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Development Officer - Non-Profit Sector

"My organization makes a measurable difference in our community, but making this impact costs real money. That’s where I come in. Whether it’s raising money to construct a new building or getting funding to develop a new arts program, my job is to connect donors to things they really care about. It’s hard work; you need to be patient and focus on building long-term relationships. But the satisfaction of finding and connecting enthusiastic funders with worthy community programs is priceless."

Salary Range:

$47,187 - $72,232

The Tip

Refine your skills through volunteering in your community. This is an accessible way to build evidence that you can actually do what you say you can do. Once you prove it, someone will hire you to do it.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Advanced Research & Analysis Skills
  • Formulating research questions

  • Ability to critically analyze literature

  • Ability to develop and execute qualitative research

  • Ability to synthesize key themes from multiple sources


Contextual Knowledge
  • Knowledge of human behaviour

  • Understanding of context and values of audiences

  • Essential understanding of topics and themes as they relate to an audience


Advanced Communication Skills
  • Formulate and defend positions

  • Sensitivity to how communications is shaped by circumstances, authorship and intended audience

  • Formulate and defend positions

  • Apply written vocabulary to audience

Evidence-based Storytelling Skills
  • Ability to use research to develop an evidence-based story

  • Ability to generate story ideas

  • Ability to identify target audiences

  • Ability to create compelling narratives across media


Additional Skills
  • Excel in defined core transferable skills with a focus on transdisciplinary systems thinking, adaptive thinking, communication, organizational and interpersonal skills

  • Fundamental business acumen

  • Expertise in sales management

  • Contextual knowledge of fund development

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Arts (English) with a minor in social innovation.

  • Became a certified fundraising executive

  • Completed multiple courses on persuasive selling from local college

  • Read and listen to all things fundraising


"I had no intention of getting into fundraising and fund development. Then I took a summer job as a marketing coordinator in my university’s foundation. That experience energized me and taught me that written communications was an essential skill in business. It also showed me that selling for a good cause didn’t feel like selling at all. It inspired me to build a career in fundraising and community building."

Employment Experiences:
  • Coordinator for a university foundation

  • Sales representative in the auto industry

  • Marketing coordinator in the auto industry

  • Fundraising manager for a non-profit

  • Campaign officer for a non-profit

  • Community outreach for a non-profit

  • Development officer for a non-profit


"I focused on positions that would give me experience in building targeted skills and assets. From this, I’ve become a great presenter and learned perseverance. These experiences taught me how to become a great listener and storyteller. My job is to become passionate about other people’s stories and to connect stories together. I recently secured a $10-million family trust donation to a hospital. The family’s story is now an important part of the hospital’s story."

Community Experiences:
  • Was a passionate and effective fundraiser for student causes in university

  • Board member of local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals


"Engaging in these activities was intentional. They offered an opportunity to develop skills and build a network while giving back to my different communities."

Contextual Experiences:
  • Mission-focused travel


"I don’t go on holidays. I travel to make a difference. Every trip I take must have a mission."

  • Actively network with influential community leaders in both the private and public sectors


"For me to succeed in this job, I needed to thoughtfully build and cultivate networks. I am strategic, intentional and patient. I recognized I needed to invest in relationships for the long haul and focus on reciprocal benefits."

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