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Top Paying Social Work Jobs: #7 Director of Development of a NPO


#7 Director of Development of a NPO

By David Lasuertmer

Average Salary: $62,879
Job Outlook: Very Good (15% growth rate within the next decade)

While not all non-profit organizations have professional fund-raising officers on staff, any organization that counts on contributed income to provide a substantial portion of its budget should have a professional development director. In small organizations, the development director could conceivably be a volunteer. However, the important thing is that within even the smallest of non-profits, someone is given as his or her primary organization responsibility the coordination and implementation of contributed income programs. A development director’s principal charge is to create numerous, efficient, and compelling opportunities for donors to support an organization and to make the experience of giving satisfying and rewarding. It is not a good idea for an organization’s executive director to also fill the role of development director. If the organization has a valid mission, the executive director has a full-time role to play in coordinating and carrying out that mission.

Fund-raising needs to be someone’s primary concern. To illustrate that point, look at the following breakdown of the time spent by a generic development director on various important activities: Plan fund-raising campaigns and activities: 25%; Manage fund-raising campaigns and activities: 25%; Recruit and train volunteer fund-raising leadership: 15%; Identify and cultivate prospective donors: 10%; Stay on top of advancements and changes that are pertinent to raising money within the community, to the organization’s mission and programs, and to the development profession: 10%; Forecast and evaluate the potential of fund-raising campaigns and activities: 5%; Produce solicitation materials and train volunteer solicitors for fund-raising campaigns: 5%; Manage personnel within the development department and interact with other organization staff members: 5%. Does this look like a job that can be done well as an adjunct to another? Development professionals must have a temperament suited to serving people’s needs. They have to be attentive, persistent, and flexible. They need to have a thick skin, and be willing to hide their light under a bushel. In fund-raising, the glory goes to the getters, not the facilitators. Well-trained and experienced development officers are in high demand.


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