Position: Manager of Prospect Research
Reports to: Director of Development Operations
Status: Full-Time, Exempt

Lyric Opera of Chicago exists to provide a broad, deep and relevant cultural service to the Chicago region and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form of opera.

We are searching for a Manager of Prospect Research to oversee the vigorous identification of new major and principal gift prospects and to create the infrastructure to support significantly more ambitious annual and capital fundraising programs. The Manager will be responsible for the maintenance and continuous improvement of the prospect identification process (including key influencers and connectors), research and analysis, and tracking. The Manager will play a key role in the major and principal gift fundraising process.


Duties and Responsibilities: 

Prospect Identification and Management

  • Create strategies for identifying new prospects in line with departmental needs

  • Leverage wealth screenings and predictive modeling techniques to support the campaign planning process and enhance a data-driven approach to prospect management

  • Create and direct a rigorous portfolio management process to measure metrics and progress of all gift officers

  • Lead regular prospect review meetings

  • Conduct gift pyramid and prospect pipeline analysis to assess current and future prospects needed to achieve fundraising goals

  • Build, track, analyze and report on all prospect activities

  • Support the Nominating Committee of the board

Briefings and Profiles

  • Provide prospect profiles, including assessment of wealth and philanthropic interests (or grant-making criteria), and propensity to support Lyric to the extent possible

  • Provide high quality briefings on donors and prospects in advance of meetings and events

Measure Prospect Activity and Effectiveness

  • Develop assessment and measurement strategies and methods to report on the effectiveness of prospect activity

  • Develop and lead projects to streamline and improve internal systems and processes

  • Evaluate existing and new research resources to ensure that the most effective tools are available and utilized.

Policies and Procedures

  • Ensure that prospect research and management policies and procedures are implemented and regularly reviewed


Knowledge and Skills:


  • Strong track record in researching and profiling individuals and organizations

  • Experience working in a major gift fundraising environment and in-depth understanding of the types of information required by fundraisers

  • Experience working on a large capital or endowment campaign

  • Ability to use, or develop, a prospect management system to a high degree of sophistication, especially for relationship tracking and reporting

  • Experience in providing briefings, including Executive level

  • Familiarity with prospect pool building resources, including wealth screenings and predictive modeling

  • Ability to make evidence-based judgments – must be analytical and decisive

  • Strong written and oral communication skills, with a keen eye for detail


  • Knowledge of the Tessitura database


Work Conditions:

  • Ability to occasionally oversee evening or weekend functions, deployments or performances

  • Sitting for extended periods of time

  • Ability to operate a computer keyboard, mouse, and to handle other office equipment

How to Apply

Please forward a resume and cover letter denoting the position of interest to jobs@lyricopera.org or mail to Lyric Opera of Chicago, Attention: Human Resources, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 860, Chicago, IL 60606.

Lyric Opera of Chicago is committed to enhancing our diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Lyric does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, parental status, veteran status, or any other protected status under applicable laws. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply.