In a non-profit organization, the director of development (or development director) is responsible for ensuring that the organization has necessary funding to function. This means the director of development creates and implements a fundraising plan detailing how the organization can obtain financial support; often, the plan identifies sources such as individual investors, grants, charitable events, marketing opportunities, and corporate investors. The fundraising plan also contains strategies to successfully build a large donor base and ensure effective fundraising. The director of development then reports this plan to the other senior leadership and the organization’s board of directors. At a small nonprofit organization, the director of development may be required to personally solicit donors, be responsible for the organization’s branding, and play a large role in the organization’s public relations strategies. At a large nonprofit organization, the director of development most likely oversees a development team which they would be responsible for staffing and maintaining.
To become a director of development, a bachelor’s degree is often required, usually in business or a related field. As with most senior positions, a master’s degree may not be required, but may be preferred. A director of development would also be required to have at least five years of experience in a non-profit leadership position or similar fundraising experience. Prospective directors must be familiar with operational processes in nonprofits and legalities surrounding non-profit fundraising techniques.
Director of Development, Non-Profit Organization Tasks
- Oversees fundraising: write grants, research foundations and corporations, and oversee or implement other fundraising strategies.
- May also be responsible for the financial condition of the organization along with business development.
- Develop and implement a strategic plan to raise funds for their organization in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner.