Development Director

Generate funding for nonprofit organizations and causes.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$67,000 – $128,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Development Directors do?

Want to save the polar ice caps or our education system? Believe it or not, one of the best things you can to is to go into sales. As a Development Director, you bring in the money needed to run nonprofit organizations, schools, libraries, and other projects working for the greater good.

A Development Director’s organization will most likely need multiple streams of revenue, including grants, individual donors, events, and a board of trustees. People and companies won’t support your program unless you give them really compelling reasons to do so; there are so many good causes out there, and getting them funded is a competitive business. Development Directors will need a killer communication strategy to keep donors involved and interested—and most importantly, you’ll need to keep expressing your gratitude. In other words, this job involves a lot of kissing up.

You have to be passionate enough about the organization’s mission—increasing college readiness for high school students from low-income families, for instance—that you can talk about it every day. At the same time, you have to be OK with the fact that you won’t be working directly with those students benefiting from the program. To get even more meta, you might not even be the one writing grant proposals or sending letters to potential donors: at a large enough organization, you’ll be managing a staff of Grant Writers, Development Coordinators, and volunteers who will work on those details.


Should I be a Development Director?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • Also known as: Development Officer, Director, Fundraising, Director, Funds Development, Director of Capital Giving See More

    How to become a Development Director

    Most Development Directors have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aef9ga&chl=|certificate+%286%25%29|associate%27s+%287%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2878%25%29|master%27s+%288%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,78
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