Harvard University — Research Analyst

Reporting to the Associate Director. Performs in-depth research on prospects. Conducts comprehensive research and works with confidential as well as publicly accessible information, with a view to assessing donor interest and viability. Develops research profiles and analysis, prospect lists, ratings and wealth analysis for purposes of fundraising University-wide. Uses in house and external resources to identify new prospects. Interprets biographical and financial information on individuals, corporations and foundations based on fundraising strategies and objectives. Performs philanthropic capacity estimations and assigns ratings based on publicly available information, including insider holdings, real estate, and general demographic assessments. Works with Assistant Directors to analyze complex financial disclosure documents to further determine financial capabilities. Keeps abreast of current events, philanthropic trends and Harvard’s fundraising objectives.


  1. Conducts focused research and evaluation of financial capabilities of new prospects and existing donors. Identify new potential donors through screening of news sources.
  2. Work with confidential information and with publicly accessible information, with a view of assessing donor viability. Make wealth estimations using salary surveys and other demographic information, as well as interpreting and analyzing complex financial documents under the supervision of senior researchers.
  3. Work with senior level researchers and fundraisers to determine research strategies for identifying new prospects.
  4. Participate in bimonthly Research staff meetings and Tools & Techniques meetings.
  5. Ability to use extreme discretion when working with highly confidential information.
  6. Ability to use sound judgement and apply ethical considerations with confidential information. Ability to think creatively with resources at hand.
  7. Keep abreast of alumni in the news, philanthropic trends, and Harvard current events and fundraising priorities.
  8. Excellent verbal and written communication skills required.
  9. Ability to multi-task on different projects and initiatives. Ability to work in a team effort to reach organizational goals.
  10. Ability to analyze, interpret and summarize complex information into a coherent and accurate presentation. Ability to work under strict deadlines.
  11. Must complete a three-month University probationary period. Must maintain an excellent attendance record.
    *Essential job functions in compliance with the ADA.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with a minimum of three years of research-related experience required, preferably in a development, library, academic or legal environment.
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills required.

Additional Qualifications:

  • Development or development-related experience preferred;
  • Understanding of the role information plays in prospect development throughout the prospect cultivation cycle;
  • Ability to use extreme discretion when working with highly confidential information;
  • Requires sound judgment, strong self-direction and self-motivation;
  • Strong attention to accuracy and detail;
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with people at all levels, and willingness to function as part of a team;
  • Knowledge of Lexis-Nexis, Capital IQ, Foundation Center, Rel Sci and other fee-based resources helpful;
  • Awareness of the type and scope of data available online, and of search techniques;
  • Excellent writing and organizational skills; excellent computer skills; ability to prioritize and analyze confidential information with discretion.


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