Development Director Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Development Director, or a Development Officer, is responsible for securing donor funds and implementing the strategic vision of an organisation. Their primary duties are planning for and executing fundraising plans, maintaining donor portfolios and leading the in-house development team. 


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Development Director duties and responsibilities

The primary duties and responsibilities of the Development Director can include:

  • Overseeing the organisation’s fundraising programs and initiatives
  • Researching donation programs that are favourable to the organisation
  • Designing and implementing pilot and full-scale development projects
  • Preparing project reports and presenting them to donors and stakeholders
  • Meeting with the donor’s representative to ensure the program’s plan matches the donor’s view
  • Keeping track of sent proposals and updating the development team
  • Developing and managing the organisation’s fundraising policies and best practices
  • Initiating and nurturing organisation-donor relationships by maintaining communication and through gift recognition programmes


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Development Director Job Description Examples:


Example 1

Summary of Major Responsibilities: A flexible, creative, and rigorous scientific leader with a track record of creating and commercialising impactful genetic or epigenetic analysis chemistries. Working in a fast-paced environment at the interface of chemistry, molecular biology, and bioinformatics, you will lead a team focused on identifying, optimizing, and characterizing Exact Sciences’ ground-breaking TAPS chemistry for DNA methylation analysis. The Associate Director, Chemistry Development will lead the development of the core reagents used to implement TAPS in a variety of assay contexts and partner with internal and external organizations to develop high quality and cost-effective manufacturing processes and QC methods, while aiming to deliver world-class assay performance and robustness in both the IVD and RUO context. The successful delivery of these projects will be critical for the delivery of highly impactful products that will transform cancer care. The place of work is Oxford, United Kingdom. Essential Duties and Responsibilities: Lead the development and commercialization of chemistries used in ground-breaking genetic analysis technologies and products in a fast-paced product development environment. Drive the recruitment of a world-class chemistry team and provide them with leadership, coaching, and career development opportunities. Collaborate effectively with local and global R&D teams and senior staff on project requirements, planning, execution, and reporting. Lead efforts to optimize chemistries and reagent formulations to achieve commercial levels of performance, stability, and robustness. Establish capabilities enabling the of chemistries and develop quantitative and scaleable assays to identify and control critical parameters. Drive the development and documentation of scaleable processes and specifications for manufacturing and QC to enable successful transfer to manufacturing partners. Identify, build, and maintain working relationships with external partners and vendors to achieve company goals. Present results, recommendations, and progress reports regularly to senior staff, colleagues, and collaborators. Promote and support the development of the Quality Management System and compliance with quality and governance procedures. Supervise staff; including, but not limited to, organize and prioritize work, write/conduct performance reviews, train/develop, and manage work performance. Communicate goals clearly to employees to ensure understanding and success in achieving them. Motivate and inspire employees to do their best work through coaching. Maintain morale and support employee engagement initiatives. Uphold company mission and values through accountability, innovation, integrity, quality, and teamwork. Support and comply with the company’s Quality Management System policies and procedures. Skills Exercise excellent team working skills; ability to complete collaborative projects on time and within budget. Exercise excellent verbal and written communication skills; ability to communicate complex ideas and information to a range of stakeholders. Displays a high level of self-motivation and ambition. Ability to act with an inclusion mindset and model these behaviors for the organization. Maintain regular and reliable attendance. Qualifications: Minimum Qualifications [website] in Chemistry or similar discipline. 8+ years post-PhD experience in chemistry R&D, with 6+ years of industry experience 2+ years of experience in RUO or IVD product development processes from concept through development and transfer to manufacturing. Successful track record working with leadership and executing efforts to identify and develop new chemistries ideally in the field of genetic or epigenetic analysis. Strong record of commercializing RUO or IVD products that incorporate significant chemistry component. Significant understanding of the design and development of chemistries and reagent formulations that deliver high levels of performance and robustness in customer hands. Broad and deep knowledge of analytical tools used for chemical and the ability to identify and implement tools required to characterize novel chemistries and develop robust specifications. Demonstrated proficiency working within a Quality Management System. Demonstrated ability to perform the Essential Duties of the position with or without accommodation. Right to work in the United Kingdom without sponsorship. Preferred Qualifications Experience working with high throughput genomic analysis tools, especially next-generation sequencing (NGS). Familiarity with the analysis and interpretation of NGS data. EEO Disclosure: We are an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, creed, disability, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and any other status protected by applicable local, state or federal law. Applicable portions of the Company’s affirmative action program are available to any applicant or employee for inspection upon request.

What does a Development Director do?

A Development Director helps the organisation raise funding through donor engagement and capture management. They do this after thoroughly assessing project proposals. They market the organisation through advertisements and promotions, positioning a brand as a donor’s favourite. When donors have queries or concerns, they respond to them. The Development Director also builds a cohesive team, mentoring them in order to reach their organisation’s goals. They also give major stakeholders updates from time to time and provide updates on spending and project progress.


Development Director skills and qualifications

A successful Development Director candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that generally include:

  • Proven fundraising or project management ability
  • Strong understanding of the funding process, grants and loan application
  • Ability to attract and sell the brand value to prospects
  • Proactive collaborating and networking skills to work across diverse stakeholder groups
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite
  • Tactfulness to professionally handle ambiguous and complex situations
  • Excellent grant writing and presentation skills
  • Ability to track donor trends to increase the chance of securing project funding


Development Director experience requirements

A prospective Development Director has at least three years of fundraising and management experience, preferably in a non-profit organisation. They must be able to show concrete evidence of interacting with donors and securing funds. Other essential skills include grant writing and project planning experience. 


Development Director education and training requirements

A prospective Development Director should have a bachelor’s degree in business administration. A master’s degree with coursework in project management, strategic planning or  grant writing is also ideal. Some organisations prefer candidates with a Certified Fund Raising Executive certification.


Development Director salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Development Director is £75,755 per year in the UK. Their salary may vary depending on their job location, the candidate’s level of experience and the particular organisation.


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Development Director job description FAQs


What should you look for in a Development Director Curriculum Vitae?

In a Development Director’s CV, look for strong project management skills and for someone who has good attention to detail. A history of undertaking successfully funded projects and mobilising resources as well as personnel is a plus. A Development Director with a CV showcasing strategic decision making and leadership capabilities can help the organisation meet its goals. A verifiable list of previous project donors as references is a major plus. Experience working with non-governmental organisations or donor agencies is also desirable.


What qualities make a good Development Director?

The Development Director should have exceptional fundraising skills, and must be able to persuade and convince donors. Since donor needs are dynamic, the Development Director must develop new strategies to engage them. The Development Director needs to have perseverance and be able to handle rejection well. They also need to create flexible strategies in order to adjust their pleas and secure funding. The Development Director needs to be creative person and should be able to plan a fundraiser. A forward-thinking Development Director can help reverse a mid-campaign slump and keep stakeholders engaged.


Who does a Development Director report to?

A Development Director reports to the Executive Director or the Senior Programme Development Director. This person, in turn, updates the organisation’s board on the projects undertaken. They also liaise with the board of directors before making any major funding decisions.


What is the difference between a Development Director and an Executive Director?

The role of the Executive Director is more “organisation centred”, while the Development Director is “donor centred.” The Executive Director is responsible for leading the organisation in efficiently executing its mission, and the Development Director has to find the money to actualise projects. The Development Director is solely responsible for project implementation, while the Executive Director provides strategic leadership. The Executive Director also oversees the day-to-day operations of an organisation.

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