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James Cheng

Senior Director,
Prospect Information Strategies
Boston University

Boston, Massachusetts

James Cheng is Boston University's inaugural Senior Director of Prospect Information Strategies. In our conversation, he talks about how this role, which he has held since March 2022, focuses on prospect analytics and pipeline development & management in support of BU's Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) office.


Highlights of our conversation:

*James' experience in computational philanthropy at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Memorial Sloan Kettering, and the differences and similarities with his higher ed. role (the pool is smaller, but the depth is deeper in higher ed.)

*"Computational philanthropy," which is an intriguing, new-to-me description of fundraising data science *"Machine learning is my jam" :-)

*Positive perceptional changes frontline fundraisers have shown about understanding and using computational philanthropy as an integral partner in development (e.g., some staff held on to an idea that "the narrative about this donor is not in the numbers")

*Any conversation with James will naturally include him excitedly talking about his passion for karaoke


Thank you James for a really fun and fascinating conversation!

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