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What does a Development Coordinator do?

By G. Melanson
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Also known as a development assistant or a fundraising coordinator, a development coordinator helps organize fundraising efforts, often for a nonprofit organization, university, or other company that has a development department. The development coordinator provides administrative assistance in such fundraising endeavors as special event planning and coordination of donors, sponsors, and volunteers. The development coordinator usually works with a development team that may also include a special events planner, marketing or communications officer, and a development manager.

The development coordinator usually plays a large role in the execution of special fundraising events, often under the leadership of a special event planner or development manager. These coordinators are usually responsible for sending out event invitations, tracking RSVPs, and acting as the first point of contact for members of the public who have queries about the event. The coordinator may also be responsible for booking the event venue, entertainment, and food, as well as organizing event activities like silent auctions and raffles. In addition to providing assistance for the event itself, the coordinator may also provide assistance to a planning committee in the pre-event stages. For example, in an organization that relies on volunteer committees to help plan events, the coordinator might help coordinate those committee meetings by booking the date, venue, and refreshments, as well as taking meeting minutes.

While development coordinators are not usually directly responsible for negotiating sponsorship arrangements, they do help facilitate the sponsorship process. For example, the development manager is typically responsible for targeting other organizations that could benefit from the exposure and advertising that comes from sponsoring a special fundraising event. Once an organization agrees to sponsor a special event or otherwise make a donation, the coordinator will collect and record the funds and oversee that the organization receives the agreed exposure on event materials. The development coordinator may also be responsible for mass-mailouts to request donations, sponsorship or bequests during special fundraising campaigns.

Depending on the size and requirements of the development department, the development coordinator may also act as an executive assistant to the department’s director or manager. This role usually entails such responsibilities as managing the schedule and itinerary of the department head. It may also include answering the development manager’s email and phone and acting as a general gatekeeper.

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