’s excellence and effectiveness by looking for new project opportunities, ensuring quality of work out-put, and providing suggestions for areas of improvement.

Professional Development (10%)

  • Meet, maintain, and exceed the standards set forth in the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA), always adhering to ethical and confidentiality guidelines of both UM and APRA.
  • Cultivate professional relationships with colleagues outside of UM in order to increase knowledge and stay in front of industry trends.
  • Independently plan, organize and coordinate multiple tasks and responsibilities.

Job duties may change, slightly, based on skill level and experience of the top candidate.

Required Qualifications*

  • A Bachelor’s degree is required. 
  • At least two years of experience in prospect development or associated fundraising experience.
  • Familiarity with the University organization, policies, and procedures.
  • Well-developed interpersonal skills and excellent written and oral communication skills, an aptitude for critical thinking and problem-solving; ability to work well under pressure and maintain flexibility.
  • Highly developed scanning, skimming, and reading comprehension skills, as well as the ability to assess the relative value of, synthesize, and summarize relevant information into coherent, well-written documents.
  • Dedication to professional ethics and confidentiality. 
  • Ability to learn to navigate unfamiliar information systems and use a variety of computer applications with little or no guidance.
  • Strong computing and online research skills, including proficiency with Microsoft Office, relational database software, online databases and the Internet.

Additional Information

For additional information about this position and to review other current openings in Development, please visit our website at:

Mission Statement

The Office of University Development maximizes private support for the University of Michigan through high-quality collaboration with the development programs of schools, colleges, and units. We also provide fundraising leadership through the stimulation and facilitation of healthy, productive and life-long relationships with our colleagues, alumni, friends, foundations and corporations.

The U-M development community is committed to attracting, developing and retaining a diverse and thriving workforce, and demonstrating respect and inclusivity for all. 

Application Deadline

Although the Posting End Date may indicate otherwise, this job may be filled and closed anytime after a posting duration of seven calendar days.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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