DMANF Recognizes Operation Smile as 2008 Nonprofit Organization of the Year

Aug 13, 2008, 01:00 ET from Direct Marketing Association

    NEW YORK, Aug. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Direct Marketing
 Association's Nonprofit Federation (DMANF) today announced that Operation
 Smile is the winner of its 2008 Nonprofit Organization of the Year Award,
 which annually recognizes an outstanding achievement by a nonprofit
 organization using direct-response marketing to advance its mission. The
 award will be presented on Friday, August 15 at a luncheon that will
 conclude the DMANF's New York Nonprofit Conference, which will be held
 August 14-15 at the world-famous Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in Manhattan.
     Commenting on this year's award, Brian Cowart, chair of DMANF's Awards
 Committee and senior director of mail acquisition and donor retention at
 ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, said, "Operation Smile
 exemplifies excellence both in its mission and fundraising programs. While
 its direct marketing innovations and strategies are forging new paths in
 fundraising, more importantly, they're garnering an increasing level of
 support and awareness for their wonderful work. As this year's award
 recipient, we recognize and honor Operation Smile's contributions as an
 industry leader and for the fundraising success that is helping to
 positively impact the lives of thousands of children all over the world."
     Operation Smile is a worldwide children's medical charity that provides
 free surgery to children in developing countries who were born with facial
 deformities. Founded in 1982 by Dr. William P. Magee Jr., a plastic
 surgeon, and his wife, Kathleen S. Magee, a nurse and clinical social
 worker, the organization is dedicated to providing free surgery to children
 suffering from facial deformities, while fostering sustainability and
 capacity building in each developing country where they work.
     "We believe that every child deserves to live their life with dignity,
 and for those suffering with cleft or other facial deformities, dignity
 begins with a smile," said CEO and Co-founder Dr. Magee. "Operation Smile
 has been able to mobilize a world of compassion to change children's
     To date, thousands of medical professionals from around the world have
 volunteered their time and skills to perform free cleft lip and cleft
 palate surgeries for more than 120,000 children and young adults. Operation
 Smile currently has programs in 51 countries worldwide.
     In its decision to recognize Operation Smile with the organization's
 top honor, the DMANF Awards Committee examined the following
     -- Operation Smile's Direct Response TV (DRTV) success has enabled
 rapid growth of the organization's donor database. From 2002, Operation
 Smile has experienced file growth of over 1,000 percent.
     -- In celebration of 25 years, Operation Smile launched a multi-faceted
 series of initiatives culminating with the World Journey of Smiles in
 November 2007, where over 4,000 children received free cleft lip or cleft
 palate surgery conducted through 40 simultaneous medical missions in 25
 countries during a 10-day period. A highly targeted World Journey of Smiles
 direct-response campaign, using all media channels with a targeted and
 consistent message, increased awareness and media attention, raising funds
 to support the campaign and beyond.
     -- Several months prior to the World Journey of Smiles event, Operation
 Smile began sending targeted appeals to donors, including some that allowed
 donors to send a personal message and gift to a child receiving a new smile
 on the World Journey of Smiles. This innovative campaign that employed
 direct response yielded such overwhelming awareness, response, and a desire
 for donor involvement that it has become a model for upcoming campaigns.
 Moreover, the programmatic achievement made possible by this fundraising
 effort has empowered the organization to make expanded future growth plans.
     -- Direct-response revenue has increased 600 percent since 2004,
 allowing Operation Smile to invest in its long-term goals, programs, and
 initiatives. Additionally, it has provided a sustainable long-term revenue
 stream that is ultimately changing the lives of thousands more children in
     "It is an honor to recognize Operation Smile with this prestigious
 award," said Senny Boone, executive director of the DMANF. "Due to its
 successful fundraising and inspiring mission, Operation Smile has been a
 beacon to fellow organizations over the years. We are delighted to be able
 to celebrate their inspirational work and applaud them publicly."
     Commenting on the award, Kyla Shawyer, senior vice president of
 response marketing and development for Operation Smile, said, "We
 appreciate this honor and privilege to represent our peers and the
 nonprofit industry. And we thank our committed and generous donors and
 volunteers, as well as our fellow nonprofit organizations, for helping make
 this possible. We're grateful that we've been able to implement an
 integrated strategy in which all media channels come together not just to
 raise money or to build a brand, but to help change the face of our world."
     About the Nonprofit Federation of the DMA
     The Nonprofit Federation of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is
 the leading association for nonprofit organizations that use direct
 marketing channels such as mail, Internet, email, telephone, and social
 networking to gain support from individual donors. For more than 25 years,
 the Nonprofit Federation (and its predecessor organizations) has served as
 an effective advocate for nonprofits both in Washington, DC and in all 50
 states regarding postal rates and delivery service, data protection,
 fundraising accountability, and other legislative and regulatory issues
 that affect nonprofit fundraising. It also leads the way in professional
 education, market intelligence, and networking for its more than 400 member
 organizations. In 2007, Americans gave $229 billion to nonprofit
 organizations; the majority of those donations were the result of direct
 marketing. For additional information on the Nonprofit Federation, its
 work, and its member benefits, visit
     About Operation Smile
     Founded in 1982, Operation Smile (,
 headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is a worldwide children's medical
 charity whose network of global volunteers are dedicated to helping improve
 the health and lives of children and young adults. Since its founding,
 Operation Smile volunteers have treated more than 120,000 children born
 with cleft lips, cleft palates, and other facial deformities and currently
 work in 51 countries. In addition to contributing free medical treatment,
 Operation Smile trains local medical professionals in its partner countries
 and leaves behind crucial equipment to lay the groundwork for long-term

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