The Nonprofit Atlas



Board vs Staff: Key Fundraising Positions

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In nonprofit organizations, both staff members and the board of directors play crucial roles in fund raising activities.  Here is a breakdown of the different roles each group typically perform:

Nonprofit Staff:

  • Development Director/Manager: This individual typically leads the fundraising efforts within the organization. Their responsibilities may include developing fundraising strategies, managing donor relationships, overseeing grant writing and applications, and coordinating fundraising events.
  • Grant Writer: Grant writers are responsible for researching potential grant opportunities, writing grant proposals, and ensuring compliance with grant requirements. They work closely with program staff to gather information and data needed for grant applications.
  • Donor Relations Officer: Donor relations officers focus on building and maintaining relationships with individual donors and major donors. They may communicate with donors through personal meetings, phone calls, emails, and newsletters, expressing gratitude for their support and updating them on the organization’s activities and impact.
  • Event Coordinator: Event coordinators plan and execute fundraising events such as galas, auctions, and charity walks. They handle logistics, marketing, sponsorships, and attendee management to ensure the success of the event.
  • Marketing and Communications Specialist: Marketing and communications specialists create content and materials to promote fundraising campaigns and events. They manage the organization’s website, social media channels, email newsletters, and other communication platforms to engage donors and supporters.

Board of Directors:

  • Fundraising Committee Chair: The fundraising committee chair leads the board’s efforts in fundraising activities. They work with other board members and staff to develop fundraising strategies, set fundraising goals, and monitor progress.
  • Board Fundraising Ambassadors: Board members serve as ambassadors for the organization, leveraging their personal networks and connections to identify potential donors, make introductions, and solicit donations. They may also host fundraising events or participate in donor cultivation activities.
  • Major Donor Cultivation: Some board members may take on specific roles in cultivating relationships with major donors. They may meet with donors personally, accompany staff on donor visits, or participate in donor recognition events.
  • Grant Review and Approval: The board of directors typically reviews and approves grant proposals and major fundraising initiatives. They ensure that fundraising activities align with the organization’s mission and strategic priorities.
  • Financial Oversight: The board provides financial oversight, ensuring that fundraising activities are conducted ethically, transparently, and in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. They review financial reports and budgets to monitor fundraising performance and financial sustainability.


Overall, both nonprofit staff and the board of directors play complementary roles in fundraising activities, working together to secure funding, cultivate donor relationships, and support the organization’s mission and programs. Collaboration between staff and the board is essential for successful fundraising outcomes.

Typically, there are development professionals which implement tactics on the staff side and a Development Committee that oversees fundraising strategy. These should be seen primarily as leadership roles, though, because in organizations that implement Strategic Fundraising everyone is involved in resource cultivation.

The Nonprofit Atlas connects the dots for any “do-gooders” to do the most good. We provide the roadmap to doing good well.   We simplify the work of securing resources, relationships, and best practices that fuel a mission and realize a vision.  See us in action with a FREE 30-minute consultation.