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What Is a Development Director and How to Become One

Development Director

What Does a Development Director Do?

A development director is responsible for fundraising strategies and initiatives to help promote the business and operations of nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and hospitals. As a development director, your job duties include reaching out to potential benefactors, maintaining relationships with existing donors, devising new strategies for fundraising, and organizing fundraising events. These events may consist of benefit concerts, dinners, parties, and special events. Collaborating with company management is also a regular part of your job. Depending on the organization, your exact duties may vary.

How to Become a Development Director

The qualifications needed for a career as a development director include a bachelor’s degree in business, nonprofit administration, or public administration and experience as a grant writer or fundraising specialist. Most employers require between four and fifteen years of experience in fundraising before you qualify for a job as development director. You need strong communication skills, an understanding of contract management, and proficiency with fundraising software.

What Makes a Good Development Director?

To be a good development director, you need excellent interpersonal skills to build rapport with benefactors and philanthropists. Additionally, you need strong communication skills to promote your fundraising events and projects to the community. You must also be a good writer with experience with grant proposals, as these are key to securing funds for a non-profit. However, being a development director is about more than just fundraising and getting grants. You need to convey the importance and significance of your cause to members of the community and get them on board, with their hearts, minds, and wallets.

Development Director Job Description Sample

With this Development Director job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Development Director role.

Job Summary

Our non-profit is looking for a Development Director to help lead our fundraising efforts. This job entails finding new donors, maintaining relationships with our current donors, and developing new strategies to secure funds. This position also involves grant writing, event organizing, or traditional phone campaigning. You will oversee the collection of donations through these methods and help us boost our public image in order to attract new donors. Our ideal candidate has several years of fundraising experience and a bachelor's degree in business. You should also have some managerial experience.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Find potential individual and corporate donors
  • Maintain relationships with current donors and solicit larger commitments
  • Plan events and campaigns to attract new donations
  • Manage our fundraising staff

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in business
  • Several years of fundraising experience
  • Experience in a managerial role
  • Proficiency with customer relationship management (CRM) software