A development manager’s main responsibilities include overseeing an organization’s fundraising department’s overall operations as well as bringing in funds for the organization through constant networking. Although some for-profit organizations may have development managers, this position is most commonly found in nonprofit organizations. As the head of the fundraising or development department, the development manager is responsible for devising strategies to assist the organization in raising funds to meet its short- and long-term financial needs. This usually entails asking for donations and sponsorships, as well as holding special events. Special events coordinator and development assistant or coordinator are usually on the development manager’s team.
Establishing ongoing partnerships with sponsors is one of the ways a development manager can raise funds for an organization. To begin these collaborations, the manager will typically prepare a sponsorship proposal or package that outlines the benefits of sponsorship and the exposure that an organization will receive. A community theater’s development manager, for example, might acknowledge a charitable organization in its advertisements, whether on radio, television, print, or the internet. The greater the financial contribution, the greater the exposure for the organization.
Networking with patrons can also help development managers bring in funds for their organizations. Individual and corporate patrons frequently support organizations related to the fine arts, such as galleries, theaters, and symphonies, as well as organizations that help important causes, such as foundations or shelters. The development manager’s job is to maintain contact with current patrons in order to maintain a positive relationship, as well as to seek out new patrons through existing contacts.
Development managers must plan ahead and form strategic plans for an organization’s financial future in addition to generating short-term cash flow. Organizing bequests for the organization is one of the best ways to do this. Long-time patrons of the organization are frequently proposed as bequests because they have already demonstrated a loyalty to the organization, making them more likely to remember it in their wills.
A development manager’s typical workday includes at least one face-to-face meeting with a potential corporate partner or significant patron. The development manager is the partner’s or patron’s first point of contact. Development managers also report to upper management on a regular basis to review how much money is being raised and to set fundraising goals for the future.