Though community development managers appear in many industries, they are especially vital to the life of bank or other financial organization. These managers work for local branches of larger banks, or for small banks, to support the bank’s community-related programs.
Banks may have a number of community-related projects, from small, local business investments to initiatives designed to improve some part of the town. Banks may also be involved in the local schools, providing funding for activities the school otherwise would not be able to participate in.
Community development managers’ duties are twofold. They must oversee all community-related projects, to ensure that the bank is handling them ethically—this role includes brainstorming and implementing new ideas. The second fold of his duties includes marketing these plans to the community, in order to garner support. This may include meeting with community leaders, holding conferences, or simply creating literature to educate bank patrons about the bank’s projects.
In order to achieve these goals, a community development manager may have to develop his own team within the bank, depending on the scope of the bank’s projects. Larger projects may need more hands, and therefore, managers will need to hire and provide training for more staff.
Along with this role, managers must be ready and willing to fulfill all the responsibilities of a manager, including mediating interpersonal disputes, ensuring the office is stocked, filling in for others when they are sick or traveling, and leading a group of dynamic individuals towards success.
Community development managers fall into the “Urban and Regional Planners” section of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because of the oversight and managerial duties, most managers are required to have a Master’s degree in a related field (either finance or community planning), and at least some experience managing others or working as a program manager.
Some banks may require special accreditation from community planning organizations, but in the vast majority, banks are looking for experienced individuals with a drive for community outreach and a desire to do good for those around them. As bank-run community programs usually promote the life and health of a community, it would be beholden for a potential community development manager to have those same goals.