What Makes a Great Development Director

Recently I talked with an organization that had 82% of its revenue generated from ticket sales and a paltry fundraising department. No matter how often I pointed out that their fundraising operation was under-performing and that they could grow their organization financially in a significant way by focusing on development, the argument fell on deaf ears.

They felt good that their ticketing results got them to where they are, but they had a blind spot for fundraising. It’s a shame because non-profits can’t survive on ticket sales alone, and this year’s box office success is no guarantee for the future. This leads me to a well written article from Raise-Funds that talks about what qualities make a great development director, and trust me, it’s not about smiling and “having a great personality.”

This article outlines the key requirements for the job. If you’re looking to hire, this is a must-read. If you’re already in development, this might be a good way to benchmark yourself. If you’re in marketing, maybe you want to switch – the article points out how closely related fundraising is to sales, a truth that is often overlooked.

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