Development Portfolio and Research Officer


Development Portfolio and Research Officer

Development Operations


Full-time, Exempt

Salary, commensurate with experience


The Development Portfolio and Research Officer develops and leads a proactive strategy to build a robust pipeline of local, national, and international major and leadership gift prospects for the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).  Performs related work as required. 


  • Leverage wealth and data analytic screening tools and methods to identify, qualify, research, and rate prospects and their affiliated charitable foundations, ensuring that this information is properly documented in the DIA’s system of record, The Raiser’s Edge 7 database.
  • Partner with the major gift, corporate and planned giving officers to match prospects with specific museum fundraising initiatives, which require a comprehensive knowledge of the DIA’s programs and fundraising goals.
  • Respond to a wide variety of research requests and perform and communicate reactive research for other advancement professionals. Undertake special projects as assigned. 
  • Communicate appropriate qualitative research findings to leadership, major gift officers, and other development professionals. Prepare and deliver actionable information about the museum’s prospects in ways that are readily accessible by the Development team.
  • Devise success metrics by which the research program will be measured and evaluated annually.
  • Work cooperatively and effectively with the Development Department as well as other colleagues in the museum as appropriate. 
  • Utilize a wide variety of electronic and hard sources that are the standards of this profession. 
  • The Development Research Officer is a key member of DIA’s Development Team and reports to the Director of Development Operations. S/he combines a profound understanding of the museum’s business needs with the creative use of technology, transforming complex data into actionable information to advance the DIA’s mission. Though not a data analyst, the Research Officer should be familiar with, and be able to, directly contribute to the mission of the DIA.


  • Bachelor’s degree and minimum 5 years of experience in prospect research, prospect management, or a related field in a fundraising environment.
  • Advanced knowledge of campaign planning and prospect pool development.
  • Advanced knowledge of research techniques, methods, and resources including externally available databases.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills with the ability to effectively communicate to a diverse audience.
  • Ability to exercise good judgment in setting priorities in order to meet deadlines.
  • Comfort with working independently and handling multiple research projects at a given time.
  • Ability to think strategically and develop both short and long-term goals.
  • Proven ability to work collaboratively and build and maintain effective relationships with both internal and external colleagues.
  • Must be able to identify and adapt to shifting priorities, be flexible and resourceful, and exercise professionalism with numerous constituencies. 
  • Great attention to detail is essential.
  • Familiarity with data mining, prospect screening, and other wealth identification programs.
  • Understanding of and strict adherence to professional ethical standards and confidentiality is required.
  • Demonstrated ability to handle confidential materials and situations with good judgement, sensitivity, and discretion.

Desired Qualifications

  • Familiarity with data visualization applications such as Tableau.
  • Experience with developing and/or using predictive modeling.
  • An intensely curious person, who naturally wants to fully investigate and fulfil requests within the scope of his/her work, who can learn to anticipate those requests, and who can build both an electronic and verbal/mental “library” of his/her findings.
  • Ability to track trends in fundraising in general.
  • The ability to do some institutional and historical research as well as advancement research is desired.
  • A voracious consumer of information both from printed materials as well as electronic sources (magazines, newspapers, articles), and be supremely comfortable in an arts setting, as betting the mission of the Museum.

If you are interested in applying for this position, you must do so online by clicking the “Apply” link below.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.   

Employment applications and/or resumes will not be accepted in person or by mail, e-mail, or facsimile.