DMEF Establishes Don Kuhn Memorial Fund

The Direct Marketing Educational Foundation established an educational fund to honor Don Kuhn, a longtime direct mail fundraiser who died in November.

The Don Kuhn Fund for Research & Education will support research into charitable giving and donor development techniques, the Direct Marketing Association said this week. The fund also will grant scholarships and fellowships to students and faculty studying philanthropy.

“Don was a guiding force in the growth of the DMA Nonprofit Federation, and we believe he would have treasured this kind of tribute — one that invests in the future of fundraising through learning from data-driven information through assisting those who wish to enter the field,” Larry May, president of Direct Media, Greenwich, CT, and longtime colleague of Kuhn, said in a statement.

May established the funding committee with Easter Seals executive Chris Cleghorn. Contributions to the committee already have reached $20,000, according to the DMA. Direct Media launched the fund with a $10,000 donation.

The committee hopes to raise $100,000 in the first year. The DMA Nonprofit Federation will report the outcomes of the direct response fundraising research.

Kuhn began his career in direct marketing as a copywriter at Sears, Roebuck in the early 1950s. He then joined the National Tuberculosis Society, which later became the American Lung Association. While there, he oversaw the conversion of 14 million donor records from metal plates and 3-by-5-inch cards to a computerized donor database with coding for targeting and segmentation.

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