Prospect Research Officer - Development and Alumni Relations Office - 80228 - Grade 6

University of Birmingham
United Kingdom
Closing date
Jan 23, 2022

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Science, Computer Science and IT, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Full Time
Organization Type
University and College
Jobseeker Type
Academic (e.g. 'Lecturer')
Position Details

Development and Alumni Relations Office

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £27,924 to £30,497, with potential progression once in post to £34,304.

Grade 6

Full Time, Permanent

Closing date: 9th February 2022 (Interviews are currently scheduled to take place week commencing 21 February)

Our offer to you

People are at the heart of what we are and do.

The University of Birmingham is proud to have been a part of the City of Birmingham and the wider region for over 100 years, and we are equally proud to be recognised as a leading global university. We want to attract talented people from across the city and beyond, support them to succeed, and celebrate their success.

We are committed to helping the people who work here to develop through our sector-leading Birmingham Professional programme which provides all professional services staff with development opportunities and the encouragement to reach their full potential. With almost 5,000 professional services jobs in a wide-range of functions in Edgbaston and in our campus in Dubai, there are plenty of opportunities for you to be able to develop your career at the University.

We believe there is no such thing as a typical member of staff and that diversity is a source of strength that underpins the exchange of ideas, innovation, and debate. We warmly welcome people from all backgrounds and are committed to fostering an inclusive environment where diversity is at the heart of who and what we are, and how we work.

Supporting our people to achieve a healthy work/life balance is important both to our employees and to the success of the University and, depending on the role, we offer a variety of flexible working arrangements. We therefore welcome discussions on all forms of flexible working. In addition, you will receive a generous package of benefits including 40 days paid holiday a year, one paid day a year for volunteering, occupational sick pay, and a pension scheme. We also have three high quality subsidised day nurseries.

The University is situated in leafy Edgbaston and there are excellent transport links to our beautiful campus, including main bus routes and a train station on site. On campus we have a state-of-the-art sports centre with pool, shops, places to eat and drink, our own art gallery, museum and botanical gardens.

Find out more about the benefits of working for the University of Birmingham -

Job summary

Are you passionate about prospect research and analysing data? Are you eager to get to know our most successful inspirational alumni and find the right donors for our remarkable campaign projects?

We are looking for a Prospect Research Officer to join our highly successful Prospect Research Team, working in partnership with our Fundraising Team to manage their prospect pools and portfolios. You will provide insight and advice on high value donors, trusts, foundations, corporations, and other organisations, collating and reviewing data and writing concise and informative reports for the Fundraising Team and senior stakeholders within the University. You will proactively identify new prospects, ensuring that biographical information is accurate and up to date. Other responsibilities include leading on the improvement and expansion of research processes, supporting with bespoke research requests, supporting the Research and Strategy Manager with specialist research projects, and administering the philanthropic due diligence process.

We are an ambitious and successful research-intensive University (one of the top 100 research-led universities globally) and have produced 10 Nobel Prize winners, including three who received their awards in 2016. Academics here are tackling some of the world's most pressing global challenges such as antibody testing and Covid-19, the impact of climate change on our woodlands and forests, issues caused by migration and displacement, the rise in youth mental health issues, and the prevention of needless maternal deaths in the developing world. Our students come from nearly 150 countries and our flagship outreach programmes mean that almost 25% of our student population come from disadvantaged backgrounds, one of the highest proportions in the UK. Philanthropy has always played an important role in shaping the University, most recently in 2015 when we closed the Circles of Influence Campaign, which raised £193 million, making it the largest HE fundraising campaign outside Oxbridge and London. Through 'Birmingham In Action', philanthropy will continue to play a vital role in delivering projects to change lives locally, nationally, and internationally.

As an office, we are committed to sustainability and value green working practices. The environment is an integral part of our campaign and we encourage eco-friendly ways of working in order to have a positive impact on our campus and global surroundings.

Main duties

Prospect Research and Identification
  • Manage the day-to-day prospect identification processes. This includes identifying and evaluating potential and existing fundraising prospects, both individuals, corporates, and charitable foundations in the UK and internationally, through desk-based research using online sources (e.g. LinkedIn/Companies House).
  • Develop new methods to identify new prospects using queries and data analysis via DARO's database, to help DARO build a sustainable fundraising pipeline.
  • Support the Research and Strategy Manager in identifying and undertaking proactive research projects and scoping new opportunities for high-capacity prospect identification (e.g. data segmentations that yield prospects), as well as project management and delivery of your own identification ideas.
  • Use information on DARO and University activities or events, online research, and/or data analysis to identify opportunities for current prospects and donors to help colleagues progress relationships (e.g. identifying prospects' philanthropic or personal interests that align with DARO fundraising priorities).
  • Ensure that newly identified prospects have up-to-date records on DARO's database (e.g. research rationale, business details), adhering to the Data Protection Act/GDPR and University data procedures and ethical standards.
  • Help, train and empower other DARO colleagues to undertake their own preliminary prospect research.
  • Responsibility for keeping abreast of the latest research directories and subscriptions etc., assessing their usefulness, and making recommendations to the Research and Strategy Manager to help determine future resources for the team.
  • Present your research or work to your team, DARO colleagues, or peers within the sector.

Prospect Pool Management
  • Support the Research and Strategy Manager by managing the prospect pools/portfolios of a number of Fundraising Relationship Managers within DARO. Using a specific meeting agenda, you will be tasked with conducting regular pool meetings with specific fundraisers to review and analyse the progress of prospects.
  • Pool management meetings will require using the database to run queries and reporting to analyse and feedback on the progress of prospects, as well as selecting and assigning new prospects into fundraising pools when appropriate.

Oversee Core Research Functions and Processes

Oversee the Prospect Research Team's database and/or paper-based research request process. This will include:
  • Monitoring, assigning, completing, and archiving/logging different research requests that are submitted to the Prospect Research Team (e.g. requests for in-depth profiles).
  • Updating the Research and Strategy Manager on the volume and type of requests being made and, where necessary, involving the Research Assistant to support research requests.
  • Liaising closely with colleagues requesting research across DARO to negotiate deadlines and ensure research requests are completed to specification, within a timely manner, and to a high standard.
  • Administering key aspects of DARO's philanthropic due diligence process, which includes informing DARO colleagues about the process and how to access it. Carrying out due diligence research by undertaking specialised online searches to identify any ethical, reputational, or financial due diligence issues, and collating findings in an objective and concise manner for the approval of the Research and Strategy Manager.
  • Working alongside the Research and Strategy Manager on research requests from stakeholders across the wider University that align with DARO's and the University's wider strategic interests (e.g. research support for the University's Research Excellence Framework).
  • Promoting equality and valuing diversity, acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture.

Prospect Meeting and Event Profiles/Non-Fundraising Research
  • Responsibility for completing in-depth meeting briefing profiles on potential prospects, donors, and senior alumni that are requested via DARO's research request process. In-depth profiles need to be concise, informative, and offer recommendations where necessary, and collated using credible internal and external sources that are compliant with data regulations.
  • Responsibility for completing non-fundraising research requested via DARO's database or research request form, in a timely manner, to high quality, and to specification.
  • Support the Research Assistant with snapshot and event briefing profiles.
  • Responsibility for updating procedures for research data management and other profiling processes relating to meeting and events briefing profiles.

Data Maintenance and Compliance
  • Work alongside the Research and Strategy Manager to ensure any new prospect and biographic information is added to DARO's database, adhering to the Data Protection Act/GDPR and University data procedures and ethical standards. This includes adding all updated and relevant information uncovered during research, such as new business details, to the database.
  • Use DARO's database to query, export, and manipulate data sets, as well as review and analyse datasets to support various prospect research processes and functions (e.g. event briefing profiles, prospect identification).

Required Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications, Experience

Knowledge and Experience
  • Educated to degree level or equivalent experience.
  • Experience and/or understanding of fundraising prospect research or undertaking research in a professional or academic capacity (e.g. market research, academic research, evaluations of projects/services).
  • An understanding of the fundraising process in order to focus prospect research efforts to help DARO achieve fundraising targets.
  • An understanding of the principles of philanthropic analysis, relationship mapping and connections, and what makes a good fundraising prospect for the University of Birmingham.
  • Some knowledge of prospect pool/portfolio management processes (e.g. using reporting and analysis to monitor pool/portfolio size and keep track of prospects being qualified, progressed, or disqualified in portfolios/pools with fundraisers).
  • A passion for, and commitment to, the role that philanthropy plays in the sector.
  • Desirable: knowledge of relationship management software, for example Raisers Edge or Blackbaud CRM, as well as an understanding of effective management of information and data within databases for ease of searching, analysing, updating, and reporting.
  • Knowledge and understanding of Data Protection regulations and ethical and proportional research practices (e.g. GDPR and the Fundraising Regulator Code of Practice), as well as experience maintaining sensitive data to a high standard.
  • Knowledge and understanding of due diligence needs and processes.
  • Excellent IT skills including competence with all aspects of MS Office, email and the internet in order to support different elements of prospect research (e.g. data analysis). Strong knowledge of using social media platforms like LinkedIn.

Strategic Thinking and Perspective
  • A good understanding of how prospect research and general research support aligns with DARO and the wider University strategy.
  • Knowledge of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day-to-day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly.

Communication and Collaboration
  • Strong verbal communication and interpersonal skills to effectively deal with people at all levels.
  • An ability to negotiate, motivate, and influence.
  • Personal confidence and the ability to work independently and decisively, as well as working collaboratively with colleagues as part of a team.
  • Strong written and report-writing abilities, in order to write concisely and present information clearly and objectively for a range of stakeholders.
  • Methodical and meticulous with strong attention to detail.
  • Excellent customer service skills with a can-do approach to building partnerships and supporting the needs of colleagues.

Planning and Organising
  • The ability to plan, prioritise, and manage own workload to meet agreed deadlines.
  • The ability to work flexibly and respond effectively to changing and conflicting priorities.
  • The ability to work on a range of projects simultaneously and to meet deadlines.

Problem Solving and Decision Making
  • Strong analytical and research skills, including the ability to collect, assess, and analyse information rapidly, identifying key points and drawing conclusions. Willingness to challenge and verify the accuracy of information obtained.
  • The ability to work with initiative, solve problems and think laterally.
  • The ability to adopt innovative and creative approaches to problem solving.

We are committed to supporting hybrid working and look forward to receiving your application.

For an informal discussion about the role please contact Caroline O'Mara, Associate Director (Insight & Operations), at

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