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A Deeper Dive into Donor Advised Fund Marketing

December 11

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One of the biggest challenges we face as an industry is the consolidation of billions of philanthropic dollars into Donor Advised Funds. This has been heightened by the 2018 tax reform. For instance, have you ever used a deadline on your Donor Advised Fund marketing for your year-end campaign? I certainly hadn’t. After all, the purpose of Donor Advised Funds is to give donors the flexibility to receive their tax refund immediately, and then take their time deciding how to grant the money. That last aspect creates a problem for us as fundraisers: how to instill a sense of urgency with the donor concerning year-end giving, now that the donor’s year-end tax break has become moot. How to surmount that difficulty became ...Read more


Middle donors and the White House

April 5

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Are your middle donors suffering from middle child syndrome? Do they feel excluded, ignored, overshadowed by the over-indulged major donors and the high volume, attention-stealing low dollar donors?  Organizations are starting to shine the spotlight on middle donors, and rightly so.  The reality is middle donors account for less than 2% of all donors in our programs and yet generate upwards of 30% or more of annual revenue—all without receiving much attention or fanfare.  Middle donor programs are taking hold in nonprofit organizations. In the past three years, organizations with dedicated middle donor programs have seen the number of middle donors increase along with their revenue.  As we take holistic view ...Read more


Online Fundraising Best Practices for Nonprofits

October 26

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Best Practices and Bold Innovations: Recapping the Best of Bridge Lunch and Learn If you missed out on the 2018 Bridge Conference like me, I hope you made a point to attend DMAW’s Best of Bridge Lunch and Learn on October 18th! At this Lunch and Learn, one of the most popular sessions from this year’s conference was recapped by Kerri Kerr, Chief Operating Officer at Avalon Consulting Group, Myles King, Director of Annual and Digital Fundraising at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Laura Connors, Vice President of Membership at the National Parks Conservation Association.  Entitled Perennial Favorites: Annual Fundraising Campaigns, FTW!, Kerri, Myles and Laura held a discussion on best practices and ...Read more


Gain & Sustain: Tips for Long-term Growth and Success in Nonprofit Monthly Giving Programs

October 17

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DMAW Sustainer Day, September 2018, was an opportunity to listen to experts from some of the most respected and relevant nonprofits in the U.S., including ALSAC/St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Humane Society of the United States, and The Nature Conservancy, answer questions and share success stories about monthly giving programs. The day was fast-paced, fun and enlightening.  We had a series of great sessions before lunch that covered a variety of areas, with great speakers willing to share their own on-the-ground experiences. We covered everything from acquisition, retention, and with a very entertaining keynote speech by Steve Froehlich from St. Jude’s, we left with some thoughts on bigger trends in our work as ...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


Moving your CRM Database Without Losing Your Sanity or Your Job: Lessons from the Front Line

November 29

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Image courtesy of patpitchaya at FreeDigitalPhotos.net By Pete Carter On November 17th I had the opportunity to moderate a panel discussion on the challenges surrounding a CRM database conversion. This sold-out Lunch & Learn was presented by the Direct Marketing Association of Washington (DMAW) and sponsored by EveryAction. Rose Simmons, the Director of Direct Marketing at the League of Women Voters and Brandon Hemel, Senior Director, Data Strategy and Management, WETA discussed their first-hand experiences with CRM migrations. Here are seven key learnings from the luncheon: Sometimes your database can’t keep up with your growth. Rose and Brandon mentioned lack of technical dexterity, slowness in customer ...Read more


8 Years of Uncertainty is Enough

November 21

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net By Jordanna Sussman I recently attended DMAW’s Lunch & Learn “Industry Trends and Insights for the Nonprofit Sector”, presented by Carol Rhine, Principal Fundraising Analyst at Target Analytics. Here are my 4 Key Takeaways: The wealthy are driving charitable giving This was an overarching theme throughout Carol’s presentation: Charitable contributions from donors at the top of the income and wealth ladder have increased significantly over the past decade. There has been dramatic growth in the number of private grant-making foundations. A disproportionate amount of growth went to sectors favored by the wealthy such as education and ...Read more


Breaking Through the Noise of an Election

October 20

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You don’t have to be a political junkie to see that we are right in the middle of one of the loudest, most contentious election seasons we’ve seen in a long time. One has to wonder: how does this election impact our nonprofits? Are our donors being inundated with content? How do you break through all the noise on behalf of your mission? Those questions drove me to attend the DMAW’s aptly-timed Lunch and Learn “Multichannel Campaigning to Elevate Your Issue in an Election.” Fred Griesbach, Director of Grassroots Advocacy for AARP and Steve DelVecchio, Director of Rapid Response for AARP Foundation teamed up to share with the audience some case studies on how AARP has been able to not only be heard amongst the clutter of ...Read more


Let’s Get Some Likes! Strategies for Growing Your Audience Among Millennials

One of the perks of working in DC? Being able to walk to the SEIU offices for the June DMAW Lunch and Learn. The first speaker was Millicent Gorham, PhD (Hon), MBA, FAAN, of the National Black Nurses Association. She described millennials as “young people coming of age in 2000, who are the largest, most diverse generation in America.” And she wants those millennials. (Dr. Millicent Gorham, National Black Nurses Association) NBNA discovered their greatest challenge is to engage and retain millennial members under 40. They have dedicated older members, but they need to attract the future pillars of the organization. The NBNA has data showing once they get a member to attend the conference, they don’t leave (87% retention ...Read more


Lunch & Learn – Unexpected Lessons: What We can Learn from our Fundraising Colleagues Worldwide

November 22

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Download the November Lunch & Learn presentation by Jennie Thompson, Managing Director, Development, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. (Please note the embedded presentation videos are currently not available within the downloadable file. To view the videos, please view them separately online: Air Orchestra, BUND Tree Concert, and Pills that kill other people's pain.) If you have any questions about the November Lunch & Learn, or other program activities, please contact Eerik Kreek at eerik@dmaw.org. About the November Lunch & Learn -- Unexpected Lessons: What We can Learn from our Fundraising Colleagues Worldwide This lively tour of the fundraising environment and practices of countries outside the U.S. ...Read more