How to Manage Arts & Cultural Development Officers

There are many types of people involved in arts & cultural fundraising like ticket buyers, event go-ers, members, major donors, and occasional donors. The human talent component of fundraising is vital to a successful development office. Professional development officers are relationship builders. They spend time cultivating and engaging donors, yet Blackbaud’s research shows the average development officer’s term is only 18–24 months, and the average time from the first solicitation to a donor’s first gift is four years. This means a donor may have two or even three different people from the same organization soliciting them before they finally make a gift. That is why retaining top officers is so crucial.

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