Career Definition of Development Associates
As a development associate, you will typically work for a non-profit organization or higher education institution. You will be responsible for assisting your organization with securing and managing donations. In this role, you may work directly with donors or in more of an administrative capacity.
If you work directly with donors, your primary responsibility will be to solicit donations. You will maintain relationships with current donors, while fostering ones with new donors. In this role, you may collaborate closely with your organization's development personnel. Job duties may include assisting with marketing activities, tracking all donor meetings via a donor database, and developing educational programs for potential donors.
A development associate that serves in more of an administrative capacity is responsible for managing an organization's donor operations, including maintaining a donor database. You must ensure that all donations received are entered correctly and donor contact information is accurate. Your job duties may include providing organizational management with progress reports, creating and running reports to identify data errors and streamline operations, and assisting with creating an employee training program on information management policies.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's Degree|
|Job Skills||Excellent knowledge of fundraising practices, strong interpersonal communication skills, and superior attention to detail|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$41,156|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||10% (Public Relations and Fundraising Managers)|
Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
The role of a development associate typically requires a bachelor's degree. You could pursue a degree in a financial field or another related discipline. You can choose to pursue an industry certification, like the Certified Fund Raising Executive. This certification consists of passing an exam that will demonstrate your talents as a fundraising professional. You should have a strong background in fundraising or development to work in this role.
A career as a development associate requires an excellent knowledge of fundraising practices, such as processing donations and databases like Raiser's Edge. Another important requirement is strong interpersonal communication skills. You will need to represent your organization as you interact with current and potential donors. You should also have superior attention to detail for tasks like entering gifts or other administrative duties.
Career Outlook and Salary
As a development associate, PayScale reports that you will earn a median annual wage of $41,085. Job growth for this role is not reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Instead, the BLS has a related category of public relations and fundraising managers. This category has an anticipated job growth of 10% during 2016-2026, which is faster than average for all categories. The BLS reports that candidates with a master's degree may have the best job prospects.
You will need excellent interpersonal communication skills as a development associate. That talent can be utilized in many client-facing positions, such as a public relations manager or an annual giving officer.