Ep 189: Is a 5-Star Development Director a Needle in a Haystack?

by Joan Garry

Organizations often stay with a subpar development director because they don’t believe they could get someone better. Let’s explore this assumption.


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Do you have a 5-star development director?

Your mission, your organization, your clients, and the communities you serve deserve nothing less.

It might sound obvious, but it’s astonishing how often organizations settle for mediocrity in this vital role, believing that finding a top-tier development director is like finding a needle in a haystack.

But is there truly a scarcity of exceptional development professionals?

Or maybe… just maybe… there are untapped resources within your team and board that can amplify their effectiveness. Perhaps a poor-performing development director might not be the root issue after all. Maybe it’s actually a lack of support from your team.

What do you think? Let’s discuss…

Key Points: 

  • The myth of the scarcity of great development professionals
  • When to consider moving on from a poor-performing development director.
  • The importance of a supportive fundraising team.
  • The “Before You Fire Your Development Director” checklist.
  • Interview questions for 5-star development directors.


  • 0:00 – Episode start – firing your developmental director.
  • 1:04 – Questions to ask yourself.
  • 1:56 – Music Intro
  • 5:24 – Things to think about if you have a slow performing developmental director or is it a lousy team.
  • 18:04 – Developmental Directors need a strong team to win.
  • 20:11 – 4 pieces of advice for the 5-star developmental director
  • 25:47 – Nonprofit Leadership Lab Promo
  • 26:17 – Music Close
  • 26:41 – Episode End


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