Development Director Salaries: New Figures From Guidestar

If your nonprofit’s New Year’s resolutions include hiring a development director (DD) — or making sure that yours is earning enough to keep him or her around for a while — check out the latest, 2011 Nonprofit Compensation Report from Guidestar (a sample of which can be viewed online).

In terms of nationwide numbers, the report shows that:

  • In organizations with the smallest-size budgets, of $250,000 or less, the average DD receives a salary of $43,294.
  • In mid-size organizations, with budgets of between $250,000 and $500,000,┬áthe average DD receives a salary of $56,403.
  • In the largest organizations, with budgets of $500,000 and up, the average DD receives a salary of . . . um, more than that, we hope. (I’m looking at the sample too, and that’s where it cut off.)

The numbers show hardly any change from the 2010 report, which I wrote about in this earlier blog.

Given how hard development directors work, and the varied professional skill sets they must bring to the job (writing and other communications, relationship-building, database oversight, budgeting, and more), it makes me sad that so many news stories about nonprofit compensation have to do with the outliers — the directors who receive excessive pay, or run off to a tropical island with a nonprofit’s funds.

On salaries like this, most nonprofit directors aren’t going to see a tropical island anytime soon.