A nonprofit organization’s development team consists of paid staff and/or volunteers. It is led by the person charged with the responsibility for meeting contributed income needs for the organization. All but the smallest nonprofits will likely have a professional development director. The larger the nonprofit, the more likely it is to have additional fundraising professionals on staff.
All nonprofits have volunteer leadership—at the very least a board of directors or trustees. Any nonprofit in need of contributed income should have a board-led development committee. The members of that committee and any other volunteers involved in fundraising are part of the organization’s development team.
From time to time, a nonprofit organization may engage the services of consultants and other vendors to assist in fundraising efforts. They too are members of the development team.
How an organization recruits and supports development team members—staff, volunteers, and consultants/vendors—is crucial to its overall development effort. Whether members of the development team are well equipped to carry out their roles, committed to doing so, and enjoy the active support of the board will make all the difference between success and failure.