Development officer

The start up process for a Development Trust is likely to generate more work than can easily be carried out by a steering group sharing tasks among themselves. One solution is to appoint a development officer on a short term basis.

The role of development officer is outlined in the Start Up sheets and those on Feasibility Assessment and Roles and Resources. It may cover a period of a few months to a year or more between the time that a steering group or sponsor decide to start the setting up process in earnest, to the appointment of permanent staff for the Trust.

The tasks

Among the tasks development officer may have to fulfill are:

The role

This is one of the most difficult roles because of the temporary nature of the position and the range of skills required. It way be filled by someone from a sponsoring organisation, supported by consultants. Although tasks may be shared, it is important that one person has ultimate responsibility to pull the many strands together.

There should not be an assumption that the development officer will be recruited as the executive director of the Trust, although that is a possibility.

The development officer should be methodical and also have the ability to get on with a wide range of different interests. In the early stages he or she may be the first contact that people have with the emerging Trust, and first impressions are likely to last.

It may be necessary, if funds are available, to provide the development officer with consultancy support on the feasibility assessment and in facilitating workshops and seminars.

The steering group may decide to let a consultancy contract to cover all development work. While there are consultants experienced in this work, there are advantages in having a development officer or at least a liaison officer for the steering group:

See Start up budget for the financial resources a development officer may need.


© David Wilcox david@partnerships.org.uk. Tel +44 (0)1273 677377. Fax: +44 (0)1273 677379. These information sheets may be freely distributed with this attribution, but not republished as a whole.
Partnerships Online : The Guide to Development Trusts and Partnerships: other sheets