Q-and-A With DMANF Executive Director Christopher Quinn
In March, the Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation named Christopher Quinn its new executive director. In this role, Quinn, formerly assistant vice president of membership for the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting, directs the DMANF under the DMA's policies and procedures, advances the interests of nonprofit members in terms of public policy, education and networking opportunities, and promotes the use of direct-response fundraising methods for the sector.
Quinn recently took the time to answer some of our questions about his new role, the challenges he expects to face and how he'll surmount them.
FundRaising Success: Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, and what you think has prepared you for the role you've taken on at the DMANF?
Christopher Quinn: I’ve worked in the Massachusetts State Senate, local and statewide campaigns as a finance director and, most recently, in government affairs for a trade association while also running their membership department. Having this background was the best training I could have received in preparing for my role with DMANF.
My previous experiences have helped me understand how to balance the needs of an entire industry, or community, with those of the individual members. Politics and government are about the constituents and voters, while trade associations are for the members and organizations they represent. I think having a background in both areas will serve me well in helping our members in all aspects, from education to advocacy.
FS: What are some challenges you anticipate in your role?
CQ: The economy will probably be our biggest challenge. We have to make sure we’re providing our members with education and research that will always keep them one step ahead, while we’re also protecting them from adverse legislation.
FS: How will you meet them?
CQ: In education, we’ll constantly work with our volunteers to understand what they need in terms of new fundraising techniques, technology and networking opportunities. On the legislative front, we’ll make sure legislators understand the importance of the nonprofit community and keep our membership consistently updated on what is happening on Capitol Hill and in the various state houses.