How Much Does Your Nonprofit Need to Pay a Development Director?

For some nonprofits, just hiring a development director is a big step. The various task involved may have been performed, up to that point, by some combination of the Executive Director, Board members, volunteers, and various assistants.

A skilled development director can be a great asset to an organization — but of course is worth a professional salary. How much, exactly?

According to the recently issued 2010 Guidestar report (an excerpt of which is available online), the amount is actually less than one might have expected: The average development director (or other “top” development person)’s salary right now for an organization with a budget of less than $250,000 is $43,123. And for organizations with budgets between $250,000 and $500,000, the average is $56,483.

That should give you hope for hiring your first director. But it also explains why many development directors move on quickly, in search of higher paying work, perhaps with a bigger-budget organization!