What Does a Business Development Director Do? (With Salary)

Updated 24 August 2023

Business development directors are professionals who help an organisation grow through raising funds and building relationships so that the organisation can achieve its goals. To qualify for this role, there are educational, experiential and skill requirements. Learning about how to become a business development director and what employers may expect of you in this position, can help clarify your career goals and guide you on a successful path.

In this article, we discuss the responsibilities of a business development director, share career information such as the work environment, salary and steps to become a business development director.

Related: What Does a Singapore Director Do? (With Skills and Salary)

What does a business development director do?

A business development director is a professional who manages an organisation's revenue and makes plans for revenue growth. A development director implements and manages an organisation's fundraising efforts. Development directors may work for nonprofit organisations or for any business. These professionals work closely with their employer's chief financial officer or treasurer. Some of their regular responsibilities include:

  • developing an annual fundraising strategy and revising it where appropriate

  • forming and maintaining relationships with potential and existing individual and corporate donors

  • identifying grant opportunities and applying for them if the employer doesn't have its own grant writer

  • planning and managing fundraising events

  • working with the marketing team to develop materials to promote fundraising efforts

  • reporting results of fundraising efforts to stakeholders

Related: What Does a Business Development Manager Do? (With Salary)

What are the requirements to become a business development director?

If you're interested in becoming a business development director, it's important to know which qualifications you may require. Here's information about the general requirements for business developers:


Business development directors earn a bachelor's degree in a discipline, such as:

  • nonprofit administration

  • public administration

  • communications

  • business

  • business management

These course programmes teach aspiring development directors about business practices, organisational management and financial management. A communications degree can help students learn how to develop and maintain business relationships with donors and organisation partners. An administration and business degree can provide a clear understanding of developing business goals and creating strategies for finances.

Many development directors also pursue a master's degree in fundraising to improve their skills and chances of securing their ideal position. These degrees teach aspiring development directors about producing campaigns, applying for grants and strategic planning.


Aspiring development directors can earn experience while they're still studying through internships, or they might volunteer with nonprofit organisations. These placements can allow aspiring development directors to network with donors and see how businesses operate and generate funds. After graduation, working as a development associate provides the on-the-job training required to become a development director. This role gives aspiring development directors experience with the following tasks:

  • planning events

  • building and nurturing relationships with donors

  • writing grant proposals

Most development associates spend between four and 15 years gaining experience in fundraising before becoming development directors. During this time, many aspiring development directors attend networking events to become more comfortable making connections with other people.

Related: How to Write Work Experience in a Resume (With Tips and Examples)


A business development director doesn't require any specific certifications, but you may choose to earn one because additional credentials can provide an advantage when applying for jobs. One certification to consider is a Business Management Workforce Skills Qualification (BM WSQ). This certificate programme is available through the SkillsFuture Singapore. This programme includes training for business development, communications, risk management, financial management and organisational development.

You can also consider certifications for finance since business development directors handle financial funding for business projects. Communication or other business certifications may also be helpful. Here are ones that may be useful for business developers:

  • Certified Financial Planner

  • ISCA Infrastructure & Project Finance Qualification

  • Public Relations and Mass Communications Certificate

  • Business Excellence Certifications

How to become a business development director

Development directors usually graduate from university and work in an entry-level role in the financial management department of a company before getting promoted to their leadership role. Many development directors follow the steps below to secure their preferred development director role:

1. Earn a bachelor's degree

Most development directors earn a bachelor's degree in business, communications, public administration or nonprofit administration. A bachelor's degree in fundraising may also be advantageous. All these courses teach aspiring development directors about business practices, managing finances and managing an organisation.

Related: What Can You Do With a Business Degree? 10 of the Top Jobs

2. Consider a master's degree

While it's not required, many development directors pursue a master's degree in fundraising or business administration. This programme may offer courses that feature more specialised topics such as strategic planning, developing fundraising campaigns, advanced marketing and grant-making. Having a master's degree may give you an advantage over other candidates in your job search process.

3. Gain work experience

Becoming a business development director often requires many years of experience. Search for an entry-level position in business administration, sales, finance or marketing. It's also helpful to volunteer at an organisation or find an internship while studying for a degree. As you gain more experience, you can earn promotions within the company, which can eventually lead you to the position of business development director. It's also helpful to pursue business-related certifications, as this can help you become eligible for certain promotions.

Related: Business Development Career Path: Positions, Duties and Tips

What skills do business development directors need?

Business development directors require many interpersonal skills to be successful. This role largely depends on relationships and the ability to resolve issues. Here are some skills business development directors often have:


Development directors use their communication skills to persuade others to donate money and time to their fundraising efforts. They often speak publicly and write persuasive documents to secure funds. To do this, they have strong written and verbal communication skills which help share ideas and interpret how others communicate. Being a good communicator is beneficial when building relationships with business partners.

Interpersonal skills

It's helpful for business development directors to have great personalities that people can easily engage with. Interpersonal skills include qualities such as patience, empathy and positivity that help you relate to people and encourage others to relate with you. Their strong interpersonal skills help them work well with donors, their organisations' employees and other members of the public.


Development directors show dedication to their work. Helping an organisation grow by raising funds and maintaining important relationships requires time and effort. When working for a nonprofit, it's especially important for business development directors to be compassionate about the organisation's cause so that they can convince people to donate money and fund the nonprofit's projects.


It takes strong organisational skills to plan and implement fundraising events, manage donations and maintain donor records. Business development directors also organise their research for new business opportunities and can promote order within the business by demonstrating organisational qualities.


Marketing skills such as persuasion, creativity and adaptability are useful to development directors when getting funding for new business initiatives. They market the business to investors, donors and shareholders to attain the financial budget a project may require. Marketing skills also may help strategise business developments.

Related: Marketing Skill Examples: With Definitions and Steps to Develop

Computer literacy

Development directors use computers to manage their donor lists, fundraising schedules and grant applications. They're also familiar with word processing software to write grant letters, fundraising reports and other relevant documents. Business development directors also use computers for communications internally and externally.

What is the work environment of a business development director like?

The work environment for business development directors is typically an office space. They rarely travel long distances for work but may travel outside of the office to meet with potential business partners or donors. Their role may require them to work closely with the organisation's departments, such as marketing and sales, finance and executive management. Development directors usually work traditional full-time business hours. Their employer may ask that they also attend events outside of regular working hours.

Related: How to Write a Director of Business Development Resume

How much do business development directors earn?

According to Indeed, the average salary of a business development director is $10,605 per month. A professional's salary can depend on many factors, such as their education credentials, experience level, employer and specific job title. It's helpful to consider the salaries of similar professions to determine what your salary range may be. Here are the salaries of some of the related roles:

  • Business development manager: $5,279 per month

  • Business development executive: $3,212 per month

  • Business development officer: $3,049 per month

  • Business developer: $5,498 per month

Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Related: What Does a Business Director Do? (Skills, Salary and FAQs)

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