Prospect Research Specialist

Put your passion and skills to work for the planet. Climate change is the most urgent issue of our time, and we need people like you to help us build a vital Earth — for everyone.


We’re Environmental Defense Fund, a fast-paced nonprofit with a growing staff of more than 1,000 people in nearly 30 countries. We deliver game-changing solutions that cut climate pollution and strengthen people’s ability to thrive despite the effects climate change is already having. We work wherever we can have the most impact, from local communities to top companies to governments worldwide, and even in space.


Our culturevalues and commitment to diversity make EDF an exciting and meaningful place to work. Every job here makes a difference. Won’t you join us?

Prospect Research Specialist

New York, NY

Overall Function


Under the supervision of the Manager, Prospect Research the Prospect Research Specialist researches, analyzes, and recommends strategy on donors and prospective donors with Major Gift capacity (both in the US and internationally).


The Prospect Research Specialist also partners with Major Gift Officers on strategy and assists with special projects.


Key Responsibilities:

  • Conducts reactive research and prepares briefing materials for Executive & Development Staff for events and meetings, with emphasis on constituents’ wealth, interests (including philanthropic interests) and relationships
  • Partners with Major Gifts Officers (focusing on strategy development)
  • Manages research needs for Program Staff’s meetings with donors
  • Assesses capacity, interests, philanthropy and relationships to identify and qualify new prospective donors and assesses new opportunities with existing donors, through the following avenues:
    • Research on prospective donors suggested by staff and volunteers;
    • Research on Membership donors who appear to have major gift potential
    • Sphere of influence mapping
    • Searching Foundation Directory Online and keeping up with the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
    • External sources including the Eco-Rich List, key industry lists, annual reports, etc.
    • Participates in advancing EDF DEI goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values.


  • At least 2 years of experience in Prospect Research, including experience with targeted Google searches, Salesforce, LexisNexis, NOZA, Foundation Directory Online, RelSci, and other common sources.
  • Experience with Blackbaud ResearchPoint and analyzing Securities & Exchange Commission filings and other financial data a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to peruse large volumes of information, find the details relevant to fundraising, present findings and recommendations clearly, concisely, and accurately a must.
  • Candidate must be a self-starter, detail oriented, well-organized, and able to plan and execute projects from conception to completion.
  • Ability to produce and manage multiple requests at one time is essential.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Familiarity with an environmental organization a plus.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • Bachelor’s degree a plus.


Hiring Range

We offer a strong total rewards package encompassing competitive salary, robust benefits, and professional development opportunities consistent with a modern global organization.

The pay range for this role is 63,000 - 69,000 USD which takes into account factors such as candidate experience, skills, training, internal team equity and local norms.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.