Welcoming New Partners to the Fold

This Women’s History Month, we want to take a moment to celebrate some truly outstanding women making history here at CCAH.

When it comes to the question of whom I surround myself with, people often tout the benefits of surrounding yourself with those who are smarter than you, and while I think that is one key ingredient to success … I think it is more important, as the President of this company, that I am not only surrounded by smart people, but that I’m surrounded by individuals that share our collective vision for this company — a vision of where we want to go and what we want to accomplish this next decade. 

It’s critical that I surround myself with individuals that not only share our company’s vision, but those individuals who have been instrumental in getting us to where we are today — and in the continued success of this company. 

For many years, I have had the pleasure of working with the best there is.  Individuals that I consider trusted confidants, valuable sounding boards, innovative leaders, and — very importantly — friends.

So, it is my sincere honor to announce that we have four new Principals at CCAH!  Join me in congratulating the incredible women who have truly dedicated themselves to making a difference:

Chrissy Hyre, Susie DeCarlo, Brenna Holmes, and Lynn Waller.

Check out their bios on our Who We Are page to learn a bit more about each of these impressive ladies!

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

Over the summer, CCAH posted the blog you see below on working from home! We hope that in this time of increased telework, you find the tips and tricks from employees who were already working remotely to be helpful.

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. 

After Candy and Caffeine: How to Get Creative When You’re Out of Ideas

A deadline is looming. A blank page glares at you from your laptop screen. You’ve had three vats of coffee in as many hours, along with several pieces (it was boxes, but we won’t tell) of candy from a post-Valentine’s Day sale at CVS.

And still the answer eludes you.

Your project just needs that one big, brilliant idea. But you’re out of ideas!

You contemplate spilling your coffee on your laptop so you can tell IT that it broke and buy time while you wait for a replacement (or a stroke of genius) to arrive. You brew a fourth vat of coffee…

We’ve all been there. Many, many times. Channeling creativity can prove a challenge for anyone, no matter what field you work in or how seasoned you may be in your career. And if there’s a deadline (and there’s always a deadline), creativity can feel even more elusive.

But we have tips we’ve put to the test to get those creative engines running when your typical sources of fuel, like candy or coffee, are failing to ignite.

We asked CCAH staff in a variety of positions, from data and analytics to graphic design and production,  “How do you brainstorm when you’re out of ideas?”

While many ideas bubbled up*—some from under heaps of foil candy wrappers—one response emerged again and again:

Collaborate!

When you’re in a rut, bringing in reinforcements always seems to help. Recruiting a team with wide-ranging expertise and experiences can be just what you need to get unstuck.

“When I’m out of ideas, I turn to my coworkers for inspiration!” said Rebecca Barton, Account Representative. “We have so many creative people who are doing innovative package techniques, so whenever I hit a roadblock, I will ask the people around me what they think and, through that collaboration, usually find exactly what a package was missing.”

How you collaborate is also important: Creating a space where everyone can contribute freely and openly will likely yield the best results.

“I’m a fan of collaborating with others. I think the key is creating an open conversation where everyone can share whatever goes through their mind — the good and terrible ideas, stuff that is inside and outside the box,” said Will Kraiger, Vice President. “Sometimes even the terrible ideas shed light on something that can move the conversation to the right place.  You can always reject, edit, and refine things after the brainstorm is over.”

But what if there’s no one else around? We hear you, remote employees! If you can’t get a group brainstorm together, here are a few other ideas to turn to when ideas are what you need.

Do something totally unrelated to the task at hand.

Take your dog for a walk, do yoga, draw, or just work on a different type of assignment. Engage in anything that lets your brain take a break from the challenge but keeps you engaged.

Do nothing.

Well, almost nothing. Meditate! The benefits of mindfulness are well documented, so we won’t recap them here. But, om my, meditation came up enough times in our informal survey that we’d be remiss not to add it to our list.

Go outside.

A change of scenery can bring a change of perspective and help you get out of your headspace. And if there are downsides to sunlight and fresh air, we’ve yet to hear of them.

Keep an idea bank.

Always be prepared. Chances are, most of us will hit a creative block at some point in our work. So it’s helpful to keep a running list of creative concepts and ideas you can go to for inspiration whenever you’re stumped on a particular challenge.

Whether it’s deep breathing or sipping tea, doing Crossfit or watching “Brain Games” on National Geographic, we uncovered countless ways our staff tap into their creative energy. But above all, collaboration is—for all of us at CCAH—at the very heart of the process. It’s how we spark ideas, spur innovation, and find creative solutions to the tough challenges. Want to join the conversation? Work with us!

*Disclaimer: Our tips for channeling creativity have not been scientifically tested, but they have been personally attempted by at least one or more CCAH team members who seem to like them. However, we believe you should always talk to your doctor before taking up new activities or quitting caffeine.

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.

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!

CCAH Annual Putt-Putt Tournament

It’s summer, which means one very important tradition is about to happen at CCAH: CCAH PGA. This annual putt-putt tournament is a staple of CCAH culture and has been around for almost as long as the firm itself.

It’s also the largest athletic competition of the year at CCAH, which means that participants of all ages, abilities, and affiliations brought their A-game to this Friday festivity.

“If I’m going to win anything at CCAH, it’s this,” said Trent Cubine, a summer intern and CCAH PGA hopeful. With putt-putt legend and two-time champion Sean Coogan out of the office on Friday, this tournament was anyone’s game.

CCAH PGA founder and facilitator (as well as CCAH Chairman and Partner) Jim Hussey made it clear that competition is not the focus of the tournament. “It’s been a good opportunity for team building, to take a break from things,” Hussey said.

The long history and continued excitement around CCAH PGA is a testament to the tournament’s success. “We started this tournament twenty years ago,” Hussey said. “It’s actually been going on longer than some of the participants have been alive.”

Maryann Chan attempts to extricate herself from the office area of HR Coordinator, Chastity Morris.

Account Representative Cindy Edward was a CCAH PGA first-timer hoping to make a strong entrance to the field. Though she began with a strong start putting through the hallway by the printer, she started to tally up the strokes in the lead-up to the front desk area. When asked about whether she had high hopes about making it to the finals, Edward responded “definitely not. It’s like poker, where when you first play, people are like ‘you did really well’ but I think this is kind of it. I’ve lost my touch.”

Many competitors dressed for the occasion, though opinion varied about which type of attire was optimal for the tournament. Account Executive Maryann Chan wore a pragmatic, professional combination of golf shirt and golf skirt, a traditional putt-putt outfit for her. Intern Trent Cubine wore a golfing glove to avoid blisters, though he was seen playing without it in the championship round.

“You’ve got to dress for the green,” said Senior Acquisition Planner Steve Paddock. “I’ve been looking for an opportunity to wear my Figment the Dragon socks for some time now. If not today, then when?”

Once the top six competitors had been determined by pool play, it was time for the course to receive some … improvements. Among the additions to the course were a barrier of pink packing peanuts, an inflatable ninja, overturned office chairs, an ornamental rug, several binders, and a plastic skeleton.

The first competitor to make it through a tricky gap by Account Rep Kyra Rogan’s desk, Kopf said that that was the moment he started to think he might have a chance to win it all. “As long as I could hit it over the leg of the plastic skeleton without it bouncing back into Shannon’s office, I thought I would probably be in the clear,” he said.

Kopf landed the shot and putted his way to the course’s end, followed by Erin Devost in 2nd and Trent Cubine in 3rd.

The only contestant under 21, Kopf appreciates the irony that he won the grand prize of a gift card to The Punchbowl Social, a popular late-night destination in Arlington. “Fortunately, they have plenty of food there too,” Kopf noted. 

After the competition was done, the course disappeared as fast as it had materialized. But don’t think that the excitement of CCAH PGA is gone.

After all, CCAH PGA 2020 is just around the corner. 

Catherine Algeri prepares to round the final corner in the championship round, while spectators, officiators, and other competitors look on.

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.