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It’s not your grandma’s telefundraising anymore!

October 11

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When I talk to younger fundraisers, they often say: “Why would I use the phone? I never answer it.”  Not surprising -  they’re just like our sons, who are now 29 and 31 years old. But herein lies the problem. What you as a (young) person may think to be true may not actually be the case for your donors! And those are the people who should be at the absolute center of all your thinking and doing. Especially now with retention rates being lower than ever before. So, I’m here to tell you that it’s vital to incorporate the phone into your fundraising strategy! And it’s not just me saying it. Enter a recent webinar, organized by DMAW, with Lisa Drane of Donor Services Group and Chrissy Hyre of Chapman Cubine + Hussey. ...Read more


Mastering Metrics to Optimize Your Program

September 13

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Looking to optimize your direct marketing programs? Start with the data. As Avalon VP of Analytics TJ Hillinger and Integral Principal Kevin Moran shared with their viewers during the DMAW webinar Data-Driven Fundraising: Mastering Metrics to Optimize Your Program: “  The key to maximizing value and sustained growth is getting the right information to the right people at the right time.  ” And the key to getting all three to align perfectly? That’s where data-driven fundraising comes in. Today’s leading organizations are leveraging their data to build new relationships, develop more dynamic segmentation strategies, and seeking new opportunities for growth. Here are the big insights from the webinar (in case you ...Read more


Art Meets Science at 2018 Bridge Conference

September 5

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You came, you saw, and you hopefully conquered new marketing techniques at this year’s Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference. If you missed it, here’s a quick synopsis: Four great keynote speakers. NPR Science Correspondent and Host Shankar Vedantam wowed attendees with the latest break throughs in social science research, including the “hidden brain”—our unconscious biases that affect the decisions we make as individuals and as organizations. With Management Centre Director Bernard Ross and TheMooreDM Group CEO Geoffrey Peters, there were two sides of the story—or rather two sides of the brain to explore—in this joint presentation on using neuroscience to maximize your fundraising ...Read more


The Next Rising Star

August 27

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An emerging leader. A great attitude. Exceptional work ethic and results. Someone you like to be around in and outside of the office. Basically, a fundraising/marketing rockstar. Sound like anyone you know? I am lucky enough to know one or two, but I could really use your help in identifying another one. In fact, they are counting on you. And your nomination of them is going to come back to YOU in spades. Simply fill out the Rising Star Nomination Form to nominate a DMAW member with at least three years of experience that is 35 years old or younger. I spoke to a couple of previous winners of this award to find out who helped them to become rising stars—and eventually superstars. Rebecca Shapalis of Avalon Consulting ...Read more


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