In a new salvo in the skirmish of the agencies that work in nonprofit direct response fundraising, Moore DM Group (MDMG) announced several moves, including opening a Los Angeles office and hiring a senior official of a rival firm.
The expansion includes two additional CDR Fundraising Group offices, in Los Angeles and Tulsa, as well as the hiring of Lisa Scott Benson as chief executive officer of CDR. CDR president, Angela Struebing, will continue leading the CDR headquarters in Bowie, Md.
Benson had been president of Los Angeles-based One & All, recently renamed from Russ Reid and owned by international marketing giant Omnicom. It had been merged with Grizzard, another well-known agency in the nonprofit space. MDMG has 27 companies under the umbrella, 25 of which are focused on nonprofit organizations. It has approximately 2,000 employees and more than 100 nonprofit clients, which is approximately 95 percent of the firm’s business. It now has operations in California, Georgia, Maryland, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia and Canada.
“CDR Fundraising Group is expanding beyond our strong east coast presence with strategically-located new offices in Los Angeles and Tulsa to better serve our growing base of clients,” said James Moore, chairman of MDMG. “With the hiring of Lisa, we cannot be more pleased with the senior team we have assembled to provide the full array of agency services to the nonprofit community. Lisa brings an excellent depth of multi-channel experience in growing revenue for nonprofits.”
In addition, Janet Tonner was appointed president of Direct Donor TV (DDTV), a provider of DRTV services to nonprofits in North America. Tonner has been with the company for four years and will continue to serve as vice president of analytics for CDR. Tonner will work with Tracy Trost, of the MDMG video and production team, and Lois Ephraim, chief creative strategist for MDMG. Direct Donor Television creates, produces, plans and buys DRTV for nonprofit organizations.
Benson will replace Geoffrey W. Peters as chief executive officer of the expanded CDR Fundraising Group. Peters will continue his role as president of MDMG and will assume responsibilities managing all MDMG agency and agency support services, video and television production, media buying, analytics, database, payment processing and other services offered by MDMG to support its nonprofit clients.
“She is bold, imaginative, passionate, collaborative, and ultimately pragmatic on behalf of the clients she serves,” Peters said of Benson. “CDR is excited to combine Lisa’s talent and experience with our existing team of nonprofit and fundraising experts to attract more donors and engage more generous hearts.”
Russ Reid and Grizzard were rebranded back in February as One & All. The firms were merged in 2017after operating separately within Omnicom. The consolidation of agencies has been a trend for the past few years as profit margins tighten on direct mail and other fundraising methods. For example, MDMG has been buying agencies for the past few years, some of which had strong sector identities but weak balance sheets.
Omnicom also has been accumulating smaller agencies seeking a balance of services and economies of scale. Russ Reid, Grizzard and two other agencies — SCA Direct and Changing Our World — were part of a merger that didn’t go through in 2014 when a deal between parent company Omnicom Group and Publicis Group SA fell through.