Manager, Prospect Research

Job Locations US-VA-Arlington
Job ID
Employment Type
Employee (Full-Time)

Position Overview

About Rare:

Rare’s mission is to inspire change so people and nature thrive. For more than three decades, Rare has partnered with local organizations to run more than 400 conservation projects in nearly 60 countries all of which rely on humans changing behaviors through community-led solutions such as coastal fishery recovery, regenerative agriculture, and now climate mitigation.


Our people-centered approach is rooted in behavioral science and design thinking. We partner with local leaders and their communities to identify and break down barriers to adopting sustainable environmental practices, and make change easier to adopt. We spotlight local solutions that enable communities to develop ownership, responsibility, capacity, and pride in conserving their natural resources and protecting the environment. And together, we shift social norms to make sustainability the default and ensure lasting change.


Change is what we do. That’s what makes us Rare.


Rare’s organizational culture is largely defined by its five core values: The Courage to Take Risks, A Commitment to Accountability, A Mindset of Solutionology, Investments in People, and The Spirit of Celebration.  Our mission is the “what” we do and our values are the “how” we do it!


Rare’s culture is results-oriented and entrepreneurial. We are working toward ambitious goals and creating measurable social change. The Manager Prospect Research will play a critical role in achieving these goals by working closely with the leadership team, program staff, and key supporters to develop the robust donor pipeline we need to implement and grow our programs around the world.


Position Overview:

Reporting to the Senior Director of Strategy and Operations, the Manager of Prospect and Donor Research is responsible for leading the organization’s donor/prospect research efforts with a focus on pipeline development. The Manager will develop and implement a comprehensive program to identify, qualify and track high net worth prospects and current donors capable of making significant contributions to Rare. It is estimated that about 60-70% of research will be focused on high-net-worth individuals while the remainder will be spent researching institutional donors. Moreover, the researcher will be responsible for mapping the strategic relationships between different donor segments (e.g. HNWI and Foundation trustees). They will ensure timely, thoughtful, and accurate research and analysis of donor and prospect information and prepare briefings to support Rare’s Development and Communications (DevCom) Department.


They will respond to inquiries from all levels of the institution and prepare thoughtful written strategies and reports to determine financial assets, potential for philanthropic support, areas of interest and other Rare affiliations. The Manager will interpret biographical and financial information, interests, personal connections and other key relationships on prospects in order to determine potential for support of Rare’s mission and to support the fundraising meetings and needs of the highest-level solicitors, including the Rare’s Chairman and CEO. S/he will also proactively identify prospects for Rare programs and initiatives. They will oversee the use of daily and weekly sources of information, such as business newspapers, magazines and electronic data sources for important information on past donors, prospects, and for the identification of new prospects. The Manager will also work closely with the members of the Strategy and Operations team to ensure that   Salesforce   is   being   optimized   to   inform   donor   cultivation, stewardship   and   solicitation.


Overall responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:


Pipeline Development and Strategy

  • Work in partnership with CDO, VP of Individual Giving, Sr. Director of Strategy and Operations, Segment VPs and Regional Development Directors to devise strategies on prospects and donors and forecast long-term goals and opportunities.
  • Analyze and evaluate gift likelihood from top prospects and donors to participate in and guide a comprehensive donor engagement strategy.
  • Develop strategies to identify and incorporate new donors in the campaign to enlarge the donor base – including building a viable pipeline and strategic campaign pyramid.
  • Work with Regional Program Development Officers to develop strategies for donors interested in making restricted gifts to regional programs.
  • Create and manage special prospect lists for regions and targeted audiences.


  • Identify, evaluate, and recommend potential high net worth prospects and assess their interest in conservation and ability to financially support Rare, including likelihood, potential programmatic interest and giving potential.
  • Develop overall direction, coordination, and production of information on the prospects and donors to Rare
  • Prepare and disseminate high quality and accurate profiles and strategic briefings and information about our highest-level prospects and donors that are critical to securing major gifts.
  • Conduct quantitative analysis of information gathered on qualified prospects to determine financial capacity and assign appropriate donor ratings to each individual. Monitor daily news, online "alerts", and utilize other research tools to track current prospects and donors in order to stay up to date on their profile details and provide relevant information to the appropriate donor account manager. Moreover, research should map relationships between donor segments so the
  • Manager can guide coordinated outreach and cultivation of all donors.
  • Help streamline process of qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major gift prospects and donors. Assist in providing a framework and support to manage portfolios and moves.
  • Create streamlined prospect identification strategies and accountability for activation.
  • Participate in prospect management strategy meetings – and help apply strategies to move prospects through the cultivation cycle.

Experience and Education

  • At least 8-10 years of research experience in a development environment with a background in a non-profit and/or educational institution or fundraising research-related environment is required.
  • Proficiency in Internet research, information resources and publications, including fundraising databases (Salesforce), on-line services, and database screening & overlays is essential.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communications skills.
  • Self-motivated individual who can work independently and as part of a team in a highly collaborative environment.
  • Strong problem-solving skills with the ability to interpret, analyze and summarize complex biographical, business and financial data.
  • Proficiency in locating and synthesizing material from multiple sources.
  • Ability to handle deadlines and changing priorities with good judgment.
  • Complete respect for confidentiality.
  • The ability to communicate with all levels of the organization.
  • Willingness to be hands-on in a role that is demanding and requires a high level of energy.
  • Familiarity with global conservation issues, opportunities and donors is highly desirable.
  • A Bachelor’s degree is required.

Rare is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes all to apply. EOE/M/F/D/V


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