Organizational Structures of Research Offices in Advancement

Topics: Advancement Organizational Structure, Advancement, Donor and Prospect Relations, Data Management, Information Technology

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This report examines organizational structures of research offices in advancement.

It details the main functions of these research offices and the differences in how institutions employ research staff in development today compared to 10 years ago. It also explains how to transition staff functions, including timeline, costs, changes in reporting structure, and outcomes.

  • Key observations from our research

    1. Prospect researchers divide their time between identification, management, profiling, and analytics.
    2. Profiled advancement offices typically maintain between one and five research staff members.
    3. Profiled advancement offices employ both on-campus resources and third-party vendors to establish an analytics program.
    4. Typically, a restructuring of the prospect research office occurs only after staff retirement.