Development Director Jobs, Responsibilities and Recruiter Expectations
The Development Director Role

The Development Director is responsible for planning, directing and coordinating all development activities including: establishing short and long-range goals for restricted and unrestricted fundraising, identifying grant sources, and developing funding projects. The Development Director cultivates and nurtures relationships with current and potential corporate and foundation sponsors, as well as individual donors. The function of Development Director jobs is to develop and grow the donor base, increase the size of gifts and grants, and provide detailed reports about fundraising progress to the Executive Director and board of directors.

What Capabilities Hiring Organizations and Executive Search Firms Look for in a Development Director

Development Director candidates should bring a proven track record of excellent management and leadership skills; high energy; positive attitude; and strong verbal and written communication skills.

Aspiring Development Directors should have the ability to develop and manage budgets; prepare financial reports; think strategically; prospect, cultivate and manage donors, as well as have excellent interpersonal skills; good judgment; and ability to work well under pressure. Development Directors should also be self-motivated and be able to handle several projects at once.

Executive recruiters will look for candidates who have demonstrated the above capabilities in their prior positions to fulfill the responsibilities of the Development Director Job. These skills and knowledge are often the result of a combination of development experience with increasing leadership responsibilities and a demonstrated track record in the planning, design, and implementing of successful fund development strategies, including collaboration with staff, board members and other volunteers.


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