Looking Forward. Thinking Back.

I can hardly believe it’s February … it feels like only yesterday that we were ringing in the new year and the beginning of the new decade! As I look forward, I have so much confidence in what we will accomplish together in the years ahead. But I also think it’s a good time to reflect on the success we have shared with our clients. 

And I want to take the time to remember how what we do matters.

Every single person at CCAH plays an important role in helping our clients achieve their goals. This is the kind of job where you get up every day and know that your work makes a difference. 

Whether its filing lawsuits in states to fight voter suppress suppression, furthering research that will one day cure cancer, fighting against Antisemitism, or protecting our Parks and wild lands against over development so they will be around for the next generation … and even possibly helping to elect the next President of the United States. 

And let me tell you, our work has made a difference these past 35 years … did you know:

  • Our supporter mobilization and the money we raised in the fight against oil and gas companies helped save the great Sequoia trees in Yosemite National Park
  • CCAH built the membership programs for several AIDS prevention groups—and I mean built from the ground up—and the money we raised helped fund medical advancements so that an AIDS diagnosis is no longer a death sentence
  • It was the money we raised through direct mail that helped Hillary Clinton become the first woman nominee of a major political party
  • Our work fighting voter suppression during the Obama Administration helped fund the legal challenges to gerrymandering and voter ID laws in states like North Carolina and Wisconsin
  • And our work with Alley Cat Allies has helped them help save so many cats across the country after natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires

This is just a short list of the many, many success stories where CCAH staff have played a significant role in helping make the world around us a better place. Talking about our company and the work of our clients is one of my favorite things to do.

At CCAH, we look for integrity, we want grit, we demand team-first mentality, folks who want to learn, and, most importantly, we hire people who care about what we do, who are proud of the success that we share with our clients. 

And frankly, we are starting 2020 on great footing—with some the most talented staff ever.  

CCAH has diversified the services that we offer, we have diversified our client portfolio, we have expanded our “CCAH Roof” to encompass staff working from Oregon to Connecticut and to several states in between. And as a result of these changes our staff has grown by 43%. 

So, we are going to do some NEW things in 2020 and continue to be the disruptors of our industry!

I think this new decade is going to be our best year ever, and I cannot wait to see the incredible changes we will be able to accomplish together. So, I thank you, our staff, our CCAH family, for your continued commitment to excellence and to your clients’ missions.

And for those reading this who aren’t part of our family just yet, but are inspired by what you’ve read, please check out our open positions, and think about coming to Work With Us.

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!

Announcing the Bill Goldstein Legacy Award

It is with pride that I announce the Bill Goldstein Legacy Award recognizing CCAH staff members celebrating their 20th year anniversary at the company.

This award recognizes excellence in service and a commitment to outstanding loyalty to CCAH, our clients, and their missions. Twenty years symbolizes a remarkable achievement in one’s career and demonstrates fortitude, grit, and perseverance. 

This week marks what would have been  Bill Goldstein’s 24th year at CCAH.

Bill’s work over the years has had profound impact on some of the most critical issues facing our country and people around the globe. His accomplishments for animal rights, Democratic principles, and international children’s medical care is unmatched. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention his dedication to the fight against Antisemitism and preservation of Jewish heritage.

Even though Bill lost a valiant battle against cancer this year, his contributions through his work and life leave a lasting legacy on society. It is only fitting that this award be named in his honor.

CCAH Attends Engaging Networks Community Conference

Last week CCAH had the honor of presenting at the Engaging Networks Community Conference. This conference is an opportunity for industry leaders to have one-on-one conversations with colleagues and learn how they are innovating on the Engaging Networks platform.

CCAH attendees learned about critical strategies to ensure increased data security, innovative features exclusive to the platform, and got a sneak peek at what Engaging Networks has in store for 2020. These learnings will allow our Account and Web Developer teams to better achieve client goals by building upon the already robust donation tracking, A/B testing, personalization, and segmentation strategies.

With topics ranging from email automation to peer to peer fundraising, this conference was a great way to remind ourselves of tried and true SOPs and the importance of finding innovative techniques for our client’s success. Conferences like these are a great way for CCAH to show our community what’s working for our clients and what’s working for our company.

Brenna Holmes, Vice President of Digital Services, and Alyssa Ackerman, Senior Account Executive, co-led a session on building a recurring giving program for the future. These sessions featured omnichannel tips as well as case studies of our most successful tactics.

Check out some photos of our experience and the full-length presentation video below!

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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!

LCV 2019 Capital Dinner

CCAH is proud to work with the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), an organization that fights for the environment, making it a political priority. They focus on “meaningful action to combat climate change,” fighting to maintain the safeguards we have already established as well as championing new laws and protections to further support our future.

CCAH was honored to attend the League of Conservation Voters’ Capital Dinner at the Hyatt Regency in DC this past Wednesday as they celebrated a year of unprecedented victories on behalf of our earth — even as they fought against unparalleled opposition to environmental action. The speeches from LCV leaders, such as Gene Karpinski and Carol Browner, and environmental champions, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO), made the night a true celebration of environmental victories, as well as a reminder of the need to keep fighting. As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi highlighted in her address, LCV has been “the driving charge” in defending our environment for 

the last 49 years. 

Despite their tireless work and that of other advocates for the protection of our environment, there is still much work to be done – particularly in the face of the current political administration. Optimism shone through when considering the milestones that have already been accomplished, but this feeling was dovetailed with urgency and the need for greater and more drastic changes to prevent impending, irrevocable climate catastrophes. Environmental stewards were recognized and awarded, and dinner was environmentally friendly and locally sourced, perfectly complementing the night’s theme.

CCAH recognizes that it is only through constant and dedicated work from all of us that we will achieve a lasting and beneficial impact. We are proud to be able to support such an important organization as they approach their 50th year supporting environmental action. With lights the color of PMS 7725 and LCV’s new logo all around, the night was a beautiful tribute to all they have accomplished this past year, and an important reminder that Our Earth Is Worth Fighting For.

CCAH Spotlight – John Wanda

John Wanda has always been fascinated by the people who shaped history: their personalities, their characters, and the way they overcame adversity and the challenges thrown at them. He made it his mission to understand what made great leaders.

Setting the Stage

Growing up in Uganda, John never saw himself getting into direct marketing, as it didn’t really exist there; he went to college for accounting, eventually moving to the United States before finding CCAH, where he has worked for the past thirteen years. He started in an accounting position and is now a principal and vice president for finance. His role has evolved into financial management, budgeting, forecasting, and keeping up with regulations. In John’s words, he works to ensure “that our company is in the good and clear, because you can have a great company, but if you don’t have good books and good accounting and good tech systems, you can still run into trouble.”

John has seen CCAH expand from 44 employees to over 90. He has watched it evolve from a company that was mainly direct mail focused to a company on the cutting edge of direct response marketing. However, what he enjoys most about working here is the opportunity to help so many great organizations raise the money they need: “it’s good to feel like you’re helping to play a role in making our world a better place every day.”

Making a Difference

John is passionate about making a difference. Prior to coming to CCAH, he worked at a DC-based foundation that supports the conservation of rainforests in his home continent of Africa. Working at CCAH, he was able to continue to support this passion while also supporting others — from championing good, viable political candidates and supporting important causes outside the mainstream, to benefiting environmental organizations that do work near to his heart.  As John says, working here has allowed him to see that “people don’t leave [changing the world] to the government, they don’t leave it to others, these are individuals who are willing to give significantly to support the causes they care about.”

John is one of these individuals. The organization that means the most to him is the one he and his wife, Joyce Wanda, founded together: Arlington Academy of Hope. Arlington Academy of Hope serves to build a foundation of hope in rural Uganda by raising money to send children to school. The organization has grown to one with a budget of $900,000 per year, and they have successfully raised more than $7 million to help more than 20,000 children go to school. He explains, “I know that a simple act of kindness can actually change a life, and if we all can do a little bit of that every day, we can transform so many lives around the world.”

John explains that providing these students with the opportunity for education “has shown our community that our kids are just as capable as other kids in Uganda, and given the right resources and support, they can compete with anybody.”

John and his wife grew up in very difficult circumstances. They know firsthand the challenges these kids face — those faced at home to those faced going to, and staying in, school — so when they found themselves in the United States with new opportunities, they wanted “to use the resources and connections [they] found to support the kids back in Uganda.” They realized they “could do a lot of good for their community.” And they are not alone: every year, more than a thousand donors contribute to and support the work of Arlington Academy of Hope.

Doing What Matters

John Wanda puts his all into the things that are important to him, and while he is undoubtedly passionate about the work he does at CCAH and the time he spends with family, Arlington Academy of Hope is the thing that makes him “smile every day, wake up every day, and set goals every day.” This work fulfills him, not only because of what it accomplishes, but also because it combines his work, family, and community — the three things that truly inspire him.

Growing up, John read about the great leaders of our world and the way they shaped history to make the world a better place — John can now take his place among them. Really, no one could say it better than John himself:

“Everybody has different things that make them wake up and do what they do, and that is good — it’s just that anytime you add something that helps others, that is what makes it more powerful. You’re not doing it for yourself, you’re not doing it for your kids, you’re doing it for the world, and that just makes it so much more powerful.”