View job on Handshake

Are you interested in supporting fundraising strategies for leading scientists, educators, and visionaries to accomplish their ambitious goals? If the answer is yes, join a team committed to advancing biodiversity science, environmental learning, and collaborative engagement to regenerate fragile ecosystems worldwide through our Hope for ReefsThriving California, and Islands 2030 initiatives.

We hope you are inspired by what we do and are excited to contribute to our mission. The Academy is looking for candidates who do great work, and we know they may come from many different backgrounds and experiences. We encourage you to apply even if you do not believe you meet every ­one of the qualifications for the position.

The Prospect Research Analyst position is currently hybrid in-person/remote and can change as business needs warrant. The candidate must easily be able to work onsite at the museum in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco when needed. Candidates must have up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination, including receiving a booster shot, as a condition of employment, absent qualifying exemptions in accordance with applicable laws. Individuals receiving a conditional offer of employment from the California Academy of Sciences will be provided with the full text of the vaccination policy.


The Prospect Research Analyst provides proactive and strategic prospect analysis and donor research to support the California Academy of Sciences’ mission to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. Reporting to the Director of Development Operations, this full-time position is part of a Development Operations team that supports the Development department’s fundraising goals exceeding $30M annually. Donor contributions fund Academy core programs and global, cross-functional, and forward-thinking gifts that advance research and science education to promote regenerative solutions in the Bay Area and worldwide.

We are committed to ensuring diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion are intrinsic to Academy culture and operations, from recruitment and retention to science and advocacy. Explore Our Commitment to Racial Equity to learn about our intentional engagement of traditionally excluded groups to spark interest in or foster pathways to scientific careers.


  • Evaluate and identify prospective donors to the Academy independently and proactively according to the ethical standards of the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA)
  • Conceptualize and develop prospecting methodologies to support organizational goals, including data mining and constituent database queries on individuals, corporate, and foundation prospects
  • Understand, deploy, and project manage the Academy’s use of DonorSearch Aristotle, a machine learning AI algorithm that recognizes patterns and makes specific recommendations on prospects ranging from monthly donors to principal givers – this entails liaising with specific Academy staff for data needs and working with DonorSearch Aristotle staff to interpret learnings and keep a cadence of prospect analysis
  • Apply understanding of Academy Strategic Initiatives to aid in aligning major donor prospect interests with funding opportunities
  • Make recommendations to Donor Relations Manager to inform moves management strategies (moving donors through the pipeline with increased giving)
  • Work closely and collaboratively with the Development Research Manager to relay information for detailed profile creation
  • Create actionable donor event participation research summaries for Academy leadership and Development staff
  • In collaboration with the Development Operations team, update and maintain donor and prospect Tessitura database records, including biographical, financial, and philanthropic information; classify prospects according to interest and Academy affinity/financial capacity
  • Utilize and employ additional donor prospect platforms and screening services
  • Undertake financial analysis of donor and prospect wealth; conduct detailed and in-depth prospect research



qualified candidate will have a combination of the following experience and/or equivalent education:

  • One+ years of experience in a transferable field in prospect research, development, fundraising, administrative, market research, and/or relevant experience in an office environment
  • Computer proficiency and ability to learn new software 
  • Working knowledge of prospect research concepts and platforms, including but not limited to DonorSearch, LexisNexis, Relationship Science, Blackbaud Giving Search, and Foundation Directory – comfort working in DonorSearch and other donor research tools
  • G Suite (Google Apps) experience along with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Demonstrated database experience or familiarity and/or willingness to learn database work, specifically in the Academy’s CRM, Tessitura
  • Familiarity with Bay Area or environmental philanthropic communities


  • Demonstrated understanding of biographical and financial reference sources and ability to gather information effectively from a variety of resources
  • Ability to analyze data and make informed giving projections; familiarity with data mining concepts and techniques
  • Experience in developing systems and prioritizing projects
  • Ability to work effectively and productively independently and collegially as a self-starter in a team-oriented environment
  • Excellent organizational and time-management skills, ability to manage multiple tasks and projects, and demonstrated success delivering high-quality work and meeting deadlines
  • Proactive and solutions-oriented approach to challenges
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills, including strong proofreading skills and attention to detail
  • A good attitude and sense of enjoyment when working with different groups of people, exploring diverse viewpoints, and finding points of agreement to move a project forward
  • Interest and/or experience in museums and concepts related to biodiversity, sustainability, and the natural world
  • Knowledge and interest in the Academy and enthusiasm for the mission and philanthropy are required


Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to meet the job’s essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, sit, use a computer, and communicate on the phone, in person, and during online meetings/calls. Must be able to perform repetitive motions 90% of the time.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: The hiring committee will review applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.


Please upload a resume and complete the brief online application with the link provided.

The California Academy of Sciences will give full consideration for employment to all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (SF Police Code, Article 49).

The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to ensure that all employees and applicants receive equal consideration and treatment, regardless of race, color, creed, gender (including gender identity or gender expression), religion, marital or domestic partner status, age, place of birth, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, height or weight, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.