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The REAL Gifts in the Fundraising Industry

By Ben Harris, President, Production Solutions

The global pandemic has been plodding along in the USA for over 800 days, and the most jarring statistics to me are the millions of lives lost, the millions of jobs lost or resigned, and the many millions with increased symptoms of depression or burnout. The pandemic, for many of us, has created this chronic state of powerlessness or languishing – which directly impacts our psychology and effectiveness. [Read more]



Sip, Socialize, and Speed-Network with YDMAW

Being a young professional in direct marketing can prove challenging when you’re new to the industry. Everyone is seemingly already an expert and finding others in the same boat is daunting in a room full of strangers. This has always been a challenge, but that journey became even more difficult after the 2020 COVID outbreak when many companies went fully remote.  While it is important for us to safely start to mingle, build new relationships, and re-establish old connections, we are still finding ourselves in a position where that’s much easier said than done.

For everyone who has felt or continues to feel this way—you are not alone! YDMAW is taking these challenges head-on by creating a young professionals space where we can meet others our own age with diverse experiences and similar ambitions. [read more]

In December 2021, the DMAW community came together in person for the first time in almost two years to award the venerable Hall of Leaders Award, which this year went to Roger Hiyama, Executive Vice President, Solutions & Innovations of Wiland. 

To be recognized, the nominees for the Hall of Leaders award are voted on by previous winners and approved by the DMAW Board, making it truly a peer recognition award. There are four specific criteria for the Award: [read more]

PART II -  Using Premiums to Retain Donors

Ok, so you can get more donors at a nice investment using premiums.  You can even get economies of scale on production, lowering cost per piece because you can find more names to mail.  But now you have a lot of donors who aren’t committed, won’t renew, churn and burn – or so the critics say.  The numbers say something different.

Including premiums strategically in a house file or renewal schedule – starting with repeating your acquisition package at least once or twice a year to those donors – will also increase your response rates.  Improved response rates will increase retention rates.  [read more]

Mastering mid-level starts with meaningful relationships

July 20, 2021

Blogs It may be easy to brush aside your mid-level donor program to focus on the many other things on your plate. After all, mid-level donors only account for roughly 1% of your total donor file. But did you know, within that 1% is a gold mine of opportunity? For most nonprofits, mid-level donors account…

Donor Love, Loyalty, Brain: how to get donors hooked on your cause. Part II

June 18, 2021

Blogs In the first article we looked at how to affect better retention and loyalty we need to nudge or influence the memory of supporters through experiences focused on making the first steps human and authentic. According to Kahneman, our memory works on a peak-end form. We remember little: the beginning (as we discussed in…

Donor Love, Loyalty, Brain: how to get donors hooked to your cause – Part 1

June 15, 2021

Blogs Loyalty in general, in marketing and fundraising, has been a purely transactional behavior: how many times you come back to my shop or give again to my organization and for how long. Just recently, and based on new neuroscience evidence, we now understand that the loyalty we have naturally for in-groups (family, neighborhoods, nations,…

Delight Your Donors with Handcrafted Direct Mail

April 15, 2021

Blogs When visiting my local McDonald’s I noticed their Café drink menu and decided to order an espresso drink. Americano was my choice and upon placing my order I was met with a confused look from behind the counter. The cashier wasn’t sure they could make that, so I pointed it out on the menu…

Am I your partner or just the order taker?

April 12, 2021

Blogs Value, Trust, Partnership….these are the building blocks as a vendor. Direct mail production lead times have tightened up over the years. Current events of all kinds have affected the supply chain. Everyone is trying to do more with less. Now more than ever, it is imperative to be in close contact with your vendors.…

Why Designing Direct Mail for Fundraising is Different

April 6, 2021

Blogs When you think about graphic designers, you probably picture one of those “creative” types – colorful and slightly different. But, being a designer is more than just “being creative.” It’s really about problem solving. A graphic designer analyzes the situation, and makes decisions about the best way to present the information for maximum effect…

Who wants $8 Trillion Dollars?

March 26, 2021

Blogs I honestly can’t think of a nonprofit organization in the world that would say no to that question. But the sad truth is, many organizations are still forgoing significant revenue because of their failure to invest in marketing planned gifts. An estimated $8 trillion is expected to pass to charities over the next 25…

WARNING: “Spoofing” Attack Targets Local DM Companies

March 15, 2021

Blogs At least three DMAW member-companies recently fell victim to an Internet hack that has cost one of them several thousand dollars so far. It’s an important wake-up call that shows an Internet connection can leave a company as vulnerable to thieves as a wide-open front door. Interpol is investigating because the money was transferred…

Aiming for Inspiration

February 24, 2021

Blogs   On Thursday, February 25th, I have the honor of hosting the DMAW’s “Breakfast with an Expert” series. We will discuss ideas on the important topic of inspiration, and specifically how to lead yourself and others towards closing the gap between employee satisfaction/engagement and employee inspiration. When researching the topic of inspiration there is…

#DM101: The Fundamentals of Innovative Marketing

February 18, 2021

Blogs This year, I think I am more excited than I have ever been for DM 101. The event is always energizing, and I love the opportunity to connect with new talent in our industry. After 2020, however, connections like these mean more. I also love the virtual format. Though it was necessitated by the…