The Best of Both Worlds
Who: Brian Cowart, director of direct marketing for CARE, one of the world’s largest private international humanitarian organizations.
Grew up in: Dallas and Houston.
Education: Graduated in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Virginia.
Role models/heroes: His parents, Arthur and Ann Cowart.
First job in fundraising: List broker providing targeted direct mail and telemarketing lists to nonprofit organizations.
Major responsibilities at CARE: For the acquisition, pledge, renewals and acknowledgments direct marketing programs: provides leadership and management; develops and oversees implementation of annual strategic plans; manages annual expense budgets.
“In addition, I am responsible for managing the activities of 14 talented staff members and managing all vendors involved in the creative development, production and analysis of all direct marketing campaigns.”
Why fundraising: “I wanted to find a career that was both personally and professionally rewarding. My fundraising experiences have given me the opportunity to explore my interests in the direct marketing field while having a positive impact on the lives of others. It has truly been the best of both worlds.”
Major challenges: Finding new ways to acquire donors outside of direct mail.
Favorite organizations: Those that fight for the rights or well-being of children.
Personal rewards: “I view the world as one big community, and although our individual actions may have only a small impact, if each of us helps or reaches out to just one person in need, we can make a huge difference. Knowing that what I’m doing every day is helping to positively impact the life of even one person is a great reward.”
Management philosophy: “I believe that to be a good manager, you have to provide clear goals and a plan for accomplishing the desired objectives. You have to ensure that every team member is equipped with the training and tools to successfully do their jobs, and you have to foster an environment that gives everyone the opportunity and confidence to provide new ideas and feedback. I believe the contributions of many are significantly greater than those of one individual.”