Vanderbilt University Medical Center Fundraising Research Specialist - VUMC Development in Nashville, Tennessee


Through the exceptional capabilities and caring spirit of its people, Vanderbilt University Medical Center leads in the delivery of exemplary health care, improving the lives of individuals and communities regionally, nationally and internationally. We combine transformative educational programs, compelling scientific discoveries, and distinctive personalized care to achieve this goal.

To consistently achieve excellence in medical science and health care, Vanderbilt University Medical Center Development builds relationships and encourages philanthropic contributions to directly impact today’s work and to secure a strong future of service. Enthusiastic and timely support from our philanthropic partners enables the Medical Center as a nonprofit academic medical institution to excel in conducting groundbreaking research, training future leaders and providing compassionate care to patients.

Primary Function

  • Handle incoming research requests from clients (including Development Officers and Medical Center and Development Leadership) and manage increasing needs to continue to grow the donor pipeline.

  • Enhance efforts to complete proactive research and relationship management work in addition to managing reactive projects and requests.

  • Identify and profile potential major (\$25,000+) and principal gift (\$1 million+) donors to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to enhance 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 Senior Director of Analytics and Relationship Management (ARM).

Primary Responsibilities

  • Provide prospect identification and research needs for an assigned group of development officers (clients) enabling them to meet and exceed fundraising goals. Coordinate referrals and proactive work in identifying new leads for the Discovery pipeline.

  • 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. Keep Senior Director informed of requests and progress on projects.

  • 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 Development policies.

  • As requested by clients, provide briefing materials to leadership and other key VUMC administrators regarding major donors/prospects.

  • Provide guidance and leadership to the research analyst and new development staff through formal and informal mentoring activities.

  • Provide leadership on the ARM team and serve as resident specialist on a research-related subject, such as data-mining, finance, corporate research, etc.

  • Possess high-level of knowledge and understanding of the donor database.

  • Utilize news alerts and push technology to review local and national news from internet-based sources. Review published periodicals, annual reports and ranking lists to glean relevant information. Forward relevant articles/news 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.

  • Maintain data entry of wealth indicators for donors and prospects in the database.

  • Safeguard the confidentiality of donor information at all times. Uphold Development policies regarding confidential information.

  • Adhere to ethical and confidentiality guidelines as indicated by the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA) as well as VUMC guidelines.

  • Achieve proficiency and mastery of APRA Advanced Skills Set; adhere to HIPAA protocols.

  • Review wealth screening results for potential donors and existing donors to the Medical Center.

  • Assist with portfolio assignments and updates for Development Officers.

  • Assist with maintaining data integrity and data entry in Advance database.

  • Manage special tasks and 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.

  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree and at least two years of relevant experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • Three or more years experience in prospect research, university advancement, healthcare development, non-profit operations or other relevant experience.

  • 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, databases and wealth screening applications.

  • Knowledge of Advance or Raiser’s Edge database.

  • Exemplary communication, organizational and customer service skills a must.


Bachelor's Degree (or equivalent experience) and 2 years experience

Licensure, Certification, and/or Registration (LCR):

Job Development

Organization: VUMCDEV RRM 108170

Title: Fundraising Research Specialist - VUMC Development

Location: TN-Nashville-3322 West End Avenue

Requisition ID: 1810473

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action.