Philanthropy Prospect Research and Operations Officer

Job Description

Full Job Description


Philanthropy prospect research and operations officer

Posted: Open to internal and external applicants

Reports to: Senior manager, philanthropy operations

Status: Full-time, salaried, benefitted position

Hours of work: Standard Monday–Friday workweek, 8am–5pm. Occasional need for weekend or after-hours work as related to events and other projects. This position works a hybrid schedule with two onsite days each week including Wednesday. Specific schedule to be determined upon hire.

Date needed: ASAP

Posting expires: Open until filled

Position description:

The Seattle Aquarium, a leading marine conservation organization, is looking for a prospect research and operations officer to join the philanthropy team. The PROO partners with philanthropy leadership and frontline fundraisers in a fast paced and growing environment to support the Aquarium’s capital campaign and annual long term fundraising activities through an emphasis on major gift research, prospect identification and management, and data processing. This position researches, analyzes and synthesizes information on current and prospective donors to the Seattle Aquarium and is responsible for generating a variety of briefs and donor profiles, from comprehensive to summary and supporting the operation of the philanthropy department. This person is a strategic partner and internal consultant to other Philanthropy colleagues and to fundraisers across the organization.

To read a full job description and to apply please visit our website at

Key functions:

Prospect Research 60%

  • Proactively collects, organizes, analyzes, and disseminates information on current donors and prospects to enhance the ability of the Aquarium staff and board to successfully acquire and/or maintain ongoing philanthropic support
  • Partners with individual giving team to proactively monitor prospect lists for indicators of interest and assesses new constituents and donors as potential prospects to forward for qualification
  • Establishes research methodologies and data gathering formats relevant to specific requests and projects; disseminates prospect and donor news alerts effectively to Philanthropy and Executive Leadership
  • Prepares detailed and up-to-date research briefings on prospects, board candidates, and/or groups of prospects in advance of calls, meetings and events to obtain optimal outcomes; communicates information related to donor interests, relationships, and other areas that inform fundraising strategies
  • Keeps on top of the latest trends in prospect research and identifies new research tools and resources
  • Works in tandem with Data Entry Specialist, Philanthropy to consolidate data storage and ensure timely and accurate imports between data systems so that records are complete and up to date with all relevant prospect and giving information
  • Participates in and contributes to the formulation of the Aquarium’s philanthropy operations planning as it pertains to information systems developments, the processes and procedures of prospect management, and related infrastructure support services
  • Runs prospect strategy and new prospect meetings

Philanthropy Operations 40%

  • Partners with individual giving team to facilitate customized mailed collateral and solicitation processes
  • Works directly with gift officers, donors, and donor representatives to request and obtain signed pledge forms, installment schedules and payments. Prioritizes and documents data for data entry specialist.
  • Partners with gift officers to ensure constituent and prospect data are imported into the Aquarium CRM, Raiser’s Edge
  • Audits data validity on relationship, employment, and contact records

Knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Knowledge of fundraising principles and techniques; understands the donor lifecycle, moves management process and how research supports this work
  • Information systems orientation
    • Understanding of wealth indicators and market trends, interpretation of financial data
      • Demonstrated ability to analyze and synthesize data from a wide variety of sources, and present the resulting information in a clear summary
      • Demonstrated proficiency in the methods of information acquisition, including use of online sources and print directories; Familiarity with research platforms and data aggregators (iWave, Windfall, DonorSearch, etc.) preferred.
      • Shows initiative in identifying new sources of information, as they become necessary and/or available
      • Excellent written and verbal communication; strong writing skills
      • Highly organized with the ability to prioritize multiple requests, deadlines and projects, and the ability to adjust to changing priorities
      • Good decision-making skills, tactful, good listener, willingness to search out answers, resourceful, adaptable, ability to recognize when others need to be involved in activities or decisions
      • Strong understanding of relational databases and the importance of data integrity, proven record of accurate data entry, and proficiency in using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint)

Required skills and experience:
We will consider various combinations of relevant experience and education to meet minimum requirements.

  • Experience conducting prospect research, including as part of broader philanthropy role.
  • Prior experience with Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) databases, such as Raiser’s Edge and methods for organizing and tracking prospects;
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited 4-year college or university specializing in library and information sciences, research methodologies, non-profit administration, or other related field, or combination of equivalent education and relevant experience;

Working conditions:

  • Majority of work is performed in a home office or onsite office setting with semi-private work area with frequent interruptions.
  • Sitting or standing for long periods of time while working on a computer and phone
  • Occasionally other activities such as volunteer training or event check-in support for Fundraising Events
  • Some exposure to elements as onsite employees are located in campus environment with multiple buildings, outdoor and semi covered areas. Staff move between Aquarium buildings and travel to external meetings in all types of weather.
  • Transport of materials between buildings occasionally
  • Candidates must be available for occasional evening and weekend work

Salary and benefits: $65,000 - $75,000 per year, Dependent on experience. Please include salary expectations in your materials. Full-time staff are eligible for the Seattle Aquarium’s comprehensive benefits package to include medical, vision, dental, an employer-funded health reimbursement account, medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts, life insurance, long-term disability, 403b retirement fund with employer match, access to a subsidized ORCA pass, a Seattle Aquarium Family Plus membership and generous paid time off.

How to apply: The Seattle Aquarium is committed to expanding a diverse, equitable, and inclusive conservation movement. We are invested in building an Aquarium with a wide variety of backgrounds, identities, languages, cultural ways of knowing, and life experiences. We know research shows that society has conditioned communities of color, trans and gender non-conforming people, immigrants, people with disabilities, and other marginalized candidates to more frequently not apply to a job because they don’t feel that they meet all of the qualifications listed even if they are qualified. If you meet some of the requirements and you are passionate about our mission and our ocean, we encourage you to apply and look forward to learning more about you.

Interested candidates should upload a résumé to our online application to be considered. Application review will begin immediately.

Please let us know if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for this job by emailing us at

Note: If offered the position, candidates must pass a background check. Conviction record is not an automatic disqualifier; we are a second chance employer.

About the Seattle Aquarium:

The Seattle Aquarium is a respected authority on Puget Sound, the Salish Sea and the world’s one ocean. Our passionate staff increases awareness and drives the change needed to preserve and protect our marine environment by providing an inspiring visitor experience, engaging daytime and evening events, conservation education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds, community outreach to marginalized populations, research that advances understanding of animals in our care and their counterparts in the wild, advocacy and policy work, an award-winning volunteer program, high-impact marketing and communications, and more.

Our values, developed in conjunction with our staff, include commitments to adopting and promoting sustainable practices, creating awe-inspiring experiences, constantly learning and improving, fostering an inclusive community, maintaining scientific credibility through evidence-based practices and honoring our unique place by using our location and history as a lens for larger understanding.

Proudly accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, we’re among the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. by attendance, and we welcome over 850,000 people each year. Guided by our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, we’re working to substantially increase our conservation impact by expanding our campus with a new building, the Ocean Pavilion. Learn more at

Regarding COVID-19:

Open daily, the Aquarium prioritizes the health and safety of our staff and visitors, embracing science to guide our operations. We maintain high standards of cleanliness, and all high-touch surfaces (like windows, railings, restrooms and elevators) are continuously cleaned.

Please note: All Aquarium staff and volunteers must provide proof of vaccination or approved medical or religious exemption by the date of hire. If you have questions about this policy or for information regarding the exemption process, please contact the Human Resources department at


We anticipate the following recruiting schedule for those candidates who are selected for consideration. The following dates are preliminary and subject to change. We will work with candidates to set interview dates. If hired, relocation assistance is not available.

  • Application deadline: Open until filled.
  • Priority given to applications received by Thursday, March 30.
  • Interviews completed in April.
  • Start date: May 2023.

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