A top development director job description is your nonprofit's window to fundraising and community success. Draw in top candidates with our essential tips!

A development director is essentially the captain of your organization’s ship, and without an experienced nonprofit professional at the helm, chances are your overall funds and management will suffer.

To keep your nonprofit’s operations afloat, it’s imperative that your organization seek out a born leader and expert philanthropist with a well-rounded development director job posting.

Typically close partners with the executive director and major gift officer, your development director’s chief priority is to design and execute a killer fundraising game plan for your organization.

With so many duties on a development director’s shoulders, it’s understandable why your nonprofit’s executive search team may have trouble constructing an informative and inviting job post.

Thankfully, we’ve mapped out the essential elements of a master development director job posting for you to draw in top candidates, including:

  1. A development director job description template.
  2. Development director key responsibilities.
  3. Development director job requirements.
  4. Where to post your development director job description.

No matter what your cause or community may be, these job posting tips will ensure your organization finds the right development director to champion your philanthropic goals.

Reference our handy template for how to craft a development director job description.

Development Director Job Description Template

Due to the adaptable nature of a development director’s duties, it’s easy for your nonprofit’s job description to become disorganized and overstuffed with information.

Make sure your job description stays on a clear and coherent path by taking inspiration from the following development director job posting example. 

Columbus Learning Institute Seeks Development Director

The Columbus Learning Institute seeks a full-time development director to head our ongoing fundraising and operational needs. Reporting to the executive director, this professional must have an established background in coordinating nonprofit donation strategies and staff/volunteer leadership. This role involves organizing large-scale fundraising initiatives, working with board members, managing our annual fund and building relationships with donors, staff and volunteers. The development director will also assist our major gift officer with implementing major giving and planned giving fundraising strategies. Our ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five years of fund development experience, preferably in the education and nonprofit fields. They should also be familiar with CRM nonprofit software, donor databases and other fundraising technology to use in their daily job duties. Applications will be accepted through October 31 and early submissions are encouraged. Please send application materials (resume, cover letter, references and salary requirements) to janet@columbuslearninginstitute.com.

This job description template is simple yet thorough in explaining the multi-functional executive role of the development director job opening.

To craft your job description using a letter format, check out DonorSearch’s free template and top tips for finding your nonprofit’s next executive director.

Have a firm understanding of your development director's primary duties.

Development Director Key Responsibilities

Your development director will most likely tackle a range of responsibilities all rooted in long-term fundraising like capital campaigns, annual fund management and donor stewardship.

The role of a development director can be molded to fit your organization’s exact needs. While a smaller nonprofit may enlist a volunteer to take on the job, another nonprofit may find more value in delegating a development director’s responsibilities to other executive leaders.

That being said, the development director role is widespread enough to warrant a specific individual or team to manage all ongoing work.

For instance, the main tasks that should fall to your nonprofit’s development director include:

  • Planning and evaluating fundraising campaigns and activities.
  • Managing the organization’s budget and fundraising income programs.
  • Identifying and stewarding prospective donors.
  • Recruiting and training fundraising staff and volunteer leaders.
  • Staying on top of fundraising trends and the nonprofit community.

It’s also important to note in your job description the everyday activities your development director will handle such as:

  • Communicating with donors and staff via email, phone or social media.
  • Answering donor and staff inquiries in a timely fashion.
  • Using prospect research tools and your donor database to build donor relationships.
  • Creating solicitation materials for the fundraising team.

Overall, the ability to multi-task and connect with people are valuable qualities that should be emphasized to your development director applicants. 

Define your ideal education, experience and job skills for development director applicants.

Development Director Job Requirements

Due to the versatile nature of the development director position, it’s not unusual for necessary job qualifications to vary between organizations. After all, your nonprofit’s unique objectives will most likely require the assistance of a tailored development director professional.

For ideas on what education, experience and primary skills to be on the lookout for, follow along with us below.

1. Education and Experience Levels

As a top representative of your organization, it’s customary for your development director to meet greater expectations than other nonprofit staff. That being said, when it comes to analyzing a development director’s education and experience, the latter item should definitely be taken into higher consideration.

Additional fundraising degrees and certificates may be beneficial, but at the end of the day the only education your nonprofit should require from a development director is an undergraduate degree. 

Instead, your nonprofit should focus more on your candidates’ fund development and team leadership experience in a nonprofit or career-related setting.

Your organization can prioritize this key information in your job post by asking your applicants to detail notable fundraising planning, training and executing experience in their cover letter or application materials. Encourage them explain how their past fundraising experience will benefit your organization and help them transition into your development director role.

2. Top-billed Skills in a Development Director

Your job post is also the perfect place to highlight ideal fundraising and technology skills that will set your development director applicants apart.

By taking note of specific skill sets early on, your organization can more efficiently review applications that not only meet your development director guidelines but rise above them.

Take a look at our top suggestions for preferred development director skills below:

  • Superb written, verbal and interpersonal skills.
  • Time management and flexibility with job duties.
  • Fundraising software and tools expertise.
  • Creative, self-starter attitude.
  • Donor and volunteer service mentality.
  • Organized and effective team leader.

These exemplary skills are typically outlined in a job description downloadable resource attached to your online job post.

Learn more about executive search best practices with Aly Sterling Philanthropy’s local nonprofit executive search pages.

Navigate nonprofit job boards and letter templates to successfully promote your development director job opening.

Where to Post Your Development Director Job Description

Speaking of job boards, now that your development director job post is ready, it’s time to move forward with marketing your job opening online to qualified individuals.

A great place to start is by surveying leading nonprofit job boards to see which platform and pricing package best fits your needs and budget. While mainstream job search engines like LinkedIn and Indeed are tempting, we also encourage you to check out local nonprofit job boards to target ideal applicants in your area.

For instance, did you know Aly Sterling Philanthropy provides job posting resources for local nonprofit partners?

Other reputable nonprofit job boards we recommend include:

  • CFRE International — This online career center offers one-of-kind employer services and job postings from around the world.
  • The Chronicle of Philanthropy — A nonprofit magazine, this publication features grants, resources and a virtual job board.
  • Idealist — Visit this website for national nonprofit job and volunteer listings for English and Spanish-speaking job seekers.

Another best practice is to prominently display the following details at the top of your job posting in order to immediately attract a job hunter’s eye:

  • The official job title.
  • Your nonprofit’s name.
  • The application deadline.
  • Location.
  • Salary/compensation.

For a firsthand look at what an executive leadership job description should focus on, check out this example of a downloadable resource paired with an online job description. As a separate document, this resource can be easily printed and shared.

Furthermore, the branding connects the applicant to the cause and the extra space gives a nonprofit the opportunity to expand on their mission and location.

Reference our real-life example of a professional development director job description.

Rest assured, if your organization prefers to connect with nonprofit professionals directly, you can always work with an executive search firm to craft a personalized job description from a mock letter template.


A development director symbolizes many things about a nonprofit organization such as your creativity, work ethic and reputation to name a few. Start your executive search off right with a master development director job post that successfully draws in your top percentage of contenders.

For more on nonprofit hiring and executive search, check out these additional resources:

  1. How to Write a Major Gift Officer Job Description: 4 Must-Know Tips — Explore our strategies for creating an inviting and effective major gift officer job description. 
  2. Hiring a Fundraising Consultant: 12 Essential Tips — For nonprofits looking to bring on an executive search firm, take a moment to break down the hiring process first with our in-depth guide.
  3. 7 Tips for Hiring a Top-Notch Development Expert — Before you draft your development director job description, check out Qgiv’s essential tips for hiring this key executive player.

A top development director job description is your nonprofit's window to fundraising and community success. Draw in top candidates with our essential tips!

A development director is essentially the captain of your organization’s ship, and without an experienced nonprofit professional at the helm, chances are your overall funds and management will suffer.

To keep your nonprofit’s operations afloat, it’s imperative that your organization seek out a born leader and expert philanthropist with a well-rounded development director job posting.

Typically close partners with the executive director and major gift officer, your development director’s chief priority is to design and execute a killer fundraising game plan for your organization.

With so many duties on a development director’s shoulders, it’s understandable why your nonprofit’s executive search team may have trouble constructing an informative and inviting job post.

Thankfully, we’ve mapped out the essential elements of a master development director job posting for you to draw in top candidates, including:

  1. A development director job description template.
  2. Development director key responsibilities.
  3. Development director job requirements.
  4. Where to post your development director job description.

No matter what your cause or community may be, these job posting tips will ensure your organization finds the right development director to champion your philanthropic goals.

Development Director Job Description Template

Due to the adaptable nature of a development director’s duties, it’s easy for your nonprofit’s job description to become disorganized and overstuffed with information.

Make sure your job description stays on a clear and coherent path by taking inspiration from the following development director job posting example. 

Columbus Learning Institute Seeks Development Director

The Columbus Learning Institute seeks a full-time development director to head our ongoing fundraising and operational needs. Reporting to the executive director, this professional must have an established background in coordinating nonprofit donation strategies and staff/volunteer leadership. This role involves organizing large-scale fundraising initiatives, working with board members, managing our annual fund and building relationships with donors, staff and volunteers. The development director will also assist our major gift officer with implementing major giving and planned giving fundraising strategies. Our ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five years of fund development experience, preferably in the education and nonprofit fields. They should also be familiar with CRM nonprofit software, donor databases and other fundraising technology to use in their daily job duties. Applications will be accepted through October 31 and early submissions are encouraged. Please send application materials (resume, cover letter, references and salary requirements) to janet@columbuslearninginstitute.com.

This job description template is simple yet thorough in explaining the multi-functional executive role of the development director job opening.

To craft your job description using a letter format, check out DonorSearch’s free template and top tips for finding your nonprofit’s next executive director.

Development Director Key Responsibilities

Your development director will most likely tackle a range of responsibilities all rooted in long-term fundraising like capital campaigns, annual fund management and donor stewardship.

The role of a development director can be molded to fit your organization’s exact needs. While a smaller nonprofit may enlist a volunteer to take on the job, another nonprofit may find more value in delegating a development director’s responsibilities to other executive leaders.

That being said, the development director role is widespread enough to warrant a specific individual or team to manage all ongoing work.

For instance, the main tasks that should fall to your nonprofit’s development director include:

  • Planning and evaluating fundraising campaigns and activities.
  • Managing the organization’s budget and fundraising income programs.
  • Identifying and stewarding prospective donors.
  • Recruiting and training fundraising staff and volunteer leaders.
  • Staying on top of fundraising trends and the nonprofit community.

It’s also important to note in your job description the everyday activities your development director will handle such as:

  • Communicating with donors and staff via email, phone or social media.
  • Answering donor and staff inquiries in a timely fashion.
  • Using prospect research tools and your donor database to build donor relationships.
  • Creating solicitation materials for the fundraising team.

Overall, the ability to multi-task and connect with people are valuable qualities that should be emphasized to your development director applicants. 

Development Director Job Requirements

Due to the versatile nature of the development director position, it’s not unusual for necessary job qualifications to vary between organizations. After all, your nonprofit’s unique objectives will most likely require the assistance of a tailored development director professional.

For ideas on what education, experience and primary skills to be on the lookout for, follow along with us below.

1. Education and Experience Levels

As a top representative of your organization, it’s customary for your development director to meet greater expectations than other nonprofit staff. That being said, when it comes to analyzing a development director’s education and experience, the latter item should definitely be taken into higher consideration.

Additional fundraising degrees and certificates may be beneficial, but at the end of the day the only education your nonprofit should require from a development director is an undergraduate degree. 

Instead, your nonprofit should focus more on your candidates’ fund development and team leadership experience in a nonprofit or career-related setting.

Your organization can prioritize this key information in your job post by asking your applicants to detail notable fundraising planning, training and executing experience in their cover letter or application materials. Encourage them explain how their past fundraising experience will benefit your organization and help them transition into your development director role.

2. Top-billed Skills in a Development Director

Your job post is also the perfect place to highlight ideal fundraising and technology skills that will set your development director applicants apart.

By taking note of specific skill sets early on, your organization can more efficiently review applications that not only meet your development director guidelines but rise above them.

Take a look at our top suggestions for preferred development director skills below:

  • Superb written, verbal and interpersonal skills.
  • Time management and flexibility with job duties.
  • Fundraising software and tools expertise.
  • Creative, self-starter attitude.
  • Donor and volunteer service mentality.
  • Organized and effective team leader.

These exemplary skills are typically outlined in a job description downloadable resource attached to your online job post.

Learn more about executive search best practices with Aly Sterling Philanthropy’s local nonprofit executive search pages.

Where to Post Your Development Director Job Description

Speaking of job boards, now that your development director job post is ready, it’s time to move forward with marketing your job opening online to qualified individuals.

A great place to start is by surveying leading nonprofit job boards to see which platform and pricing package best fits your needs and budget. While mainstream job search engines like LinkedIn and Indeed are tempting, we also encourage you to check out local nonprofit job boards to target ideal applicants in your area.

For instance, did you know Aly Sterling Philanthropy provides job posting resources for local nonprofit partners?

Other reputable nonprofit job boards we recommend include:

  • CFRE International — This online career center offers one-of-kind employer services and job postings from around the world.
  • The Chronicle of Philanthropy — A nonprofit magazine, this publication features grants, resources and a virtual job board.
  • Idealist — Visit this website for national nonprofit job and volunteer listings for English and Spanish-speaking job seekers.

Another best practice is to prominently display the following details at the top of your job description in order to immediately attract a job hunter’s eye:

  • The official job title.
  • Your nonprofit’s name.
  • The application deadline.
  • Location.
  • Salary/compensation.

It also never hurts to feature a downloadable resource with your online job description. As a separate document, this resource can be easily printed and shared. Furthermore, the branding connects the applicant to the cause and the extra space gives a nonprofit the opportunity to expand on their mission and location.

Rest assured, if your organization prefers to connect with nonprofit professionals directly, you can always work with an executive search firm to craft a personalized job description from a mock letter template.


A development director symbolizes many things about a nonprofit organization such as your creativity, work ethic and reputation to name a few. Start your executive search off right with a master development director job post that successfully draws in your top percentage of contenders.

For more on nonprofit hiring and executive search, check out these additional resources:

  1. How to Write a Major Gift Officer Job Description: 4 Must-Know Tips — Explore our strategies for creating an inviting and effective major gift officer job description. 
  2. Hiring a Fundraising Consultant: 12 Essential Tips — For nonprofits looking to bring on an executive search firm, take a moment to break down the hiring process first with our in-depth guide.
  3. 7 Tips for Hiring a Top-Notch Development Expert — Before you draft your development director job description, check out Qgiv’s essential tips for hiring this key executive player.

Aly Sterling Philanthropy

Aly Sterling Philanthropy

Over the years we’ve helped nonprofits raise millions of dollars, engage their leaders, hire top-notch talent and grow their missions. Are you ready to move your mission forward? Contact us to get started.
Aly Sterling Philanthropy
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