Ensuring that Our Help Does No Harm


As a program officer at the Nord Family Foundation, I have the privilege of meeting with various nonprofit executive directors, CFOs, development officers, program staff, and board members. Depending on the organization’s staff size and skill capacity, it is not uncommon for a single person to be vested with multiple roles. At smaller organizations, executive directors are challenged with overseeing day-to-day operations and doing everything from managing staff personalities to facilitating programs to meeting with donors. Indeed, it is quite a balancing act.

I have also met development officers at various organizations. Their job is threefold: raise money, raise money, and (did I mention?) raise money. They are constantly researching and contacting potential donors, and, in some cases, they are also responsible for grant writing and reporting, external communications, advocacy, and organizational branding as well. Development officers are very savvy; they can identify a community need, locate potential funding streams, and then position their organization to apply for grant dollars to meet that particular need.

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