Excellence, Effectiveness, and Integrity are our core values.

Management Development Associates was established in 1981 by Elvin L. Ridder and Dr. Jim Engel, formerly head of the Billy Graham Graduate School of Communications at Wheaton College. Dr. Engel has since retired, but his bottom line approach to what the community of Christ is doing has stayed as a high value in MDA.

MDA brings both experience and new thinking to the fundraising table. Combining almost 200 years of development experience with the fresh perspective of consultants in their 20's and 30's, the MDA team is looking at new trends to reach the Fundraising 2.0 generation through major donor development, direct mail, and web/e-fundraising.

For direct mail, MDA uniquely emphasizes the acquisition and maintenance of high-value donors and has consistently achieved 1:1 ROIs and average gifts of $70 or more on New Donor Acquisitions.

MDA's philosophy is that the best way to serve our clients is to help them acquire donors who are worth mailing to in the long term—those with the capacity to continue significant giving for years to come. "Gimmicks" are avoided or carefully tested as we recognize that, while they sometimes result in a temporary spike in giving, they often lead to lower average gifts, higher costs, and list burnout that hurts in the long-term.

Statistical analysis is critically important to our ongoing performance and decision-making, and we place a high value on testing to avoid wasteful spending and costly experiments. All of MDA's services (including direct mail, complementing website design, major donor development, grant writing, telemarketing, e-fundraising, and more) are highly customized based on an individual client's needs. Our team is driven to perform quickly, accurately, and with a bottom-line focus on results. What we do, we do with our whole hearts, as unto the Lord, and we recognize the privilege of working with organizations committed to reaching the world with the Good News.