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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


Your Guide to Rapid Response: Phases 1, 2, 3

When direct marketers hear the words “Rapid Response,” I think it’s common practice for us all to be numb to the phrase.  After all, aren’t we rapidly responding to multiple things every day? And while this is true, it became clear when sitting at the DMAW Lunch and Learn about Rapid Response Fundraising and hearing from AARP Foundation’s Laurie Houseknecht and Laura Cole from Sanky Communications that successful ‘rapid response’ fundraising requires exceptional planning. It requires the ability to be flexible, patient and so in tune with your organization, or client’s mission, that you are ready to respond to a disaster or an emergency and know exactly what’s needed to get from Step 1 to launch, at any given ...Read more


Direct Marketing 101: All the Basics You Need to Know

February 26

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New to the industry or looking for a refresher on techniques and strategy, from the best in the field? Then you might want to reserve your spot now for the upcoming DM101 session on March 8th. Taught by industry leaders, this full-day seminar will provide foundational training and go over what makes a successful direct marketing campaign. The session will be comprised of eight sections, introduced by the top marketing professionals in the DC area: Creative Strategy and Design, with Avalon Consulting’s Senior Vice President, Kerri Kerr Marketing Lists and Acquisition, with Belardi/Wong’s Senior Vice President, Jeanette Cassano Data Hygiene and Processing, with MMI Direct’s Manager of Operations, Lori Barao ...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


What Members Want

Raise your hand if you never planned on a career in direct mail. You, too? I knew I wasn’t alone. My initial foray into direct marketing happened the way it happens for many: by accident. I had set out on a quest to find the perfect job in book publishing, and while interviewing for entry-level editorial positions, I worked for a direct mail agency as the receptionist. They liked me and felt that I had something to offer. That feeling was mutual. Working directly for the agency, I wrote and edited just about everything – direct mail packages, press releases, RFPs, you name it. Every now and then I would marvel at how I somehow wound up with a much more interesting and community-serving career working in nonprofit fundraising ...Read more


Smaller Non-Profits Have Marketing Advantages Too

July 28

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For more than 20 years, I’ve heard non-profits say, “Why can’t we do what (fill in the blank) does?” Inevitably, the comparison is between a large-scale nationally recognized non-profit and their own small but successful organization. So, I remind them that these large organizations have built and earned brand equity over a long period of time. Think about this. When a natural disaster hits, where would you go to donate? I have no doubt that your list and mine would be very similar. I get it. Smaller non-profits have limited budgets and therefore tend to be more risk averse. One really bad test could blow their entire budget for the year. But being lesser known has some advantages too. Smaller organizations tend to be less ...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


Mobile First Mentality and Testing will move your Organization Forward in Digital Marketing

November 4

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by Danielle Hart At DMAW’s Digital Day, keynote Greg Kihlstom hit the nail on the head when he opened his presentation by describing how the world is growing more digital, mobile and segmented by niche markets. So what does that mean for the future of the Direct Marketing industry? Now more than ever, customers and donors are expecting more local, personalized, and immediate interactions with brands and organizations. And they are expecting these experiences to be seamless. Whether the focus is on brand awareness or taking action, digital marketing interactions and digital fundraising efforts are building direct relationships with customers and donors. In order to acquire and cultivate customers or donors, brands and ...Read more


Can You R.E.L.A.T.E?

October 29

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During the DMAW luncheon on October 17th, we joined the world of “Listen Up Español!” Randall Anderson “delivered awesomeness” with tips and lessons on how to engage the Hispanic market. According to the Nielsen report, Hispanics account for $1.2 trillion dollars per year in buying power, we better start paying more attention to this fast growing U.S. population. Anderson stated that statistically, 1 out of 6 Americans are Hispanic; meaning, our Future IS Hispanic. From acquiring them, to keeping them coming back, to understanding their lifestyle, we need to… R.E.L.A.T.E. Easy; right? R- Relationships. In the Hispanic market, as in any market, it’s all about building relationship. When we share with others, this ...Read more