Two of my clients are currently in the process of setting up their development leadership; one through a simple Development Board, the other through a separate Foundation. Putting the issue of the legal entity to one side, what is absolutely clear in both cases is that these groups will enable us to change up a gear.
From past experience, I remain convinced that discussing development projects in a forum of successful business people, external to the school, brings new reality to bear on the situation. It's about more than simply engaging the top donor-prospects. Often it takes these development-leadership groups to help a school truly get a project moving. They also bring donor-perspective to bear on the fundraising, giving it the life and credibility it needs to resonate with the whole constituency.
Getting this type of forum up and running takes some effort and sometimes asks a bit of the school's leadership, but it's absolutely worth it.