A nonprofit development department plays an important role in the philanthropic efforts of various businesses. Nonprofit organizations generally exist to raise and give away money for specific purposes. However, most businesses are for-profit entities and exist for the exact opposite purpose. Some make use of non-profit fundraising, though, for various reasons.
The primary purpose of a nonprofit development department within a business is to raise funds for the company’s various philanthropic efforts. These efforts can include just about any type of community or humanitarian initiative that provides people in the community with a service or fills a need. However, this is usually accomplished without the business making a profit on whatever is provided to the community. For instance, a nonprofit development department may sponsor a community-wide initiative to house and feed the homeless. It may raise funds for this purpose through selling products or services. Rather than keep the profits, though, the business uses the money for further non-profit development.
Fundraising is at the heart of a non-profit development department’s objectives. Much of the fundraising is for philanthropic efforts in the community. However, during the process of raising funds, those working for non-profit development departments also grow the networking base of the business and further the potential for other fundraising efforts later on. These funds may be used for profit-making activities, such as scientific development and research.
Organizations that employ these types of departments will generally expect the nonprofit development department to serve as part of the public relations team. Because workers in a nonprofit development department are constantly engaged with the public and are regularly out making contacts in the community, they serve as public relations workers in just about every aspect of their work.
Nonprofit development offices also engage in marketing efforts to raise funds. These marketing efforts are carried out with the intention of raising additional funds and establishing new contacts and donors within the community. Some nonprofit development officers are responsible for conducting donor research to identify new sources of potential funds.