Prospect Development is the strategic arm of an organization's fundraising operation, focusing on prospect pools and pipelines. Prospect Development professionals collaborate with gift officers and development leaders to ensure fundraising efforts are focused on working with the right donors for the right gifts at the right time (and in many case, with the right initiatives).

Prospect Development has evolved over the years to include the following roles and responsibilities:

  • Prospect identification and research: discovering and evaluating prospective donors and their interests, relationships, inclination to give and philanthropic capacity to inform and support an organization's fundraising strategies and outreach efforts. 
  • Relationship management: managing, tracking, and reporting on an organization's activity with it's constituent and prospect pools, and making recommendations to positively influence fundraising and campaign activity.
  • Data analytics: supporting an information-driven decision culture by deriving conclusions and identifying trends through the statistical analysis of internal and external data. 

This evolution has been driven in part by advances in information management technology, data storage, trends in information availability, and increased need for data-driven decision making in the non-profit world.

Prospect development practitioners are guided by a code of ethics outlined by Apra International, that ensures all activities performed are legal, ethical and appropriate for their respective organizations. 

Prospect development professionals work in a variety of fundraising organizations, including but not limited to: higher education, private schools, medical centres and hospitals, arts organizations, social service organizations, environmental agencies and political organizations.