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A mail donor and a digital donor walked into a bar…

November 28

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If your first reaction to the title above is, “I don’t get it, is that a joke?”, then you likely were not among fortunate, dedicated marketers, who braved the region’s first snow dusting of the season to attend this month’s DMAW Lunch and Learn, “Digital First: Why Translating DM Content Just Won’t Cut It!” While the title above is not the set-up of a joke, it does set-up a concept that everyone who attended left understanding. That is, while these two audiences may share much in common, each is unique, and thus, each needs to be served differently. Our marketing bartenders for this fantastic educational event were: Kaitlin Juleus, Senior Communications Strategist at Blue State Digitial, Sarah Dunlap, Senior ...Read more


Key Takeaways – National Association of Charitable Gift Planners 2018 Conference

November 8

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Last month, I attended the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners Conference in Las Vegas. This is the premier national gift planning conference, with three days packed with presentations on all aspects of planned giving. I’ve been happy to see an increasing number of panels and discussions focused on marketing – the main driver for a successful program. Here are some takeaways: Worry when long-loyal older donors go silent In his presentation “Baby Boomers – A Very Special Generation or Just Typical Old People,” Russell James rightly called out the lazy thinking that marketers fall into by assuming that donors of the Boomer generation act differently than generations before them. In reality, all the ...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


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


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


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