Development Director Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Development Director, or Director of Development, oversees all of an organization’s fundraising and manages relationships with a company’s financial partners. Their duties include planning fundraising events, interacting with former donors to encourage ongoing contributions and seeking out opportunities for financial support through grants and sponsorships.

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Development Director duties and responsibilities

A Development Director works closely with a variety of employees and donors. They often have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Use sales and spending cycles to guide fundraising campaign decisions
  • Find ideal donors from public and private investors
  • Create a respectful reputation for the company or nonprofit they represent
  • Construct graphs and reports to convey their strategies and needs
  • Build new donor relationships while maintaining ongoing ones
  • Write content to earn grants, new audiences and better relationships with donors and other corporations

Development Director Job Description Examples:


Development Director

Job Description:

The Committee of 100 (C100) is seeking a Director of Government Affairs and Policy Development for a full-time position based in Washington, [website] This position will report to the President of C100, and work collaboratively with both the Chair of the C100 Washington DC Region and Chair of the Public Policy Committee of C100. The Director will be chiefly responsible for cultivating access and advocating on behalf of C100 before the White House, the [website] Congress, Executive Branch Agencies, think tanks, trade associations, and relevant stakeholder constituencies on matters affecting the dual mission of the organization. The Director will also serve as the C100 chief policy development and programmatic advisor. This position develops and implements all objectives, strategies and operating plans for C100 pertaining to government affairs and policy.

The ideal candidate will have at least 7-12 years of federal work experience. Previous legislative employment in the [website] Congress and/or Executive Branch Agency experience is strongly preferred.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Build and maintain relationships with key points of contact in the Washington [website] public policy community, including the White House, [website] Congress, Executive Branch Agencies, think tanks, trade associations, and relevant stakeholders on matters affecting C100’s dual mission.

  • Monitor activities pending or taken by decisionmakers affecting C100’s dual mission, including legislative, regulatory, and policy initiatives.

  • Analyze legislation and provide policy advice in key areas of interest for C100; prepare briefings for C100 on key legislative and Exeutive Branch Agency matters.

  • Advise and assist in developing public policy responses reflecting the dual mission of C100.

  • Advise and assist the C100 DC Regional Chair and local C100 members on programs in Washington and programs generally which include a Washington nexus.

  • Advise and assist the Public Policy Committee Chair in policy development and execution.

  • Serve as C100’s liaison with key interest groups and leading organizations in Washington, [website]

  • Effectively craft collaborations to promote the engagement of the C100 dual mission on the federal, state, and local levels.


  • Strong commitment to vision, mission, and values of C100.

  • A bachelor’s degree and at least 7 years of advanced-level experience in federal public policy advocacy.

  • Must have work federal experience with the [website] Congress and/or an Executive Branch Agency; experience as a [website] Senate or House Committee staff or as a senior staff for a Senator or House Representative is preferred.

  • Strong advocacy skills and abilities

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

  • Excellent project management and Microsoft Office Suite skills

    Job Type: Full-time

    Salary: $120,000.00 to $165,000.00 /year


  • Government Relations: 7 years (Required)


  • Bachelor's (Required)

    Work authorization:

  • United States (Required)


  • Health insurance

  • Dental insurance


  • Monday to Temporarily due to Covid-19
  • ×

    Development Director

    Administrative Information

    Job Title: Development Director

    Reports to: Executive Director, First Step Shelter Inc.

    Exempt Position

    Date of Job Analysis: February 01, 2020

    JOB Summary

    First Step Shelter is a transitional shelter for single men and women who have been homeless. Residents live with us while receiving services to stabilize their lives, get jobs, and find housing.

    The Development Director for First Step Shelter Inc. heads the ongoing fundraising, planned giving program objectives, and operational needs. The Development Director coordinates the nonprofit donation strategies and staff/volunteer leadership.

    The Development Director organizes large-scale fundraising initiatives, works with board members, identifies and writes grants, manages the annual fund, builds relationships with donors together with the Executive Director, identifies and cultivates relationships with prospective major gift donors, grows small donors, oversees in-kind donations, manages donor database and works with the volunteer coordinator to support volunteer management.

    Essential Functions Performed

  • Plans major giving programs

  • Researches major gift donor prospects

  • Works with Executive Director to grow relationships with major gift donors

  • Develops donor solicitation strategy for major gift prospects

  • Designs and operates donor stewardship programs

  • Tracks and assesses major gift fundraising metrics

  • Identifies and stewards prospective donors

  • Works with fundraising volunteer advisors

  • Creates major gift proposal documents

  • Utilizes major giving fundraising and marketing tools, including on-line tools

  • Works collaboratively with board members and staff on fundraising

  • Researches and writes grants

  • Plans and implements large fundraising events

    JOB Specifications


    Bachelor’s Degree in Social Services, Business or related field; the equivalent combination of education and work experience


    Minimum of 6 years’ experience in comprehensive fundraising methods

    Minimum of 6 years’ experience in identifying sources of funding for nonprofit organizations

    Minimum of 6 years’ experience in grant writing

    Skills Required

    Evidence of Federal Grant Awards

    Evidence of meeting organizational fund-raising goals

    Evidence of managing special events

    Facility in using donor management systems

    Skilled communicator, with superior interpersonal, verbal, and written skills

    Time management skills

    Grant writing skills


    Service mentality

    Organizational and Leadership skills

    Resume AND Cover Letter ARE Both Required

    Job Type: Full-time

    Salary: $33.00 to $38.46 /hour


  • grant writing: 6 years (Required)

  • cultivating major donors: 6 years (Required)

  • fundraising: 6 years (Required)

  • senior-management: 3 years (Required)


  • Bachelor's (Preferred)

    Work Location:

  • One location


  • Health insurance

  • Paid time off

  • Flexible schedule

    This Job Is Ideal for Someone Who Is:

  • Dependable -- more reliable than spontaneous

  • Adaptable/flexible -- enjoys doing work that requires frequent shifts in direction

  • Innovative -- prefers working in unconventional ways or on tasks that require creativity

  • High stress tolerance -- thrives in a high-pressure Monday to Other
  • What does a Development Director do?

    Development Directors typically work at non-profits and community organizations that rely on charitable donations to sustain their mission, but they can also work at corporations seeking partners on new initiatives. A Development Director is responsible for raising enough money to meet their organization’s financial goals, forecasting future income and gathering feedback from donors. Development Directors work closely with public relations professionals to attract attention from potential supporters and host industry events that raise awareness of their organization’s goals. They help department leaders to create their own fundraising programs and connect them with opportunities to get more donations.

    Development Director skills and qualifications

    Here are some common skills and qualifications needed to become a Director of Development:

    • Management or leadership experience preferred
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills required
    • Organizational, time-management and problem-solving skills needed
    • Ability to lead and direct others
    • Excellent attention to detail
    • Knowledge of grant writing
    • Some knowledge of different CMS platforms
    • Event planning capabilities 

    Development Director salary expectations

    A Development Director makes an average of $95,526 per year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.

    Development Director education and training requirements

    Most Development Directors have at least a bachelor’s degree in nonprofit administration, business administration, communications or a similar field. Some Development Directors hold a Master of Business Administration or a master’s degree in fundraising, which may substitute for some experience and training. 

    There is a Certified Fund Raising Executive certification for these professionals, though it is not a minimum requirement. A CFRE demonstrates a candidate’s ability to apply fundraising techniques in a role. A Director of Development often receives training as they gain experience in lower-level fundraising roles. They could also seek training to become more effective managers since it is a leadership position.

    Development Director experience requirements

    A Director of Development should have at least five years of experience. For larger companies or nonprofits, they may need up to 15 years to show they can manage more employees and responsibilities. Experience should be mainly in fundraising, though marketing, communication or business roles can transfer well. Candidates should have familiarity with sales and marketing strategies, grant writing and event planning. Leadership experience is especially useful for managing fundraising employees.

    Job description samples for similar positions

    Here are some job description samples similar to a Director of Development:

    Frequently asked questions about Development Directors


    What are the qualities of a good Development Director

    Because Development Directors are in charge of keeping key patrons happy and engaged in their business relationships, a good Development Director should be charming, persuasive and have excellent customer service sensibilities. They can anticipate the wants and needs of both donors and their employer, finding mutually beneficial ways to acrue wealth for an organization. Successful Development Directors enjoy collaborating with others and use attention-to-detail to coordinate large-scale events. They are analytical and can make accurate projections about donor commitments and the availability of financial resources.


    What is the difference between a Development Director and an Operations Director?

    Development Directors are in charge of gathering funds for an organization while Operations Directors are responsible for administering the day-to-day logistics. Development Directors and Operations Directors can work together to prepare overall budgets for an organization and set expectations for how much money is necessary to continue carrying out essential tasks. Operations Directors also help Development Directors coordinate equipment, decor, staff and refreshments for fundraising events, process donations and communicate with the public.


    What are the daily duties of a Development Director?

    Development Directors work in an office coordinating staff on fundraising campaigns and travel to meet clients or attend events. They host meetings with wealthy donors to secure the business relationship and provide updates on the organization’s new initiatives. Development Directors personally manage high-profile donors and delegate small-scale fundraising to other marketing, membership and customer relations staff. Development Directors analyze data reports to determine the effectiveness of different fundraising efforts, then adjust their overall strategy to focus on the most lucrative fundraisers.


    What should you look for on a Development Director's resume?

    A Development Director’s resume should have a balance of business experience, management and sales. They should understand how non-profit business structures work and be passionate about their organization’s mission, allowing them to persuade new donors to contribute to a cause. Experience in fundraising is an essential part of a Development Director’s resume. Look for details on how well the candidate met fundraising projections on past projects to determine the effectiveness of their fundraising techniques. Strong candidates will highlight relationship-management with longstanding sponsors.

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