In this weekly feature, the editors of SpringBoard highlight one career in the health care professions–including a basic description, educational requirements, core competencies/key skills needed, and related web sites and professional organizations where you can find more information!



101 Careers in Healthcare ManagementThe Director of Development heads the Development Department and is primarily responsible for philanthropy and fund raising in the respective not-for-profit hospital. Frequently the Director of Development is also in charge of the hospital’s foundation. This position is often referred to as the Executive Director of the hospital foundation. In every case, this person is in charge of leading all fundraising activities. There is extensive work and interaction with real and potential donors.


A bachelor’s degree in business administration is the minimum academic qualification, although a master’s degree in either business or health administration is becoming the standard level of education for Directors of Development. A minimum of 5 years of progressive fund-raising responsibilities in a healthcare environment or comparable complex organization is required.


  • Outstanding interpersonal skills including the ability to effectively communicate with persons both inside and outside the organization
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience working with medical visionary leaders and the corporate sector in regard to philanthropic and strategic partnerships
  • Must be familiar with development program data management systems
  • Must be skilled at working with volunteer groups and community leaders
  • Significant experience in planned giving, annual fund campaigns, and other philanthropic activities
  • Experience with the various state and federal laws surrounding fund-raising and development
  • Builds and maintains a strong employee communication program
  • Builds appropriate major and planned giving, annual giving, grant writing, donor stewardship, and recognition programs; gift processing and use of volunteers
  • Capable of analyzing financial, volume, and market data


Directors of Development earn in the range of $79,000 to $150,000 although the total salary will vary depending on the size and location of the hospital, and the education and experience of the candidate.


The U.S. Department of Labor projects steady growth of Directors of Development in the coming years. Job growth is projected to be good throughout the hospital industry. Virtually all not-for-profit hospitals are involved with fund-raising and development work and, given the shrinking levels of reimbursement from commercial and government payers, these professionals will play an ever important role for the foreseeable future.



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