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The Best Mid-Level Development Officer We’ve Ever Seen

Written By: Robyn Kennedy

Over the years, Blue North has worked with more than 45 organizations — in four continents — on Middle Donor programs. Based on our accumulated data, we know that these programs can be incredibly effective. In fact, we’ve seen an average 25% year-over-year lift with our clients who have developed these programs.

Great Middle Donor programs not only create increased revenue, but also support healthy Mass files. They’re also instrumental in creating strong prospect pipelines for Major and Planned Giving portfolios. That being said, Middle Donor programs are a “return on investment game.” You need to strike the right investment/conversion ratio based on projected outcomes.

Not surprisingly, the biggest expense — and the potential for greatest lift — comes from your Middle Donor Development Officers (also known as Middle Donor Representatives). Our research shows that they are the single biggest differentiating factor between the success and failure of a program.


Meet Our Middle Donor Star

We know you want to be sure that your investment in a Middle Donor Development Officer will result in a real revenue increase. You might wonder how to find the right person for this invaluable position. To shed some light on what a top-notch Middle Donor Development Officer actually does, let’s talk about Lindsay. We’ll omit her real name and organization so as not to embarrass her — she’s quite humble.

Lindsay is a Middle Donor Development Officer who understands and employs the strategy and tactics that Blue North has found to be most effective. She strictly adheres to the well-laid plans and realistic targets set out for the Middle Donor program at her organization — and this is the foundation for her success.


Lindsay's Middle Donor Methods

In her day-to-day, Lindsay balances the volume of contact with the nuance of relationship-building. She accomplishes this by asking her donors specific and timely questions, and utilizing advanced listening skills to really absorb their answers. Lindsay quickly determines and keeps track of what her individual donors want and need to feel connected to her organization.

Lindsay spends an hour every morning handwriting notes to high-value individuals. She carefully schedules her day to spend the right percentage of her time on administrative and routine tasks. Due to this disciplined approach, she is able to effectively use the rest of her time to get in contact with the right donors at the right time. By taking great notes and meticulously tracking the results of her various activities, she knows exactly which donors will yield the best response.


Relationships and Discipline

Year after year, Lindsay has outperformed the Major Gift Officers in revenue. Her organization’s investment in their Middle Donor program paid off. Lindsay is a great example of where relationship building meets discipline — one of the keys to success for a Middle Donor Development Officer.

As fundraisers, we know that having the right people in place — particularly in relational fundraising — is fundamental to reaching successful outcomes. An amazing Middle Donor Development Officer is critical to the success of a Middle Donor program. Unfortunately, finding the right person for the job is often quite difficult.

With over 15 years of experience and many millions of dollars raised, Blue North has cracked the code on the vital qualities a Middle Donor Development Officer needs to be successful — the delicate balance between relational ability and the discipline to adhere to a plan. And now we’re sharing those insights with you.

Download our “What Makes A Good Middle Donor Rep?” cheat sheet and sample “Middle Donor Representative” job description. Staff your department with Lindsays, and be confident about the return on your investment.


Topics: Middle Donor Progam

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