Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Position announcement: Research Analyst at Vanderbilt University

Research Analyst Position at Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University has an opening for a Research Analyst.  If you are interested in applying, please go to and search for Job Number 1400515 or Research Analyst.  The position will be posted until Friday, February 7, 2014.

Research Analyst

Primary Function
  • Identify and profile potential major gift donors to Vanderbilt University to enhance the university’s fundraising efforts.
  • Collaborate and strategize with colleagues, clients and key administrators regarding prospect identification.
  • Provide clients with written reports containing analysis of information gathered from public sources and recommended courses of action for specific donors.
  • Report to the Director of Research and Prospect Development (RPD).
Primary Responsibilities
  • Provide prospect identification and research needs for an assigned group of development officers (clients) enabling them to meet and exceed fundraising goals.
  • Collaborate routinely with clients to develop prospect identification, cultivation, solicitation and overall fundraising strategies.
  • Consult with clients to determine feasibility of research requests and special projects. Negotiate project scopes and deadlines directly with clients.
  • Advise development officers of database segmentation opportunities. Design and implement segmentation strategies to uncover new prospects.
  • Identify new prospects using traditional and novel prospect research techniques and tools including periodical and electronic resource screening and/or information provided by the prospect, his/her organization and or peers. Notify clients of new potential prospects consistent with established DAR policies.
  • As requested by clients, provide briefing materials to the chancellor, deans, Board of Trust members, and other key university administrators regarding major donors/prospects.
  • Possess high-level of knowledge and understanding of the donor database.
  • Review local and national news data from internet-based and published periodicals. Send articles/alerts to clients as appropriate.
  • Notify data maintenance staff and clients (as appropriate) to new prospect/donor information so that it can be appropriately updated in Advance.
  • Safeguard the confidentiality of donor information at all times. Uphold DAR policies regarding confidential information.
  • Adhere to ethical and confidentiality guidelines as indicated by the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA) as well as university guidelines.
  • Manage special projects as assigned.
  • Produce and deliver service to clients based on departmental product standards within agreed upon timelines.
  • Maintain professional working relationships with clients and colleagues.
Basic Qualifications

Job requires Bachelor's and 2 years of experience or the equivalent.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience in university advancement/development operations.
  • Ability to analyze, interpret, synthesize and present complex information effectively.
  • Ability to design and implement data-mining initiatives to identify and/or stratify potential major gift prospects.
  • Solid judgment, sensitivity, and discretion in handling confidential information and situations.
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues and staff, particularly in support of medical center goals and initiatives.
  • Ability to manage several projects simultaneously, set priorities and meet multiple deadlines.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in usage of electronic research tools and techniques, including use of push technology for news alerts.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in efficient and effective internet search methodologies.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in use of computer applications and databases.
  • Knowledge of SunGard Advance database.
  • Exemplary communication, organizational and customer service skills a must.

Friday, January 10, 2014

App Recommendation: Pocket

I recently discovered an app that I find particularly useful for prospect research.  It’s called Pocket and it does one thing very well: saves web pages so you can read them later.  It’s available for free on Apple and Android devices. When you install it as an add-on (or bookmarklet) to Google Chrome, a little button (it looks like a pocket!) appears on your favorites bar.  When you find a web page that you want to keep, click the button.  Go to the Pocket website, and your pages appear as a running list.  You can also email pages to your account and they appear on your list.  Now, when I see an article like “The 10 Most Underrated Movies of 2013” on, I click the Pocket button and have it to read later.

One great feature is the ability to tag pages so you can sort them. I made a tag to keep work pages separate from personal pages. You can even get more creative and have tags for specific research projects.  Once you’ve read a page and don’t need it anymore, you simply mark it as read or delete it.  You can also share link to pages.  Like I said, Pocket does one thing very well. I hope you find it as useful as I do.

Mitch Roberson, President, APRA MidSouth