How to Become a Charity Director

Charity Director Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $113,350
Avg. Pay / hour $54.50
Education 4+ Years
Job Outlook 16%

Someone who is passionate about charities and nonprofits should consider a career as a Charity Director helping organizations raise money to promote their cause.

Charity Directors can also work for educational institutions, museums, zoos or libraries.

Charity Directors are more commonly known as Development Directors and their main task is to increase fundraising efforts to raise money for their organization.

Their job is important because a charity or nonprofit greatly depends on donations and grants in order to operate and function.

An organization would not be able to promote their message without a Charity Director’s fundraising efforts.

Charity Directors implement a variety of fundraising efforts and typically have a yearly monetary amount they have to meet in order to keep the organization running.

The amount depends on the organization’s size with some larger organizations requiring up to millions of dollars.

Charity Directors with larger organizations can expect to be busy throughout the day applying their strategies in order to meet high monetary goals.

Charity Directors can raise money for their organization in a variety of ways; some fundraising efforts can include planning special events, sponsorships, grant proposals or memberships.

All these fundraising efforts are part of a strategic plan created in part by the Charity Director in order to create and increase an organization’s revenue.

Someone who is interested and wants to become a Charity Director should have plenty of experience fundraising, a lot of ideas on new fundraising methods and strong communication skills to help increase an organization’s revenue.

Similar job titles in the nonprofit sector include:

  • Development Director
  • Compliance Examiner
  • Director of Development
  • Development Associate
  • Chief Development Officer
  • Director of Business Development

Education Requirements to Become a Charity Director

Someone who wants to become a Charity Director needs a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in order to work with an organization.

They also need several years of experience.

Potential Charity Directors can even begin their career as Development Associate in order to learn the ropes assisting with fundraising efforts.

Majors that can help someone become a Charity Director include Marketing or Public Relations although the minimum educational requirement is a Bachelor’s Degree in any area.

Organizations look for a candidate’s track record of fundraising efforts and look for proven experience and success in sales and fundraising.

Some candidates must also have a background that includes special events management, public relations and grant writing.

Charity Director Job Description

A Charity Director is in charge of creating and executing a development strategy in order to increase revenue for their organization.

Typically reporting to an Executive Director, a Charity Director is responsible for accomplishing the organization’s fundraising goals and drawing sponsorships by planning and executing a variety of activities.

The listed tasks consist of more detailed information regarding a Charity Director’s duties.

  • Design and execute a yearly development plan and strategy
  • Manage and guide an organization’s development plan in order to raise a specified annual budget
  • Develop and maintain relationships with existing or potential sponsors and individual donors
  • Write grant proposals and reports to potential funders: corporations, foundations, individuals and government funders.
  • Implement a strategy to grow individual donor base; execute a marketing and public relations plan

Charity Directors use a variety of skills and techniques in order to help their organization meet its financial yearly goals.

A potential Charity Director should have a proven track record of developing fundraising plans and meeting yearly financial goals.

Nonprofit organizations typically have to extend their efforts to a variety of donors in order to meet their yearly required revenue in order to perform their mission.

Each individual charity has a different mission as well as fundraising goals.

An experienced Charity Director will know which types of strategies to use and how to achieve yearly monetary fundraising goals.

Charity Director Salary and Career Path

The average national salary range for these professionals is approximately $58,100 to $142,000 per year.

Several factors affect this including location and years of experience as well as the nonprofit’s size.

Larger organizations will have more means to pay higher wages.

Job growth for these types of jobs is expected to grow at 14% until 2016, higher than the average growth for other professions.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$156,010
New Hampshire$119,480
New Jersey$164,670
New Mexico$107,260
New York$144,830
North Carolina$117,130
North Dakota$97,470
Rhode Island$135,160
South Carolina$94,700
South Dakota$129,370
West Virginia$86,500
Puerto Rico$77,840
Virgin Islands$88,600

The top earning state in the field is New Jersey, where the average salary is $164,670.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

New Jersey - $164,670
District of Columbia - $156,010
Delaware - $148,920
New York - $144,830
Massachusetts - $141,840
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for General and Operations Managers, OCC Code 11-1021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a charity director do?

A charity director can also be referred to as a ‘charity manager’ or a ‘managing director’.

The main aim of a charity director is to generate income, raise awareness of the work of the charity, and to plan ways to develop the services of the organization.

Charity directors usually start as charity fundraisers or administrators that work in the voluntary sector; after that, they make their way up into management.

The typical responsibilities of a charity director usually include representing the charity at events and meetings; raising income and planning policies; writing negotiating contracts and funding bids; presenting information about the services of the charity, and so on.

A charity director should have strong leadership skills, excellent communication skills, ambition and desire to succeed, and the ability to motivate others.

How much do charity directors make?

The salary of a charity director would depend on the overall experience, as well as the level of responsibility that the specialist has.

On average, a charity director can expect to make around $71.000-$77.000 per year in the United States.

The bigger the charity that you work for, the higher the salary (in most cases).

Bear in mind that the wage would also depend on the sector that you decide to work for.

How much does it cost to become a charity director?

You don’t need a degree in order to become a charity director; however, a degree in business management, for example, would be extremely helpful.

An out-of-state student can end up paying around $34.000 for a year in a university (the cost of books, supplies, and accommodation included).

A great way to start your career in this field is by volunteering.

Typically, it won’t cost you a thing, but you will be able to gain the necessary experience to, later on, work your way up into the management.

What is the demand for charity directors?

It is difficult to predict the growth or the decline of the charity director job market.

Every charity leader experiences plenty of challenges; the truth is that the majority of charities are not able to survive.

In order to be relatively sure about your future, choose large organizations that have been in the sector for years and years.

As income generation is the main challenge of all charity organizations, professional charity directors will always be in high demand.

The charities that will be able to adapt their services to the changing world and implement new technologies in their organizations will flourish.

How long does it take to become a charity director?

In case you decide to go for a bachelor’s degree, it will take you 4 years to obtain one.

You don’t necessarily need to acquire a degree in business management; it can also be a degree in a field in which you would like to work (the medical sphere, for example).

It is challenging to apply for a charity director position directly, as you would need to possess years of experience in fundraising.

Starting from volunteer work is always a good idea as you will be able to gain on-job experience.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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