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.”

 

Designed carpet and grey pouf on glossy white floor. Home office design concept

Working Hard and Working from Home: How Remote Employees are Changing the Game

If you thought working remotely was just for bad weather days, you thought wrong! Across the country more and more companies are offering positions that allow employees to telework up to 100% of the time. Remote workers have limited distractions and enjoy flexible hours. 

What are the Benefits?

According to a study done by Indeed, 57% of remote workers feel more productive working from home than in the office and 38% of remote workers feel equally productive in the office and at home. And their employers agree! 72% of companies with remote workers say their remote workers are more productive when they’re at home. Some companies are even saving on real- estate costs by encouraging employees to work remotely. 

 

 How do I know remote work will be successful on my team?

Working remotely can work for anyone in any department, it just takes a little planning. We spoke with CCAH team members across departments and came up with a few tips to make teleworking successful for your team.

Tip 1: Be Accessible!

If you’re not in the office, its important to be available via phone and an instant messenger like Skype or Slack when email isn’t enough. Being accessible and over-communicating will help your team build trust and ensure nothing slips through the cracks. Rob in Data Management recommends keeping your calendar as up to date as possible to keep everything on track.  

Tip 2: Separate your Work Space from your Living Space

When you work from home, it can be difficult to cultivate a work/life balance. Jessica in Production suggests creating a designated work space. It will keep you organized and ensure you’ve got everything you need to be successful during the work day.

Tip 3: Stay Organized

Remote workers don’t always live in the same time zone as their clients or company. Katie in Account Services suggests having daily check ins with your team to make sure everyone knows where projects stand. This ensures that nothing slips through the cracks and everyone can get support if needed.

Remote work policies allow companies to hire the best employees regardless of location and give team members a better work- life balance.  But remember, no team is the same. While we’ve found these tips to be helpful at CCAH, connect with your team to find out what works for them. Everyone succeeds when they feel supported and valued – whether they’re in the office, or 3 hours away. 

Rookie of the Quarter – Alyssa Ackerman

At CCAH, we know that progress is what keeps us relevant and keeps us moving toward our mission — advancing change and committing to activism that makes a difference. That’s why each quarter we like to recognize one of our newest employees who is helping move us towards our goals and continuing our push for progress. Our Rookie of the Quarter award is given to an employee who has started their CCAH journey in the past year and has shown their willingness to go above and beyond. They are nominated by the CCAH management committee (our partners, VPs, and president, Kim Cubine), and they exemplify CCAH’s commitment to progress.

The Importance of KPIs

You may read that title and say “I know this already, I use KPIs, All. The. Time.” But do you? A lot of people treat KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and Metrics as the same thing. BUT THEY ARE NOT.

Digital Day 2014

Only one week away – don’t miss DMAW’s Digital Day!

Digital Day 2014By Brenna Holmes, VP of Digital | You may have seen this post on the DMAW’s blog today, but I wanted to make extra sure nobody missed out on registering for the 2nd Annual Digital Day Forum. So read on, click through, register today and share – bring friends and colleagues who manage digital marketing and fundraising programs no matter the organization!

MADD

CCAH Welcomes a New Member to the Family: Mothers Against Drunk Driving

MADDby Kim Cubine, President | We are excited to announce that CCAH has been selected to oversee the direct marketing efforts of Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD). In this role, we will be designing, implementing and evaluating comprehensive, multichannel, integrated fundraising campaigns to support the important work this nonprofit does.

Brenna Holmes, VP of Digital

Catch our latest webinar – Surround Sound Fundraising

Brenna Holmes, VP of DigitalA week ago today our VP of Digital, Brenna Holmes did a “Tech Tuesday” webinar with 4Good – a fantastic nonprofit community resource – called Surround Sound Fundraising Campaigns. If you weren’t able to join last week, you can download the slides and listen to the recording on Brenna’s 4Good profile page linked above.

EDF

Expanded work with EDF proves direct mail is not dead

EDFBy Kim Cubine, President | For anyone who thinks direct mail is a dying practice, we’d like to offer you some evidence to the contrary – We’re thrilled to announce that our long-standing client, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), has expanded its multichannel marketing efforts to include direct mail. That’s right, EDF ADDED direct mail to its digital and telemarketing fundraising outreach efforts. Our team’s continued strong performance across each channel led to the increased direct marketing responsibilities.