Manager of Donor Relations and Prospect Research


Carlow University invites applications for the Manager of Donor Relations and Prospect Research. A critical member of the University Advancement team, this position provides research on and stewardship of current and prospective donors to the University. Primary responsibilities include the creation and implementation of an annual, comprehensive donor relations program for the University and the investigation into prospective donors’ philanthropic histories and motivations with the goal of fully supporting the University’s fundraising efforts.

The Manager reports to the Director of Annual Giving and Special Projects and works closely with them, as well as the Vice President of Advancement and other front line fundraisers, to manage a comprehensive array of stewardship activities, prospect management assignments and donor communications, including but not limited to recognition events, thank you letters, endowed fund reporting, donor profiles and gift agreements.


  • Implement and maintain a consistent donor recognition program through events, letters, permanent recognition (naming opportunities, gift clubs, etc.) and annual recognition initiatives (honor roll, gift clubs, etc.) 
  • Responsible for devising and using consistent, accurate, and appropriate information-sharing mechanisms for stewarding prospects and donors. Proactively supports the stewardship responsibilities of the development staff by assisting them in establishing and coordinating individualized stewardship plans for donors. 
  • Collaborate with gift officers to establish donor agreements for endowed and restricted funds. 
  • Works with Fund Managers across the University to monitor status of funds to ensure proper recognition and compliance 
  • Monitor the endowed scholarship/awards program in close cooperation with the Financial Aid and Business Offices to ensure appropriate use of endowed and restricted funds and to ensure that communications with the donors are occurring as appropriate
  • Prepare accurate and timely reports on gifts, endowed funds, scholarships and memorial funds including financial status of funds to donors and administrators
  • Prepare background summaries for prospective donors and trustees that provide interests, university affiliations, and estimates of financial capacity to guide the development of cultivation and solicitation strategies by development officers
  • Coordinate with gifts officers, deans, and department chairs to provide relevant information in preparation for donor visits; implement and coordinate donor recognition events in cooperation with major gift officers to ensure consistency; 
  • Work collaboratively with University Advancement staff to compose letters, compile appropriate invitation lists, create programs and provide program materials for special events, prepare program scripts and participant remarks (as needed) and create and/or obtain donor awards and recognitions (award nominations, etc.)
  • Develop a thorough understanding of the gift cycle and a creative outlook on donor engagement, staying current on stewardship trends and best practices
  • Participate in review sessions and in developing major gift strategy. 
  • Demonstrate and reflect understanding of and commitment to the mission and core values of the University and the Sisters of Mercy. 
  • Perform other related duties as assigned. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary based upon departmental needs. 
  1. Bachelor's degree in marketing, public relations, communications or closely related field.
  2. Additional years of qualifying experience may be substituted for the required education on a year-for-year basis. 
  3. The full-time equivalent of two to three years of related professional experience.
  4. Prospect research experience preferred or experience in similar areas such as investigative research in the financial sector or internet/database searching for business or educational purposes.
  5. Related experience in development in higher education or non-profit sector preferred.
  6. Knowledge of university fundraising and stewardship practices highly preferred. 
  7. Ability to take initiative and independently plan, organize, coordinate, and perform work in various situations where numerous and diverse demands are involved and where meticulous attention to detail is required.
  8. Demonstrated strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  9. Expertise in investigating and analyzing problems with a broad administrative impact and implications.
  10. Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective collaborative working relationships within and outside the work group and serve as a liaison for University Advancement.
  11. Excellent project management skills and ability to work independently as well as collaboratively to juggle priorities and achieve results.
  12. Demonstrated dedication to outstanding customer service.
  13. Exceptional interpersonal skills, including strong listening and interpretive skills. Ability to work effectively with donors, alumni, faculty, administrators, and students.
  14. Ability to maintain a flexible schedule and work evenings and weekends on occasion.

Carlow University employees commit themselves to the highest standards of ethical conduct. They commit to act with integrity, treat others with respect and dignity, carefully steward the University's resources, avoid conflicts of interest or commitment, maintain confidentiality, and to comply with legal and professional obligations.

Send cover letter and resume to

Carlow University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. We strive for a campus that reflects our urban setting and is inclusive of underrepresented groups to enhance our University community.

Full/Part/FT&PT: Full-time - exempt
Department: Advancement
Contact Name/Title: Search Committee
Contact Address: Carlow University 3333 Fifth Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Contact Email Address: