Development Director

A development director is the senior financial officer of an organization, company, or corporation. The position is comparable to a chief financial officer (CFO) or treasurer. A development director is usually remunerated for his or her work . In best practices for non-profit organizations, development directors earn salaries. Commissions are still considered unethical by professional organizations such as the Association for Fundraising Professionals, but the practice of commission based remuneration is growing, particularly in the current economy.

Senior fundraising employees of North American non-profit organizations are usually called the development director instead of chief financial officer, in order to avoid the business connotations which the latter name evokes. It also distinguishes them from other members of the board of directors (who are often not remunerated for their roles) and from non-executive directors, who are not actively involved in running the corporation.

The role of a development director is to develop and implement a strategic plan to raise vital funds for their organization in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner.The development director's primary responsibility, however, is to oversee fundraising, rather than to actually raise money. This person may write grants, research foundations and corporations, and oversee or implement other fundraising strategies, but she or he works mostly behind the scenes, establishing a structure for effective fundraising. The development director may also be responsible for the financial condition of the organization, including developing business plans in collaboration with the board for the future of the organization. The development director is accountable to the Executive director and the board (which grants the executive director the authority to run the company) and reports to the executive director on a regular basis. The board often offer suggestions and ideas about how to increase the fundraising, including contacts, and the development director chooses how to implement these ideas to maximize inflow while keeping outflow at a minimum and keeping donors happy.

The development director has an outreach role in the organization and often fulfills a Public affairs role in addition to office-based work. Development directors motivate and satisfy donors, board members, staff and even the press.

As the title suggests, the development director is concerned with the growth of the organization. This includes staff, membership, budget, company assets, and all other company resources, to help make the best use of them and maximize the organization's profitability and profile.

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