Prospect Researcher

Job Type

Full Time




San Francisco
United States



This is a moment like no other to defend democratic institutions—including a vigorous and independent press. Mother Jones is the nation’s widest-reaching and longest-lived nonprofit investigative reporting organization, built on an extraordinary community of reader support. Join us in building the journalism that our democracy needs right now.


You’ve got the training and experience to find great donors with the potential to deliver transformative support for mission-driven organizations. You know how to communicate that information to front-line fundraisers and organizational leaders. And you have the maturity and confidence to contribute to a strong research program for future growth.

Now, you’re looking for the next big step, and you’re looking to make it with an organization that’s known for innovative approaches to fundraising, and whose work makes a genuine difference in the world. You know how you work best: with a lot of independence, but with a team of terrific collaborating professionals. You’re ready to leave the world of college and university fundraising behind and want to see your work make a real-world difference.


Named 2017 Magazine of the Year and reaching nearly 9 million people each month in print and online, Mother Jones is a world-class nonprofit journalism organization with more than 40 years of history, tested leadership, and a clear sense of mission and position.

Time and again, our reporting has broken through to the larger public—consider David Corn’s election-shaping 47 percent story during the 2012 presidential campaign, or his October 2016 exposé of the Russia-Trump dossier that set the stage for the most serious scandal in American political history, or reporter Shane Bauer’s award-winning 35,000- word investigation into the private prison industry.

We cover the issues that matter—democracy and inequality, global security, war and peace, racial justice, corruption and cronyism, gender and reproductive justice, criminal justice, climate, health, food and agriculture, the future of work and education—and do it in a way that reaches millions, influences opinion, and affects the public debate. That’s why we’ve been called an “internationally recognized powerhouse.”

Driving this success is a business model grounded in broad-based reader support: 70 percent of our revenue comes from our readers, either as subscriptions or donations. (The balance is split between foundation grants and advertising revenue.) So while VC-funded and advertising-dependent media outlets go through round after round of layoffs and cutbacks, we’ve grown, with 100 full-time staffers and journalism fellows based in San Francisco, New York, and Washington, DC.

This is truly the moment for Mother Jones—a moment when uncertainty, heightened tensions both domestically and globally, and a tectonic shift in economic, cultural, and political assumptions dominate the news. You can help us meet this challenge.


We’re looking for a committed, experienced, self-directed Prospect Researcher to deepen Mother Jones’ community of donor support. You’ll be part of a small but mighty eight-person development team responsible for raising half of Mother Jones’ $17.5 million budget from major donors, foundations, planned gifts, events, and midlevel donors. You’ll also support the Moment for Mother Jones special campaign to fund the organization’s future growth (we’re more than halfway towards the $25 million goal).

Major Responsibilities:

  • Support the development team and organizational leadership in achieving Mother Jones’ mission by gathering, analyzing, and presenting information on high value current and potential prospects and donors, primarily focused on individuals but also including foundations and corporations;
  • Identify and evaluate potential donors, classify prospects according to interest, affinity, and financial giving capacity for follow-up by gift officers. Create systems to ensure this is an ongoing and robust function;
  • Respond to inquiries and include in donor database concise written reports that determine donor background, financial assets, potential for philanthropic support, and areas of interest;
  • Provide capsule donor bios on a timely basis for Mother Jones events (ranging from house parties to large public events);
  • Collaborate with staff and vendors to produce donor screenings and ratings, qualify and implement results of screening data, and develop strategic direction on the use of analytic data in the identification of prospective donors;
  • Collaborate with gift officers to ensure high quality donor stewardship and management;
  • Participate in meetings with fundraisers to review portfolios and strategic next steps;
  • Serve as a subject matter expert resource on donor and prospect research, as well as vendors, research tools, and methods for entire development department;
  • Keep abreast of developments in prospect research by attending training sessions and communicating with other researchers by means of national and state professional organizational memberships, conferences, and electronic mailing lists focusing on prospect research and fundraising issues;
  • Other responsibilities as necessary as assigned by the publisher.


  • Passion for the mission of Mother Jones, independent journalism and its essential role as a pillar of democracy;
  • Minimum two years of general fundraising experience including prospect research duties, or related job duties;
  • Excellent analytical skills and the ability to locate and interpret financial and biographical information from a variety of sources;
  • Ability to work effectively in a deadline driven environment;
  • Excellent written/oral/interpersonal communication skills; Must be able to write research documents with attention to accuracy and detail;
  • Ability to interact positively with diverse groups and personalities;
  • Displays grace under pressure, excellent organizational skills, and ability to meet deadlines and handle several projects simultaneously;
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and discretion;
  • Independent judgment and initiative;
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite, Salesforce donor software, WealthEngine or similar databases, Internet research;
  • College degree preferred with demonstrated skill in research, writing, and editing;
  • Equivalent or similar experience in a parallel work environment will also be considered.

Mother Jones and its parent organization, the Foundation for National Progress, are committed to building and maintaining a diverse and welcoming workplace. We do not discriminate in our hiring based on race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, marital status, veteran status, union activity, physical or mental disability, AIDS/HIV status, on-the-job injuries, age, or any status otherwise protected under applicable federal, state, or local laws.

To apply, please send a résumé and cover letter to with “Prospect Researcher” in the subject line. No calls, please.


In addition to the opportunity to work with a pretty amazing crew, we have fantastic benefits, including health, dental, and vision benefits for our employees and their dependents (premiums fully paid by Mother Jones), paid vacation starting at three weeks per year, pretax commuter benefits and an FSA program, a matching 401(k), a flex-hours program, and a 37.5-hour workweek.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

To apply, please send a résumé and cover letter to with “Prospect Researcher” in the subject line. No calls, please.