Position: Director, Development Research and Prospect Strategy

January 2014

Position Summary

The Director of Development Research and Prospect Strategy oversees the research, prospect management, cultivation and data management functions of the Development Department.

Primary Responsibilities


  • Responsible for the content, caliber, presentation and availability of all individual, foundation and corporate research.
  • Provide research to executive staff, high-level volunteers, and other Metropolitan Opera departments as required, for the purposes of cultivation and planning of ticketed events.
  • Establish policies and oversee research procedures to maximize effectiveness, utilizing standard reference sources and in-house databases and files, while ensuring that the Research Dept. remains current on all emerging tools and methods of research.
  • Identify prospective Patrons and Patrons who have the inclination and capacity to upgrade their membership to higher giving levels.
  • Administer prospect meetings.
  • Ensure that research staff adheres to industry ethical standards and maintain confidentiality.
  • Hire, train and supervise research staff.
  • Train and orient select Development staff members on Internet and general research tools.
  • Manage the annual Research Dept. budget, including preparation, re-forecast and tracking expenses.
  • Manage the daily calendar of Research projects and set long-range goals and objectives.
  • Evaluate available products and negotiate with outside vendors to ensure services necessary to operate multi-faceted department.
  • Maintain in-house request tracking system.
  • Establish policies and procedures regarding periodic file collections.


Prospect and Cultivation Management

  • Create and administer a system to assist and guide Development staff members and volunteer solicitors to maximize results and reduce expenditures in the course of cultivating donors and prospects by creating an evaluation system within the Tessitura database to measure and analyze individual cultivation efforts including contacts, meetings, entertaining, box parties, etc.
  • Design and implement statistic reports in Tessitura database to measure incremental revenue against expenses produced by all such activities.
  • Determine which activities provide maximum results and use this information to suggest how to best deploy the department’s cultivation budget.
  • Schedule and conduct quarterly meetings with each solicitor to discuss progress and make recommendations.
  • Analyze, on a regular basis, each solicitor’s portfolio to monitor timeliness and effectiveness of contacts and recommend actions as necessary.
  • Meet regularly with Director of Development to report findings and make recommendations as to how to best administer departmental cultivation budget to maximize increased giving and attract new donors.

Data Management

  • Oversee production of the annual Board Directory with responsibility for the content and integrity of Met Board lists.
  • Act as Development liaison with Application Support and Finance regarding data issues; represent Development’s interests on the Met’s Tessitura conversion leadership team, and oversee and vet appropriateness of modifications to database.
  • Develop, implement and manage any overlay or screening projects related to the Development Department, in coordination with the Information Systems Departament and Application Support.

Qualifications and Skill Requirements

  • Strong management skills.
  • Strong supervisory skills.
  • 5-7 years in prospect research.
  • Must possess strong organizational and project management skills
  • Extensive knowledge of research databases such as Lexis/Nexis, the Internet, etc.
  • Must have excellent presentation, communication and writing skills.
  • Must have sophisticated end-user computer skills and experience using databases. Extensive knowledge of MS Word, MS Excel and MS Access is preferred.
  • Ability to multi-task.

Compensation and Benefits

To apply please send your resume with a cover letter to resumes@metopera.org.

To Apply:

E-Mail (Preferred): resumes@metopera.org