How an Interim Director of Development Can Keep Your Nonprofit Afloat

Blog Thumbnail Director of Development

Your Director of Development has just resigned. Whether it’s the third person from your development team to resign this year or your DOD has been an employee for 10 years, this might be a good time to hire an interim. Before hiring someone new to fill the role, your organization may need to take some time to re-evaluate the position to determine the needs of the organization at this time.

Because the Director of Development position is usually an integral part of the leadership of the organization and works closely with the board and other high-level volunteers, hiring an Interim Director of Development is not something to be taken lightly. Staff turnover at this level can be detrimental to the ongoing progress of meeting mission needs. However, an interim director should be equipped with the experience and expertise to keep the wheels turning while pointing to needed changes or new opportunities.  

Prior to hiring an interim director, you’ll need to consider these things:

  • Build a timeline. This position might be hired to finish a project or to help with routine needs for an amount of time. Though the role can be open-ended, it’s usually best to have a plan in place for hiring a permanent replacement.
  • Determine the most pressing needs of the development program. The job description for an interim won’t be the same as that of a permanent position. This person likely won’t be there long enough to establish long-term relationships with donors but will be able to manage staff and timelines, letter writing, proofreading, event planning, and even make strategic visits and gift requests on behalf of the organization.
  • As an interim role on the leadership team, this person will need to be welcomed to the organization and given the authority to manage staff, make decisions, contact the board (after a brief introduction), and reach out to donors.
  • Brief the interim person on the culture and mission of the organization, helping them to understand and interpret language and actions immediately.  

An interim Director of Development can offer stability to overwhelmed staff members, build a path for success for the incoming permanent hire, put donors at ease during the transition period, give time to get just the right person and bring new insights into the organization.  
Interested in learning more? Write On Fundraising’s Director of Development on Demand program can provide the interim support your development team needs to “keep the wheels on the bus” while you make the best possible permanent director hire for your organization. Schedule a complimentary consultation with a member of our team today to see if Write On is a good fit for your program! Email info@writeonfundraising.com or call 888-308-0087.


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