Building Leadership

Director of Development (Small Organization)

Small organization, $3 million to $10 million in revenues; Youth Development

In this small and emerging organization, the director of development is responsible for building and executing the development plan, and implementing the information technology systems to support the function. S/he also is responsible for running special events.  

Feel free to use and modify this sample job description to help you create one for your organization.


Sample job description:

Position Description

XYZ Nonprofit
Director of Development


Founded in 1995, XYZ Nonprofit's mission is...

We do this by...

Revenues: $0 to $3 million

For more information, please visit


Reporting to and in partnership with the Executive Director (ED), the Development Director (Director) will spearhead development efforts as XYZ Nonprofit continues to grow. A new position in the organization, the Director will have the opportunity to build the development function.


  • Develop and execute XYZ Nonprofit's annual fundraising plan
  • Secure financial support from individuals, foundations and corporations
  • Manage the implementation of Raiser's Edge and oversee staff responsible for data entry and gift processing
  • Develop and maintain ongoing relationships with major donors
  • Creating and executing a strategy for a large sustained base of annual individual donors
  • Overseeing organization of special events
  • Developing and tracking proposals and reports for all foundation and corporate fundraising


  • BA (required), MA (a plus)
  • 5-plus years experience in development
  • Demonstrated excellence in organizational, managerial, and communication skills
  • Knowledge of Raiser's Edge

Sources Used For This Article:

Each sample job description is intended to be a jumping off point, and likely will need to be tailored to meet the particular needs of your organization. Feel free to use and tailor these descriptions for your hiring needs.

This work by The Bridgespan Group is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at Bridgespan's Terms of Use page.


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Katie Smith Milway
Susan - I would be delighted to read your paper, and agree that due diligence on a nonprofit's "customers" - both sets: donors and clients - is linchpin to assessing the viability of an acquisition. In tandem, you'd want to assess the potentail acquisition's funding model. Is it reliant on government funding? Corporate? Mass market? Answering that question, and assessing the depth of the funding pool the organization swims in, will inform growth potential for the merged entity.
3/11/2014 10:19:55 PM

Hi Susan,

I would be interested in speaking with you more about non-profit mergers and acquisitions, as our organization is currently in the midst of taking the lead on this concept for the first time.

Email me if you get a chance. Thank you!

10/31/2013 3:02:49 PM

suzanne boileau
To the attention of the previous commentor, Susan J. Alston:

Hi Susan:

I would be very interested in learning more about your merger experiences specifically around the donor/database and stewardship concerns. I am in the exploratory phase of a potential merger with two other charities in our sector and the concerns you mention are top of mind for me.


2/24/2013 10:17:13 AM

Susan J. Alston
Great research, I am surprised that I didn’t come across this paper when I completed an in-depth study of three mergers in Massachusetts in 2011. My perspective was a bit different, it pertained to determining the relevant criteria needed to assess the integrity of existing fundraising practices and stakeholder sentiment during the due diligence procedures PRIOR to a nonprofit merger. Having been involved with three mergers as the Director of Development of the primary organization, I observed that the secrecy and omission of donor-database scrutiny prior to a merger was a significant hindrance to the development staff converting relevant information in a timely manner to inform and prepare stakeholders of the merger and to successfully continue cultivating, stewarding and soliciting donors. If you would like to read the paper, please send me an email and I will respond with the attachment.
2/18/2013 9:31:13 AM

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