Development Director Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Development Director, or Senior Fundraising Manager, is responsible for helping to secure funds for an organization, often a nonprofit, by meeting with stakeholders. They liaise with company executives and prospective donors to provide evidence of why funding is needed and what it will achieve. The Development Director organizes special events to boost fundraising initiatives, collaborates with multiple groups within an organization, plans schedules, and works to meet budget and project deadlines.

When writing a job description for a Development Director, it’s important to specify duties and responsibilities required to excel in the role, including: 

  • Managing and promoting fundraising events through email, social media, and word-of-mouth
  • Determining the dependencies and priorities of tasks and projects
  • Monitoring the progress of projects and ensuring they are meeting their budget goals
  • Working with internal project teams to solve any issues that arise
  • Leading and directing the team on specific initiatives
  • Meeting with the leadership team to relay any lessons learned from projects
  • Developing project KPIs to track the quality and success of a project

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What does a Development Director do?

A Development Director works closely with the Chief Financial Officer to review campaign plans and track progress. They implement sales and marketing strategies and work with donors or company sponsors to secure more funding for the organization. In some businesses, Development Directors work with board members and are involved with recruiting and training new hires.

A Development Director often manages multiple fundraising projects at once to make sure they’re on track to meet deadlines and stay within the allocated budget. These projects may include events, advertising campaigns, or meeting face-to-face with potential donors. Development Directors use their expert communication skills to work with internal and external teams to solve issues that arise during events, meetings, or campaigns.

Development Director skills and qualifications 

A successful Development Director has various prerequisite skills and qualifications required to perform their job, including:

  • Ability to multi-task and work in a fast-paced environment
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong organizational, planning, and prioritization skills
  • Effective interaction with all levels of management 
  • Capable of meeting deadlines
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence
  • Strong leadership skills and ability to lead events, projects, campaigns or meetings

Development Director experience requirements

Look for candidates who have previous experience working in a business setting and in a leadership position. Those with five to seven years of experience are well-qualified. As Development Directors need to manage multiple projects at once, look for someone with Project Management experience. Candidates who are familiar with managing budgets or fundraising in other capacities are an asset.

Development Director education and training requirements

Generally, a bachelor’s degree in business administration, commerce, economics, or a related field is needed. Those with a master’s degree or other certification relevant to the industry are preferable. Candidates with additional Project Management Professional (PMP) certification are an asset. If the Development Director will work at a nonprofit organization, then you may prefer a fundraising certificate from an accredited college.

Development Director salary expectations 

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Development Director in Canada is $102,401 per year. Salary can vary depending on the candidate’s experience, location, or company that is hiring.

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Development Director job description FAQs

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

When reviewing resumes for a Development Director role, look for candidates who can show a proven track record of successful project completion. Candidates need leadership experience, negotiation skills, strong communication, and should be passionate about what the company is working to achieve. Development Directors need experience but can have worked in other industries, as core skills like budgeting and marketing are transferrable.

What is the difference between a Development Director and Technical Director?

There are some duties and responsibilities that overlap between a Development Director and a Technical Director. A Development Director helps increase an organization’s revenue and works with many teams to help ensure projects run smoothly. A Technical Director works specifically with computer software programs. 

What makes a good Development Director job description?

A good job description for a Development Director provides a high-level explanation of the type of projects the candidate will typically oversee. Describe the company’s mission and what you’re working to achieve. List any industry-specific knowledge or certification requirements clearly.

How do you make your Development Director job description stand out?

The best way to make a Development Director job stand out is to summarize the company culture and feature some of the most impactful projects your business has managed in the past or is currently working on. Include any attractive benefits like flexible working hours or performance bonuses. Specify the typical events or campaigns a candidate can look forward to managing and highlight an attractive salary.

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