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What CCAH Is Thankful for This Holiday Season

CCAH has a LOT to be thankful for! The past year has seen new challenges to overcome, but through it all, we’ve done incredible work with our amazing clients. Our CCAH family has grown as we’ve welcomed new employees and clients: intelligent, creative, collaborative individuals that make our work space better and brighter every day.

We are proud that CCAH has become a place that feels like home all year round, from raising money for incredible causes, like researching cures for diabetes and cancer, helping to protect public lands and animals in need, or to helping elect democratic women. After a year full of progress toward our collective goal to make the world a better place, our hearts could not be more filled with thanks and gratitude.

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“So thankful for talented and dedicated teammates that make even the most hectic schedules achievable!” – Brenna, Principal and SVP of Digital

I am thankful for my health and my family…and for the opportunity to work at CCAH. While it’s only been a short time, I’m so happy to be part of the team and can’t wait to see what the future holds!” – Jennifer, VP, Direct Mail

“I am thankful to be blessed with such an encouraging, loving, and hilarious family!” – Arwen, Account Representative, Direct Mail

“I am thankful that my wife and I are growing from a two-person household to 3. We are expecting a new child in early spring 2022!!” – Delan, Account Representative, Digital

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“I am thankful for my team for their support and kindness.” 
– Steven, Senior Copywriter

“I am thankful for my nephews and the eternal youth they provide me while we’re blowing bubbles, putting together Legos, or playing with Play-Doh.” 
Beth, Account Manager, Direct Mail

“I’m thankful for all the people in my life–friends, family, coworkers, clients—that always pull together to support and encourage each other.” 
Colleen, VP, Digital

“I am thankful to work with coworkers who have turned into true friends.” 
Stephanie, Account Representative, Direct Mail

“I’m thankful for the enduring love and support of my amazing boyfriend Rob. 
– Jessica, Production Manager

“This year, I’m especially thankful for the amazing scientists finding vaccines that are saving lives and keeping loved ones healthy. The pandemic has made me even more appreciative of family, friendships and a supportive workplace.” – Adva, SVP, Digital Ads

“I’m thankful that my previous employment closed and laid me off due to pandemic economic impacts because it allowed me/forced me to follow my passion of working with nonprofits and start work with CCAH!” – Crystal, Senior Account Representative, Direct Mail

“I am so grateful for a supportive work community that cares deeply about everyone’s well-being – especially during the high-octane year-end giving season!” – Mike, Digital Advertising Manager

From our CCAH family to yours, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

CCAH Spotlight – David Wolkin

Setting the Stage

You would be hard-pressed to find a colleague whose enthusiasm can best that of David Wolkin, Senior Copywriter. As one teammate put it: “He’s always ready to jump into the next project, no matter how large or small.”

Having worked at CCAH since 2017, David’s client roster runs the gamut of nonprofit genres, with him writing fundraising copy for museums, religious and medical organizations, as well as civil rights and animal welfare groups.

The variety provides David with a pathway to serving a wide range of missions that align with his own values. For him, “There’s something really special about being able to play a behind-the-scenes role in securing resources for so many different causes, so that they can be out there doing the work.”

Making a Difference

Building community is paramount for the clients of CCAH; in that respect, David is well-versed. After college, he worked at a Jewish summer camp, in charge of campers and counselors ranging from high-school freshmen to college students. His recollection of their respect for each other, and the sense of caring that they created at camp, inspired him to pursue a post-graduate degree in Jewish education.

David worked in the Jewish community for a decade after earning his master’s degree, seeking his own path as an educator. His mother was a grade-school teacher and his father was a rabbi, and while he admired their work, he didn’t want to take on their careers – instead he sought a hybrid of the two.

He was attracted to the relational and educational aspects of their roles and was moved by their ability to build community in their own ways. This drive to be of service to those around him inspired him to become a hospice volunteer, providing comfort to patients in the final chapter of their lives, in addition to supporting their families. “I don’t like the idea of anyone being alone in those times, and so if I can show up and help, that can lessen their challenges or struggles.”

Believe it or not, David’s background as a Jewish educator serves him well as a writer. “I spent 15 years trying to find the best ways to share an ancient tradition – one I love – with learners of all ages. You learn a surprising amount about effective messaging that way.”

Doing What Matters

David’s storytelling abilities have served him well in roles both past and current, and even though he spends his work week crafting narratives for his clients, he still finds more time to hone that skill outside of the office. He has performed with Story District, a Washington, D.C. organization that brings live storytelling to the stage, as well as providing the District with storytelling classes and training. When he isn’t telling stories, you might find him reading one – especially if it’s a comic book.

Whether he’s writing for a client, teaching on a Saturday at his synagogue, playing soccer with his Border Collie, Waffles, or planning adventures with his wife Keeli – a leader at the anti-sexual violence organization RAINN – David pours 100% of himself into the task at hand.

His ability to inject some laughter into the average conference call is lauded by his colleagues, and his dependability as a team member is well regarded. He doesn’t take his position lightly, though. “To go from being a Jewish educator to a copywriter, there’s no clear path”, he chuckles, “but I’ve been incredibly lucky.”

February Mini Spotlights

CCAH is full of superstar employees who are going above and beyond to make the world a better place. Whether they’ve worked here for 20 years or just one, every person has the opportunity to make real change. We decided we wanted to show off these go getters with our new mini spotlight series! Each month, we will be highlighting employees on our social media pages who are doing incredible things, both inside and outside the office; however, if you missed any posts, have no fear! Check out a recap of our mini spotlights for February below! In honor of Black History Month, we are excited to celebrate some of the coworkers we are lucky enough to have work with us at CCAH.

Quentin Patrick

To start off our #CCAHSpotlight Black History Month series, we are excited to feature the face of CCAH, Quentin Patrick. Quentin has been the Office Administrator at CCAH for over 20 years! When he is not caring for our staff, he is mentoring inner city youth, biking the national mall, and advocating for civil rights. His favorite memory at CCAH is creating holiday cards for the White House during the Obama Administration. We are beyond proud to work with this independent, reliable and committed coworker who goes above and beyond everyday to make CCAH feel like home.

Alana Ralph

We’re continuing with a creative superstar: Alana Ralph! Alana has been working at CCAH for 5 years as a Production Designer. In our art department, she is a design force. Her art has spanned from assisting with Nasty Woman buttons for Hillary Clinton’s campaign to designing t-shirts for stuffed animals going to pediatric patients. Getting to do work for causes that align with her beliefs isn’t all she does. Outside of the office, she is an incredible mom to her 3 year old daughter and the owner of an Etsy store where she creates invitations and stationary that are works of art. We are incredibly proud to work with such a dedicated, inspirational, creative coworker who brings our clients’ work to life.

Jessica Acheampong

And we’re closing out this mini spotlight series with a Direct Mail rock star: Jessica Acheampong! Jess has been working at CCAH for over a year as an Account Representative. When she is not helping her clients save the world one donor at a time, she loves watching Hamilton on Disney+ (she’s seen it more than 10 times!), celebrating her Ghanaian heritage with family, and spreading cheer wherever she goes—as her supervisor says, “Jess’ positivity and infectious smile can brighten even the dullest of days!” We are beyond proud to work with this exuberant, versatile, and passionate coworker and cannot wait to see what she does next at CCAH!

As the month comes to a close, we want to give a big thank you to these CCAH Superstars and February’s Mini Spotlights!

Thanks(for)giving

You take great pains to add a new donor to your file… And then what? It’s so important to make a donor feel welcomed and thanked! In addition to making them feel like a part of your organization, a thank-you can also serve as their tax receipt. And acknowledgement programs are not just good for donor relations, they can also benefit your organization!

Not only is it a best practice to send a follow-up thanking donors for their contributions, whether online or through the mail (or both!), sending a thank-you note also gives donors another opportunity to give. And it’s not too soon to ask—remember recency is the strongest indicator of likelihood of next action, in this case, to make another gift.

By reducing time to next gift, you’re able to upgrade donors into “multi-giver” status, grooming their giving habits before they become too solidified and tying them more closely to your organization and mission, and making them more likely to become long-term donors.

Acknowledgements also give you a great opportunity to create multichannel donors. Whether you’re including online gifts in your direct mail acknowledgments program (if you don’t already, start doing this!) or sending an email thank you to offline donors (food for thought: how often and quickly do you add emails and sync offline giving into your eCRM?), acknowledgements are an easy way to reach donors across platforms so they have multiple ways to interact with your organization. And, if they reply to an acknowledgment sent in a channel different from the channel in which they made their original gift, they have now raised their hand to receive communication through that medium as well.

It’s no surprise that multichannel donors are some of the best donors an organization can have, so it’s worthwhile to integrate acknowledgments and update your data infrastructure to allow it!

Now for some specifics:

  • To really cement a new donor’s relationship with your organization, try creating a welcome kit to acknowledge first time donors and ask for a second gift. These touchpoints, often direct mail packages, can include lots of information pertinent to new donors—brochures about programs and impact, an explanation of your monthly giving program, information about estate planning for future gifts, and even a member card! Welcome kits are a great way to show new donors that you appreciate their contribution to your organization. Welcome kits can be totally digital too—how are you sending your welcome to new donors over email? Organizations often send  a “kit” spread out over several emails, but you can also create a “supporter hub” landing page where new donors can find all that information in a single location.
  • Once donors are on your file, don’t be afraid to include an ask in your acknowledgments. Keep it soft, and make sure the focus of your copy is on saying thank you, but when given another opportunity—many donors will take you up on it and send an additional contribution!
  • No one has ever said, “stop thanking me so much”, so once you’ve made a basic program turnkey, test expanding your acknowledgments to include other channels like phone (think thank-a-thons, and prerecorded thank you messages from staff or your board) and SMS. Remember: peer-to-peer texting doesn’t require a previous opt-in, so you can text donors a short thank you and then ask them to opt-in for additional updates! (Though if you want to truly grow your SMS program, add an opt-in to your donation forms and reply devices to collect them upfront.)

Investing in an acknowledgement program is a necessity, not only for tax liability purposes and donor transparency, but also to constantly work toward building a better supporter experience and cultivating life-long relationships with your donors. Reach out to CCAH to work with us, and we’ll help you determine the best way to tell your donors Thanks(for)giving!

CCAH Spotlight – Katie Chambers

Setting the Stage

“Katie Chamber’s positive attitude is actually infectious” according to Kim Cubine, and her colleagues all agree. The tireless work ethic and upbeat attitude that she brings to her daily routine have made her an indispensable member of the CCAH family.

On top of her role as an Account Executive working with clients, she is also a member of the company’s Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Committee, a writer for the company blog, and a resource for five other CCAH employees through the company mentorship program. How on Earth did one person wind up with so much on their plate?

“I have a hard time saying no to things,” she says with a laugh. And while her sense of duty might belie an even greater desire for change, Katie’s work – both inside and outside the office – has made her the natural leader that we at CCAH are fortunate enough to work alongside. 

Making a Difference

When she’s not helping her clients to reach their organizational goals, Katie is an ardent supporter of causes outside of CCAH. She has served as a coach for Girls on the Run, an after-school program that helps reinforce the connection between emotional and physical health for young women. She also volunteers, organizes with, and raises funds for Be the Match, an organization that connects patients diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood diseases with life-saving bone marrow and stem cell donors.

Most recently she’s found herself pounding the pavement with members of her community, demanding change to the systems of American policing. Her civic engagement is not so much a newfound passion as it is an extension of her upbringing. “When I was in middle school, my parents would reward me for good grades with trips to D.C., and we’d go to a Smithsonian … or I’d hang outside the Newseum waiting for politicians to sign autographs after they filmed This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

Katie’s political passions continued through college and into her first job after graduation, where she worked as a field organizer for a Senate campaign. After that campaign cycle ended, she wasn’t entirely sure where she would end up, until she connected with a family friend who knew of an opening at CCAH. Katie applied “despite not really knowing anything about the industry,” and when she was called in for an interview, began studying up on the ins-and-outs of direct marketing. 

Doing What Matters

It’s no surprise that during this year’s annual company awards ceremony, Katie was the recipient of the CCAH Spirit Award, which is given to an employee who exemplifies the passion for change that we work for each day. Her positive outlook and boundless enthusiasm are contagious, and it’s because of Katie, and colleagues like her, that CCAH can deliver for our clients.

Katie’s work at CCAH encompasses so much more than just her daily client interactions and management of their various campaigns. Her work on the company blog helps to keep CCAH visible within the direct marketing industry, a crucial task in the current age with so many business interactions moving from in-person to online.

Similarly, her work on the DEI committee helps to ensure that all of her CCAH colleagues stay visible within the structure of the company. When CCAH announced the inception of the DEI Committee, Katie saw it as a natural fit. She had, before the committee existed, been working with her supervisors and management to address what areas CCAH might better serve our growing roster of employees. “CCAH is a great place to work for me, and I just want to make sure that’s true for everyone here.”

It’s Earth Day!

This Earth Day, CCAH is celebrating a little differently than usual. Rather than going outside to enjoy nature and hopefully give back, we are all staying in our homes. However, while there are many serious worries to be had about our current situation, one silver lining of social distancing is an increased appreciation for the world around us, and the ability to see our world through a lens with less pollution.

To celebrate this strange Earth Day, which also happens to be the holiday’s 50th anniversary, CCAH is bringing the outdoors inside to help brighten their workspaces.

Go To Nature...

Many CCAHers are making sure they are getting their exercise by walking outside when safe. According to CDC guidelines, if you do decide to talk a walk, make sure you are keeping 6 feet between you and others not in your household, and you should wear a mask if you are able. Check out CDC resources and local recommendations before deciding if going on walks while social distancing is right for you! 

While at home, you can also take Jenny’s lead with a garden! While Jenny carries her lemon tree inside and outside every day, you can pick low-maintenance plants to start out with! Arwen recommends mint as an easy plant since “it’s kind of a weed, so you don’t need to worry about making it grow!”

Or Bring Nature to You!

One way to make sure you are keeping nature in mind during the COVID-19 pandemic is to bring plants into your workspace. Many people believe houseplants are the key to making your home office feel like a place you want to work, since plants can bring in a splash of color and make you feel less like you’re stuck inside—and, according to a NASA study from 1989, many plants can even help purify the air (although more recent research indicates that this may be a bit of an exaggeration unless you really, really like plants).

And if you didn’t have houseplants prior to stay-at-home orders, don’t worry! It isn’t too late.  When CCAH had a spirit day to show off our plants, Catherine got a special delivery along with her groceries …

No Green Thumb?

If you want to celebrate Earth Day but don’t have the gift to keep plants alive (like me), you can always donate to an environmentally-focused nonprofit! CCAH is lucky to work with several important changemakers, fighting to make a difference for our Earth. Bring your voice to the global conversation around climate change, and check out the Earth Day site for more ways you can get involved for Earth Day’s 50th anniversary!

What CCAH Is Thankful for This Holiday Season

CCAH has a LOT to be thankful for! This year, we’ve welcomed new employees and clients: intelligent, creative, collaborative people and inspiring missions that make our workdays meaningful and fun.

We are proud that CCAH has become a place that feels like home all year round, from raising money for health and disease charities like hospitals who care for sick patients away from home during the holidays, research cures for diabetes and cancer, environmental organizations that help protect public lands and endangered species, to helping elect democratic women. After a year full of progress toward our collective goal to make the world a better place, our hearts could not be more filled with thanks and gratitude.

“I’m spending this holiday season looking back at the year and being thankful for CCAH and the love and support they have shown me this year. I am also very thankful that I get to spend this holiday creating new family traditions as a newlywed.” – Kelsey Sloss, Senior Account Executive, Phone and Mobile Strategies

“I’m thankful for being able to build some great relationships with great people at CCAH!” – Sunny Matani, Account Executive, Direct Mail

“This year I am most thankful for my new friends and work family at CCAH. Having a work place that feels like a second home makes the long days feel like ease.” – Courtney Rojas, Account Representative, Digital

Spirit Week Taylor Swift

“I’m thankful and honored to play my small part within an organization that makes an overwhelming impact in the nonprofit and political communities. Additionally, I’m extremely thankful and overjoyed by the dedication, commitment, and strength that my team has shown this year. We have the privilege of working with outstanding colleagues, suppliers, and clients, and much of our success can be contributed to these relationships, so many thanks to each and every one of them as well.” – Darin Marks, Director of IT and Data Operations

“Outside of work, I’m grateful for my health and that of all my loved ones, as well as the ability to live in and build supportive and loving communities that are dedicated to fighting to justice. And I’m just as grateful to be married to a brilliant and kind partner who spends her days tackling some of the most pressing issues of our time.

At work, I’m grateful for the opportunity to raise funds for so many important and transformative causes, and to play a tiny role in moving this world in the right direction. I’m equally grateful to work with such an incredible group of colleagues who support me every day and never stop pushing me to do my best work.” – David Wolkin, Senior Copywriter

“This year I whole-heartedly thank my family, friends, and doggies for their unconditional love and support, the house that keeps me cool from the Florida sun, a great first year at CCAH—and pumpkin pie.”Margaret Randall, Senior Graphic Designer

“I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, and dreams that turned into reality.” – Jennifer Keenan, Senior Production Director

“I’m thankful for the close friends I have as a support system through tough times in my life, ones who understand without needing much in the way of explanation.  The relationships we have in life make this journey all the more bearable. Starting at CCAH has turned this around for me career wise and I’ll always feel fortunate to have gotten this opportunity.” – Mai Ly, Acquisition Coordinator

“I am thankful for having a strong support system at home and at work to keep me going and pushing me to do great things!” – Mia Mack, Senior Account Executive, Direct Mail

From our CCAH family to yours, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

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ADA Step Out Walk 2019

The American Diabetes Association is an organization that fights to prevent and cure diabetes and improve the lives of those suffering from this disease through education, research, and awareness. CCAH was proud to have the opportunity to support this mission outside of the workplace by once again participating in the annual 2019 Step Out: DC Walk, the local American Diabetes Association Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes event. 

CCAH arrived bright and early at the Washington Monument on September 21, where we were met with ADA tents covering the Washington Monument grounds and a stage set up with fun music and warm ups to kick off the morning and get our blood pumping. After we all received our Racing Bibs in preparation of the walk to come, we headed over to the breakfast tent, where we were treated to oranges, bananas, and bagels as some pre-walk fuel. We heard from inspiring speakers including Tracey Brown, the CEO of the ADA, who spoke about her own experience with diabetes. We saw some of our friends at the American Diabetes Association and snapped a quick group photo before the MC announced it was officially time to begin.

At 9:30 on the dot, the walk began. It was incredibly inspiring to see so many people gathered together for a common mission. With supportive volunteers pointing the way, we walked the distance from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial and back around the Reflecting Pool. The walk gave our team the perfect opportunity to connect with friends and make new ones, as everyone showcased their support for this important cause. Those walking with diabetes, given the special designation of “Red Striders,” and those walking in support joined together over 600 strong in a clear depiction of what the American Diabetes Association stands for: that we are all joined together in this fight, Connected for Life.

The 2019 Step Out: DC Walk raised over $220,000 to support the ADA’s work providing life-saving research. CCAH values the opportunity to stand with our community in support of important organizations like the American Diabetes Association, and we are always excited for opportunities to spread awareness for such an important issue—especially when it means we start our Saturday morning off right, with friends and fun exercise!