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Bridging the Gap: Cheers to Our Volunteers

August 13

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The Bridge Conference. If you made it there this year, you probably are feeling like I am—inspired by great speakers, armed with new ideas and energized by meeting with both old and new colleagues. Well-done conferences, like weddings, appear seamless as an attendee. But for anyone who has worked at one—as a speaker, in a booth or as one of the planners—they know that seamlessness is hard earned… and impossible without a great team. A team like our DMAW volunteers. It’s the incredible amount of behind-the-scenes effort by these volunteers that makes the Bridge Conference such a success. So though I am eager to start running with the knowledge and ideas I gained at Bridge, I wanted to take a moment to thank the ...Read more


Leaders Are Readers.

July 27

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I’ve got it from multiple sources…simply reading won’t cut it. You need to vary what you read to keep your mind sharp and your creativity flowing. You might be thinking, “Well, that’s great. But what else should I be reading?” I’ve decided to take a chapter from some of DMAW’s Industry All-Star awardees—literally—and see what they recommend. After all, they are mentors, leaders and champions in our field. If there’s a book club I would like to join, it would be with these rock stars of direct marketing! The Adventurer Do you like adventure? How about safaris and history? Then check out this suggestion from our own John Bell, MMI Direct’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing. The Worst Journey in ...Read more


Building a Zipper to the Moon

July 20

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I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find group brainstorming sessions a bit intimidating. I mean, the creative team is there. And they always have the best ideas, right? And yet, here I was, attending a session on brainstorming, led by two top-tier creatives, Prudence Bovee and Steve Fleshman. The tables were set for working, with oversized post-it-notes and sharpies for capturing ideas, brainteasers for warmup, and fidgety toys. I chose the Silly Putty and formed it into a witch nose. Pru and Steve started off with a short presentation that set some ground rules and guided us through the process. So far, so good. I was already learning a lot. Key takeaways included: Keep the group size manageable but invite supplier ...Read more


News Flash— Direct Mail and Print Not Dead

June 28

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Technology isn’t killing direct mail… It’s making it more efficient, cheaper and adding new options to the game. So before you ring the bell to bring out your dead direct mail programs, take a step back, breathe and ask yourself: how can I take advantage of all this? If you missed the DMAW Production Strategies Forum on June 19, you not only missed a tasty lunch but an eye-opening discussion about digital printing, personalization and mailshop innovations, postage costs, and USPS Informed Delivery. Here’s a quick recap. Digital is making its mark in print and mail—and has been for many years now. If you haven't heard about it or been told to take advantage, then it is time to crawl out from behind the rock, put down the ...Read more


Applying Digital Tactics to Membership Organizations and Components

June 22

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With a lengthy to-do list and planning for our large annual governance conference, the thought of missing a full day of work is quite daunting. But the time spent at the DMAW Digital Day Forum was so worthwhile! To my pleasure, I was able to immediately start applying some of the digital tips and tricks from this tech-focused, professional development session. A bit of background: I work at the American Nurses Association (ANA), the one professional association that represents the United States’ 4 million registered nurses. I was extremely inquisitive about digital tactics that I could apply to ANA’s 50 state offices with which I work closely in my membership marketing role. To that end, I walked away from this year’s ...Read more


We entered muggles. We left magicians.

June 19

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I think it was Dumbledore who once said, “Magic is best taught in the morning.” In truth, I’m not sure he said this. But morning was the perfect time for DMAW to host “Mid-level Magic”—taught by marketing masters Lisa Maska, CFRE and Jillian Leslie of Lautman Maska Neill & Company. Lisa and Jillian opened this great Wake-Up & Learn event with the question that had brought us all to SEIU at 8am that morning: “Why is mid-level important?” The answer: While giving continues to remain flat at 2% of income for the majority of donors nationwide, higher income donors ($100k-$200k) today donate 2.6% of income annually, which means a greater ROI opportunity if you devote the resources and time to properly ...Read more


The Magic Your Organization Needs—June 14th Session on Mid-level Donors

So often, the situation is the same: you’ve worked hard to acquire loyal, valuable donors. They receive a great series of appeals each year that use innovative strategies and best practices. Maybe you’ve incorporated some Planned Giving marketing and a monthly giving push into your thriving direct mail program. You might even have a robust major gift track with at least one person on the development team working to cultivate direct mail donors to give larger, significant gifts. So, what’s missing? Where might you be leaving money on the table within a truly successful and well-rounded direct response program? The answer: The people in the middle! On June 14th, we will share why mid-level donors deserve—and want—more ...Read more


Production Strategies Forum

Direct Mail production is complex and ever-evolving. With the introduction of new technologies and techniques, it’s more important than ever to understand the many options and applications available to you. Our Production Strategies Forum on June 19th is designed to guide you in that effort. We have gathered some of the industry’s best and most experienced for a half-day forum to help you stay informed on current trends, pricing, and proven best practices to help you save money, maximize your data, and improve the quality of your direct mail campaigns. Here’s a sneak peek of what you will come away with if you register for this event: Print with Joel Kaufman, Vice President of Sales, Chromagraphics, Inc. and Jeff ...Read more


What the Data Tells Us: Biggest Takeaways from 2017

Why would a college professor drive 3 hours each way through DC traffic for a DMAW Wake Up & Learn session? HINT: The answer is a 4-letter word… DATA! That’s right—you say analytics, and I say, “YES, please!” Carol Rhine’s insightful Target Analytics presentation was definitely worth the trip from Salisbury, MD. I’m a firm believer that data does not give us answers. It empowers us to ask better questions. So, what did the data tell us, and how does that impact our decisions? 2017 was different. The numbers tell us it was a double whammy. First, politically-driven reactive giving started in late 2016 and continued throughout most of 2017. Things started settling down a bit in the third quarter, but ...Read more


Mobile. It’s not just for selfies anymore.

The rise of mobile—it’s a phrase you no doubt have heard at marketing events for years. But get ready to hear it one more time because mobile use has hit a number of benchmark highs this past year that are reinforcing just how critical it is for nonprofits to up their mobile game. The Numbers  Smartphone users now account for nearly half of all email-driven orders — a 33% increase from last year. And it’s not just email. Mobile users are also visiting your websites at higher rates than ever before. According to M+R’s 2018 Nonprofit Benchmarks Report, 40% of nonprofit website visitors in 2017 were on their mobile device. And while mobile users only had an 8% conversion rate after reaching an organization’s main ...Read more