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What does a Director of Development do?

Learn all about Director of Development duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Director of Development.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

The Director of Development is responsible for leading and executing the organization's fundraising efforts. This includes developing and implementing strategies to increase donations, managing relationships with donors, and overseeing the development team. The Director of Development must be able to effectively communicate the organization's mission and goals to potential donors and build relationships with key stakeholders.

Director of Development job duties include:

  • Overseeing and leading all fundraising efforts for the organization
  • Developing and implementing strategic fundraising plans
  • Building and maintaining relationships with major donors
  • Identifying and soliciting new corporate and foundation partners
  • Managing a team of development professionals
  • Planning and executing special events to support fundraising goals
  • Creating and managing annual giving campaigns
  • Writing grant proposals to secure funding from foundations and government agencies
  • Overseeing stewardship activities for donors

Director of Development Job Requirements

Most organizations require their Director of Development to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, although some may prefer or require a master’s degree. Many organizations also prefer candidates who have experience working in development, fundraising, or a related field. Additionally, some organizations may require or prefer candidates who have certification from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

Director of Development Skills

  • Strategic Planning
  • Fundraising
  • Donor Relations
  • Event Planning
  • Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Budgeting
  • Staff Management
  • Volunteer Management
  • Board Relations
  • Database Management

Related: Top Director of Development Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Director of Development

The role of a Director of Development is to lead and oversee all fundraising efforts for an organization. This includes creating and implementing strategies to increase donations, developing relationships with potential donors, and stewarding existing donors. To be successful in this role, one must be an excellent communicator, have strong relationship-building skills, and be highly organized.

If you are interested in becoming a Director of Development, the first step is to gain experience in the fundraising field. This can be done by working in a development office, volunteering for a nonprofit organization, or interning at a philanthropic foundation. Once you have gained some experience, it is important to develop a network of contacts in the philanthropic community. These contacts can provide valuable information and resources as you move into a leadership role.

When you are ready to take on the role of Director of Development, it is important to create a comprehensive fundraising plan. This plan should include both short-term and long-term goals, as well as specific strategies for achieving those goals. Once your plan is in place, it is important to implement it effectively and efficiently. This requires strong organizational skills and the ability to delegate tasks appropriately.

As Director of Development, you will be responsible for leading your organization’s fundraising efforts. This means that you must be able to inspire others to support your cause. You must be able to articulate your vision for the organization and its importance in the community. In addition, you must be able to build relationships with potential donors and cultivate those relationships over time. Finally, you must be able to stewardship existing donors so that they continue their support for your organization.

Related: Director of Development Resume Example

Related: Director of Development Interview Questions (With Example Answers)