It's a poorly kept secret, but in the nonprofit world the title Development Director is code for money-raiser.
Something like: "Please come raise more money than we do now. Make this more money every year. Do this by doing lots more of what we already do now. Meet our metrics so we can justify your salary to the BoD. And make sure everything you say is cleared, edited, and approved by internal stakeholders before you share it in order to raise money."
Nonprofits hire development directors to fix things - and by ‘fix things’ they seem to always mean, "raise more money by doing the same thing we’ve always done but more of it."
More, more, more - like you’re part of an assembly line or producing a commodity (and you’re replaceable - as most development directors know, they are replaceable by other development directors who can do more of the same better than others).
And why is it this way?
Because you’re hired by those who know exactly what to do but they just don’t have the time to do it themselves so they hire you to do what they didn’t have the time to do.
You are NOT supposed to break things to create the possibility of better, you’re hired (and fired) to do what they know they could do if they weren’t so overworked.
To be a development director who developed more than the boss’s ideas is to be a development director who will soon be looking for another job.
And, remember it’s the organization’s interests and message you’re to feed and nurture - that’s essential.
And raise more money doing the same things (just doing more of more of the same things and leave changing the world to the organization... thank you very much).
Is there a better way? (Hint, there is... but are nonprofits ready for it?)