Careers in Development

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Looking for an entry level job or internship in development? This is an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have relevant entry level and internship opportunities.

I’ve run the Race for the Cure in support of the Susan G. Komen Foundation for many years, along with about a million other participants. To enter you need to raise a certain amount of money, all of which gets donated to the cause. In addition the run is sponsored by Yoplait, which surely donates money as well. A person focused on development for the Komen Foundation created this run for the purpose of raising funds. A Development Coordinator for a non-profit creates strategies for securing money and oversees the details of those programs to help support the organization.

Development Careers

Photo Credit: Flickr user roger_mommaerts

Development Coordinator Career Guide Overview

  1. What a Development Coordinator Does
  2. A Typical Day for a Development Coordinator
  3. Salary and Career Progression for a Development Coordinator
  4. Best Locations for Development Coordinators
  5. Pros and Cons of Being a Development Coordinator
  6. What You Need to Know for a Career as a Development Coordinator
  7. Development Coordinator Resources
  8. Careers Related to Development Coordination
  9. Companies with Jobs and Internships in Development Coordination

What a Development Coordinator Does

A person who focuses on development for a nonprofit is responsible for soliciting and gathering voluntary contributions like money or other resources. A development coordinator does this by requesting donations from individuals, businesses, charitable foundations, or governmental agencies. They coordinate all fundraising strategies and are responsible for most aspects of fundraising programs. As such that are responsible for identifying new donors and organizing initiatives to solicit funding as well as assisting in developing major gift opportunities and writing grant proposals.

A Typical Day for a Development Coordinator

While there is no typical day for a fundraiser here are some of the tasks you might encounter:

  • Tracking donations in a database, which sometimes involves entering the information manually
  • Monitoring ongoing activity of all donations
  • Sending thank you letters to donors
  • Setting up accounts with various fundraising sites online
  • Planning fundraising events such as holiday galas, silent auctions, and runs
  • Writing emails to lists of people who have shown participation or support in the past
  • Doing research to find grants that your organization is eligible for

Salary and Career Progression for a Development Coordinator

The median salary for a development coordinator is $49,375. You might go on to become a Development Director–the senior financial officer of an organization, company, or corporation–and make about $90,000 per year. Beyond that you could become an Executive Director of a nonprofit and make between $33,000-$109,000 per year.

Best Locations for Development Coordinators

Here are some hot spots for development coordinators:

  • New York, New York
  • Washington, DC
  • San Francisco, California
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Austin, Texas
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Denver, Colorado

Pros and Cons of Being a Development Coordinator

Pros
  • Lots of opportunity for upward movement
  • You get to meet and talk with a lot of different people
  • You work for a great cause
Cons
  • Very busy schedule
  • Decent pay, but not as competitive as working for a business

What You Need to Know for a Career as a Development Coordinator

To be a development coordinator you’ll generally need a bachelor’s degree in an area of specialty and some experience in the field (so start volunteering!). You’ll need to be familiar with standard concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field. You’ll also need to have good judgement, the ability to multi-task, excellent written and oral communication skills, and attention to detail.

Development Coordinator Resources

If being a development coordinator still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.

Required Reading

Blogs and Websites

Networking Opportunities

Job Search Resources for Development Coordinators

Careers Related to Development Coordination

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Companies with Entry Level Jobs and Internships in Development

The Institute for Humane Studies Logo

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See the complete The Institute for Humane Studies profile


Juvenile Law Center Logo

Juvenile Law Center - Juvenile Law Center is a Philly based org that “plays a leadership role in shaping and using the law on behalf of children in the child welfare and justice systems."

See the complete Juvenile Law Center profile


The Bostonian Society Logo

The Bostonian Society - The Bostonian Society is a Boston, MA based non-profit that “is dedicated to studying, and preserving Boston’s uniquely important history.

See the complete The Bostonian Society profile


Cradles to Crayons Logo

Cradles to Crayons - Cradles to Crayons is a Brighton, MA based non-profit that is focused on “providing to children ages 0 to 12 some of the most important basics of life—free of charge.”

See the complete Cradles to Crayons profile


Whole New World Foundation Logo

Whole New World Foundation - The Whole New World Foundation is a Miami, FL based non-profit that works “to crowd-source the most promising solutions to important challenges.”

See the complete Whole New World Foundation profile


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Academy of American Poets - The Academy of American Poets is an NYC based membership organization that is “fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets.”

See the complete Academy of American Poets profile


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Defy Ventures - Defy Ventures is an NYC non-profit that provides people "who have criminal histories with life-changing entrepreneurship, leadership, and career opportunities.”

See the complete Defy Ventures profile


American Film Institute Logo

American Film Institute - AFI is an L.A. non-profit that aims "to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers.”

See the complete American Film Institute profile


moca-logo

MOCA - MOCA is the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and they are the only museum in L.A. that is entirely dedicated to contemporary art.

See the complete MOCA profile


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Room to Grow - Room to Grow is a New York, NY based non-profit that aims “to enrich the lives of babies born into poverty throughout their critical first three years of development.”

See the complete Room to Grow profile


KEXP Logo

KEXP - KEXP is a Seattle, WA based non-profit radio station that aims to enrich “people’s lives by championing music and discovery.”

See the complete KEXP profile


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Futures and Options - Futures and Options is an NYC non-profit that “empowers underserved youth to explore careers and guides them to further their education and become productive citizens.”

See the complete Futures and Options profile


Brooklyn Botanic Garden Logo

Brooklyn Botanic Garden - Brooklyn Botanic Garden is “an urban botanic garden that connects people to the world of plants, fostering delight and curiosity."

See the complete Brooklyn Botanic Garden profile


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Chashama - Chashama is a New York, NY based non-profit that “nurtures artists by transforming unused property into work and presentation space.”

See the complete Chashama profile


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Targeted Victory - Targeted Victory is an Alexandria, VA based agency that has “anchored digital campaigns on the local, state, and presidential level.”

See the complete Targeted Victory profile


Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Logo

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association - Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is a Frederick, MD based non-profit that “is the largest, most influential general aviation association in the world.”

See the complete Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association profile


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Friends of the Forest Preserves - Friends of the Forest Preserves is a Chicago, IL based non-profit that "exists because the Cook County forest preserves need help."

See the complete Friends of the Forest Preserves profile


American Conservatory Theater Logo

American Conservatory Theater - American Conservatory Theater is a San Francisco based non-profit that aims to "renew, and reinvent the rich theatrical traditions that are our collective legacy."

See the complete American Conservatory Theater profile


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Bipartisan Policy Center - The Bipartisan Policy Center is a Washington, DC based non-profit that encourages the two parties to work together on important issues.

See the complete Bipartisan Policy Center profile


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Amicus - Amicus is a New York, NY based company that turns a “nonprofit’s supporters into fundraisers and advocates.”

See the complete Amicus profile


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Chincoteague Bay Field Station - Chincoteague Bay Field Station is a Wallops Island, VA based non-profit that helps people learn through experience while fostering environmental stewardship.

See the complete Chincoteague Bay Field Station profile


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PROVAIL - PROVAIL is a Seattle, WA based non-profit that “supports people with disabilities to fulfill their life choices.”

See the complete PROVAIL profile


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See the complete Council of Urban Professionals profile


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The Center for Effective Philanthropy - The Center for Effective Philanthropy is based in Cambridge, MA and San Francisco, CA and helps "philanthropic funders better define, assess, and improve their effectiveness."

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Handel and Haydn Society - Handel and Haydn Society is a Boston, MA based non-profit that is coming up on 200 years of excellence “in the field of Historically Informed Performance.”

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Boston Debate League - Boston Debate League is a Boston, MA based non-profit organization that is “transforming school culture through debate.”

See the complete Boston Debate League profile


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Brooklyn Museum - At over half a million square feet, Brooklyn Museum is “one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country.”

See the complete Brooklyn Museum profile


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Conservation Law Foundation - Conservation Law Foundation is a Boston, MA based non-profit that believes “that healthy communities and a clean environment are a right for all New Englanders.”

See the complete Conservation Law Foundation profile


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Global Footprint Network - Global Footprint Network is an Oakland, CA based non-profit that is focused on “measuring human impact on the Earth so we can make more informed choices.”

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See the complete The Association of Junior Leagues International profile


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Pulmonary Hypertension Association - Pulmonary Hypertension Association is a Silver Spring, MD based non-profit that is working to “to find ways to prevent and cure pulmonary hypertension

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Marine Conservation Institute - Marine Conservation Institute is a Seattle, WA non-profit that uses the latest science to identify and advocate for important marine ecosystems around the world.

See the complete Marine Conservation Institute profile


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See the complete Chicago Architecture Foundation profile


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The Pablove Foundation - The Pablove Foundation was formed. It’s a Los Angeles, CA based non-profit that is “fighting childhood cancer with love.”

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See the complete The New Press profile


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Earth Island Institute - Earth Island Institute is a Berkeley, CA based org that is a “hub for grassroots campaigns dedicated to conserving, preserving, and restoring ecosystems."

See the complete Earth Island Institute profile


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Real Change - Real Change is a Seattle, WA based non-profit that provides "opportunity and a voice for low-income and homeless people while taking action for economic justice.”

See the complete Real Change profile



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