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What Is a Community Development Manager?

K. Kinsella
K. Kinsella

A community development manager is responsible for overseeing the construction or development of a physical community such as a town or urban area. In some instances, a community development manager may be tasked with developing or expanding a particular organization rather than a physical location. Government agencies and private companies may employ community managers, and their responsibilities and pay scales vary by region.

Municipal governments often employ a community development manager to oversee the regeneration of economically depressed areas. This individual must work with private employers to encourage job creation and in some instances, the manager may recommend that the local government offer tax or cash incentives to employers that agree to open up new work locations in the area. Community managers normally oversee a team of administrators each of whom is tasked with a particular duty such as departmental accounting, marketing or fundraising. The manager typically has the authority to hire or terminate employees. Additionally, the community manager normally has to make regular reports to the municipal council, the mayor's office or other governmental bodies about the projects being undertaken.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

Some private firms employ a community development manager during major construction projects. The manager has to negotiate contacts for retailers and other commercial firms to lease or buy commercial spaces within the community. Additionally, the manager typically has to liaise with government authorities to make arrangements for emergency services personnel to operate in the area. Managers work to ensure that property owners who buy homes in newly developed areas have access to the kinds of services and amenities that people in established areas typically have access to.

Non-profit groups and other organizations sometimes employ a community development manager to promote the organization and find new ways to increase membership. The manager may have seek out sponsors for the group or organize fundraising events to increase awareness of the organization's activities. A community manager may have responsibility for expanding operations within a certain region or throughout an entire nation. When an organization expands its operations into a new nation or region, the development manager is often the first employee to be assigned to the new area.

Many employers require a community development manager to have a college degree in business administration, marketing or a related field. Generally, people who take on these roles have some prior experience as community administrators or fund raisers. Successful managers should have good organizational skills but also good interpersonal skills that will enable them both to work well with their employees and to build good working relationships with sponsors, government employees and business partners.

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