Funded Projects

Funded Projects

Amongst those projects the DM Trust has funded are the following:

Marketing Academy Foundation

The DM Trust’s Derek Holder Legacy Fund offered funding of £21k, to help fund five apprenticeships with matched funding from the Foundation and its hosting companies.

As part of the agreement with the Foundation, the DM Trust also paid towards IDM courses for up to ten apprentices. Shanelle Smith became a Marketing Academy Foundation apprentice in 2019 and was placed at The Princes’ Trust. During her year there she worked as a marketing exec, pioneering the use of TikTok to get young people to engage with the Trust’s services, among other things.

She also enrolled for the IDM Digital Marketing Award, earning a distinction. Here she is proudly displaying her certificate.

Shanelle graduated from the Foundation’s apprenticeship scheme in September 2020 and a couple of months later got a full time, permanent job as the marketing communication officer at Bliss, a leading charity supporting neo-natal babies and their families. And she’s loving it.

“I have a range of responsibilities from creating ideas for campaigns, being responsible for social, and more. It is so rewarding being able to make change for babies and their families going through such a traumatic circumstance. My goal is to continue learning and driving change.”

Shanelle feels her time at the Princes’ Trust and her experience as an apprentice, has been a crucial stepping stone.

Concise Training

The Trust supported four learners working in the charity or not-for-profit sector to complete the City & Guilds accredited Diploma in Digital Marketing.

During the course, which is assessed through a portfolio of evidence, learners cover practical use of the entire range of digital marketing channels including WordPress websites, email newsletters, social networking, videos, mobile, and content marketing as well as marketing theories and principles including competitor analysis, marketing audits, marketing strategy and planning. The course also covers the legal side of digital marketing, social media policies and crisis management.

During the 15 month course, learners are encouraged (with the support of their tutor) to put into practice what they are learning in the charity or business they are working with so the business or charity is immediately benefiting.

Hannah Somers from Young Bristol, who completed the course said:

“The team at Concise have been incredibly supportive during my time studying with them. The opportunity has provided me with invaluable experience that will long term not only benefit my professional development at a time where I could not afford to invest in my development, but also will largely bring benefit to the small charity that I work for.

The learning gained has already supported the development of our channels and exploring new ways in which we communicate with our audiences, and will in the coming year support the strategical development of the organisation during a period of significant growth and opportunity.

Seeing the improved growth, engagement and outcomes of our work over the last two years has already proved the impact that new learning from this course can bring to a not-for-profit organisation“

Another learner, Anne Townsend from The Door has said:

“It has been a privilege to be part of this course, high quality training in the charity sector is hard to come by and often out of reach of our finances. Mary and Di’s up to the minute teaching and guidance has certainly improved not only my knowledge of digital marketing but also helped me understand better, the culture of marketing. It has been a steep learning curve but now I have finished the course I feel much better equipped to market our charity in digital media and how to make the most of the time I have available to spend on these activities.”

“I hope that over time as I implement my learning we will be able to reach new financial supporters to help make our work sustainable. Also to reach new service users, finding those young people and parents that are struggling in silence and giving them their first glimmer of hope that someone is here to help them”

Clarissa Webb, Involve Community Services said:

“At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, our charity, like the rest of our sector, was inundated with requests for support within the community. This meant that we became overwhelmed by lots of new work, which unfortunately led to our marketing efforts being significantly neglected. However, having the opportunity to gain this digital marketing qualification because of the generous funding from the DM Trust has been an immense relief and huge privilege, for both myself and the charity I work for. Thanks to this, I have been able to learn many invaluable new skills from a range of highly attentive and experienced tutors, network with other students from various sectors, and continually use my newfound knowledge to give our organisation a much-needed marketing-makeover. We cannot thank you enough!!! “

DM Trust Home Learning Fund

The DM Trust and the to Institute of Data and Marketing (IDM, part of the DMA) have launched the ‘DM Trust Home Learning Fund’.

The new initiative offers UK-based employees placed on furlough or made redundant due to the coronavirus outbreak access to fully funded online digital marketing courses and professional qualifications, provided by the IDM via IDM Home Learning.

Matt Housden, Chair of the DM Trust, said:

“With around 46% of companies furloughing staff, this presents an opportunity for individuals to upskill and keep their marketing minds fresh to remain effective on their return to work.”

“We remain committed to supporting both marketing professionals and businesses during these challenging times.

“The DM Trust Home Learning Fund will help employees negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, contributing to their personal development.”

How does it work?

IDM Home Learning provides online study options that keep your skillsets fresh, your marketing mind sharp – and all from the comfort of your desktop.

It’s is joined up learning delivered in a way that connects people digitally through marketing courses served via the Virtual Classroom environment: online, face-to-face and peer-to-peer learning, all led by IDM tutors through Microsoft Zoom.

And there are study options available through the new IDM Online Learning portal.

Here course content, exercises and assessments, best practice guidance and DMA Award-winning case studies are held in a multimedia environment that allows you to build your own study timetable.

How to apply

Applicants can apply the funding against the full portfolio of IDM Home Learning options for individuals.

Further information about the new DM Trust Home Learning Fund, and details on how to apply, can be found here via the IDM’s website.

Alternatively send an email to with the subject line ‘DM Trust Home Learning Fund’, and a member of the IDM Learning team will contact you.

CASS – Derek Holder Memorial Lectures and Bursaries

Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness has partnered with the DM Trust to launch a series of five annual lectures to mark the outstanding contribution to marketing by Derek Holder, the founder of the Institute of Direct Marketing.  The lectures are open to all and are free to attend.

The second lecture in the series took place on Wednesday 29 January 2020 and was presented by Sophie Humphreys OBE, founder of Pause, a charity that works with women who have experienced, or are at risk of, repeated pregnancies that result in children needing to be removed from their care. Sophie drew on her first-hand experiences of scaling an organisation, and demonstrating how strong and consistent brand messaging is of critical importance to develop momentum. The response was from Stephen Thorn, Cass CCE marketing strategy specialist.

In addition to this, the DM Trust has awarded bursaries to students undertaking the Charity Marketing and Fundraising option for the second year.  Below is a photo of DM Trust members with one of the students.

The Rosemary Smith Award for Responsible Marketing

Rosemary Smith, former Chair of the DM Trust was an inspirational mentor to many and a friend to all.  She made a significant contribution to the marketing and data industries, both as an influencer and thought-leader.  The Data Protection Network and Opt-4, supported by the DMA and the Trust, have now launched an award in her honour to recognise achievements in the area of Responsible Marketing.

The Award will recognise an individual or team that has delivered a significant responsible marketing project or initiative and it will be looking to recognise individuals or teams that fully embrace the principles of Privacy by Design.

The Award will be presented at the DMA’s Data Protection Conference scheduled for February 2020 and the winners will received £1,000 and a trophy.  It is free to enter.  All entrants will be eligible for access to 15% discount on training at the IDM.

Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness has partnered with the DM Trust to launch a series of five annual lectures to mark the outstanding contribution to marketing by Derek Holder, the founder of the Institute of Direct Marketing.  The lectures are open to all and are free to attend.

The first lecture in the series was presented by Dr Carol Homden CBE, Chief Executive of Coram, with a response provided by Stephen Lee, Senior Teaching Fellow in Voluntary Sector Management, Cass Business School.  The talk looked at how innovation in the 21st century marketing practice can transform the lives of charity beneficiaries and the experience of funders and supporters to our causes.

Stephen Lee, Alex Skailes, Dr Carol Homden (l-r)
Photo – courtesy of Ian Shaw

IDM Creative Data Academy 2018

Creative Data exists to provide practical learning opportunities for young talent interested in a career in the data and marketing industry. The 2018 programme consists of 3 x 3 day academies and 6 x 1 day laboratories to offer over 250 individuals the opportunity to explore the role data plays in marketing as well as developing key skills and connections that will prepare them for their first role in industry.  The DM Trust provided bursary funding for 90 individuals to cover attendance costs.

The Midlands came calling in Birmingham for the first academy with 30 engaged students, motivating talks/workshops and a fantastic networking event. Read about Ellie Mees’ experience of untangling 99 articles of densely worded GDPR rules here.   The Academy then took place all over again in London and the next Creative Data is in Edinburgh from 26-28 June.

Robbin Huggins, Director of Academy and Client Services at MBN Solutions commented, ‘MBN Academy works with students throughout the country to inform, assist and advise on the skills that they need to transition into careers within the Data & Digital industries. DMA Talent’s Creative Data Academy is exactly the kind of forum we look to collaborate with in order to effect meaningful impact in the highlighting of the great jobs and careers available for students within the Data and Digital industries.’

The Marketing Academy Foundation Apprenticeships in Direct and Digital Marketing

The Marketing Academy Foundation is an offshoot of The Marketing Academy and, now a separate, registered charity, exists to provide career starts in the marketing industries for young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds. One way this is achieved is by offering year-long paid apprenticeships, including studying for nationally recognised qualifications. The apprentices are further supported by three mentors who are Scholars at The Marketing Academy and invitations to training events run by their Alumni.

The charity has formed a four-way partnership with The Direct Marketing Trust, The Royal Mail and industry to fund paid apprenticeships in direct and digital marketing. There is currently a skills shortage in traditional direct marketing, so training in this as well as digital will provide future-proof skills that are currently much in demand. The DM Trust’s Derek Holder Legacy Fund offered funding of £21k, and it is hoped that five apprenticeships can be funded with matched funding from TMAF and the hosting companies.

Each apprentice will work for a full year at a brand owner or agency and take the IDM Certificate in Direct and Digital Marketing, gifted by The Royal Mail.  So far, Virgin Atlantic, The Marketing Society and The Prince’s Trust have committed to hosting and co-funding an apprentice and the vacancies are being advertised.

The Marketing Academy Foundation is also working on a new initiative, partnering with Atomic to scale its Canvey not Cannes programme. They will visit five schools in tough areas to do a careers talk and offer at least two paid internships to those pupils this summer. This will help overcome another barrier to entry for individuals from challenging backgrounds, who do not have the contacts or the means to work in the unpaid internships that are a common access point for others.

More information:

Training and Supporting Vulnerable Customers Workshops 2016/17/18

ReynoldsBusbyLee Ltd and KMB Ltd were granted funding from the DM Trust to create and run a series of practical hands-on workshops for trainers within organisations who are responsible for ensuring that their customer facing teams are conscious of and sensitive to the needs of customers who may be in vulnerable circumstances.

The first workshop in September 2016 sold out quickly and four more took place in 2017. These sessions provided a practical training session of trainers to learn how best to train these training materials (available for free from the DMA UK’s website) for contact centres handling contacts with vulnerable customers. The workshops also considered how to adapt these materials to suit each organisation considering the training needs of different departments within the business and also different customer groups. Four further workshops with updated and new materials will be held in 2018.

The funding from the DM Trust enabled them to get this essential initiative off the ground and allowed delegates to attend the workshops at a heavily discounted rate.  Further funding has allowed for four workshops in 2018.

The workshops are led by DMA vulnerable taskforce members Elaine Lee of Reynolds Busby Lee and Jacqui Crawley of KMB Ltd, and the workshops sought to train managers of contact centre teams with a high level of interaction with the public, and therefore vulnerable consumers.

The sessions taught techniques to help recognise consumers in vulnerable circumstances; instructions on how to adapt conversations and interactions to suit the acute needs of the consumer; and a guide to using the DMA’s training materials.

These training materials – entitled ‘TRUST – Recognising vulnerability and making reasonable adjustments’ – were crafted by Reynolds Busby Lee Ltd and KMB Ltd with additional materials created by the DMA’s taskforce as a package of advice, guidance and expert-led best practice for marketers to dip into and apply to their work, straight-away.

Feedback from the training session was overwhelmingly positive and highlighted the appetite within the marketing industry for guidance around vulnerable consumers. Attendees included Amnesty International, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Save The Children and the WWF-UK, Capita, Which?, Gladstone Brookes, BT, Royal Air Force Association, Direct Line Group, Confero, Capital One and Money Management.

The taskforce also released a whitepaper entitled ‘The vulnerable consumer’, defining vulnerability and packed with best practice advice for brands.

DMA Trust – Vulnerable Infographic

Young Women’s Trust

In the spring of 2017, the DM Trust  granted the Young Women’s Trust £6,000 to help develop their marketing and communicating skills to enable them to support more disadvantaged young women across the UK.

The grant was used to fund a one day bespoke copy writing training course for their staff. The staff who attended were predominantly from the fundraising and marketing team, as well as two trainees who were young women from the charities beneficiary group.

Young Women’s Trust is a relatively new charity, only five years old, dedicated to supporting young women (16-30 years old) who are unemployed or living on low pay. They are a small charity, trying to tackle an urgent and pressing problem. Resources for training are limited which is why the grant from the DM Trust was so invaluable. It enabled their staff to consider in detail the way in which they communicate about the young women they support and the impact the charity has. The training also developed their ability to market the charity to the general public and to raise more funds.

Their goal was to improve communications and marketing in three key areas:

  1. Increase the response rate to their current direct marketing mailings: they achieved an average response rate of 6.6% from their last appeal which was above their target. This included a 56% response rate from their regular givers and a 15% response rate from people who had not given recently.
  2. Increase in legacy pledges: last year they raised over £90,000 from legacies, donations made in people’s wills, which was a significant increase from the previous year.
  3. Increase in the number of regular givers who donate £50 per month or more: they recruited 24 new supporters who now donate £50 per month, which is a significant uplift in the value of regular donations they receive.

Overall they raised 7% more income last year and supported three times as many disadvantaged young women into work and out of poverty.

IDM Creative Data Academy 2017

The 4th Creative Data Academy saw 60 hand-picked bright, talented students from a range of disciplines and universities embark upon a data filled journey to explore its uses within marketing. 30 students attended the London academy at the newly refurbished DMA House, and for the first time, the academy travelled to Edinburgh where another 30 eager students were waiting at the Edinburgh Training and Conference Venue. The academy lasted 3 days in both locations and consisted of a range of talks from industry experts, interactive workshops, networking drinks and a Q&A panel. The London academy also paid a visit to the RAPP offices to get a feel for agency life. All sessions provided an invaluable insight into the industry for the students, where Alice Pinch commented, ‘Speaking to industry experts really opens up your eyes to the possibilities after you graduate and the scope of job roles you can go into. Never take an industry for face value, because there is always so much more going on behind the scenes and the Creative Data Academy really opens up your eyes to that!’

The Creative Data Academy provides the perfect platform for students aspiring to enter into a career in data to truly understand the avenues they can explore. Through the range of sessions provided and exposure to industry experts, students receive a unique and valuable insight into the industry as well as entering into a network that will support and advise them through graduation and into their careers. A handful of students have since been offered placement and graduate positions by the companies involved, proving of the success of the academy in finding and developing talent fit for the marketing industry. Dan Woodcock, another of this year’s student’s commented, ‘The Creative Data Academy was one of the most thought provoking and enjoyable things I have done outside of my degree. I would recommend anyone to apply, you will love it.’

IDM Summer School 2016

The IDM Summer School 2016 took place earlier this year and gave students a week-long insight to the marketing industry. 30 specially selected candidates were invited to join them to learn about what it’s really like to work in the marketing business.

During the week, students worked on a live client brief set by The Economist. They also visited global marketing agency, RAPP and got to spend the day at London digital agency, Greenlight Digital. On top of this, the students also got to attend an exclusive networking evening with senior marketing professionals.

Since graduating from the programme, students have gone on to work at some of the biggest names in marketing including RAPP, Ogilvy, Merkle Periscopix, Greenlight Digital and Havas Helia.

Commercial Break 2016

Commercial Break works with young people from diverse backgrounds to give them a start in the marketing and advertising industry. The Direct Marketing Trust funded two two-day IDM training courses for those working on the programme.

The DM Trust funded IDM courses in May and August 2016 for half a dozen young people. The aims of the project matched some of the aims of the DM Trust, namely to introduce talented young people into the profession who would not normally enter it.

In the August intake seven young people were chosen to work on a new brief set by EE.

They worked on the brief under the supervision of Commercial Break’s co-founders James Hillhouse and Susie Burdekin, using their creative thinking and skills.

Funding of £5,400 covered a two-day interactive training course covering digital marketing essentials which includes both activities and lectures.

The IDM developed my understanding of marketing. Topics like keywords, social media marketing and affiliate marketing gave me a valuable insight into the way marketing is developing and how I can capitalise on that. All in all the course left me feeling motivated and keen to try new ways of portraying myself to future employers.’

IDM Creative Data Academy 2016

Just before the Easter break, 30 students were invited to experience The IDM Creative Data Academy. The programme focused on inspiring young talent to pursue a career in data within the marketing industry. The students were selected from over 250 applications from universities all over the UK from disciplines such as economics, history, psychology and maths.

The course was free with no attached costs so there were no economic barriers and we were delighted to welcome  a student with only 10% vision and his guide dog.

The IDM hosted a selection of exciting speakers from companies including Data IQ, Direct Recruitment, The Economist, Aquila Insight, RAPP, Model Citizens and REaD Group. Industry experts shared their knowledge and provided insight into what graduate career paths are available in data.

Students were set a brief by The Economist which focused on how the publication could boost their female readership, the winning team are to be rewarded with an exclusive invitation to lunch with senior executives and a digital subscription to the newspaper.

The students visited RAPP and were shown what agency life is all about. Agency staff shared a number of client case studies with the group to show how data plays an important role in the development of a brands business strategy. This was followed a networking reception at the Economist in Canary Wharf opened by DMT’s Melanie Howard. A mix of marketing professionals and big names in data were on hand to answer key questions from the students about working in data.

Prior to attending Creative Data Academy, most of the students were unfamiliar with the amount of job roles available within data. Since taking part in the programme, students now have a clear idea of what career paths are available and the type of skills needed in order to enter a career in data.

A communications plan has been put in place to stay in touch with the students giving IDM and DMA member content and access to their event programme. The programme will track the career choices of the individuals involved to measure the long term success of the programme.

Creative Data Academy in Tweets.

Summer School 2015

A week-long programme for 30 final year students to inspire students to work in the industry. This achieved participation from industry with 5 businesses taking part in the week and providing employment for students. In 2015 the programme received 160 applications 56 universities,  75 students were assessed to award free places for the 30 students. The week covers training, accommodation, food and events.

Almost 250 applications for this  years summer school were received which ran in June. 30 participants were selected to learn about marketing career opportunities, work on a brief with an agency and speak to employers and other young marketers.

Assessment days for the summer school took place during April 2016.

Funding contributes to the accommodation, travel and training and enables the Summer School to put on an event enabling the participants to network with and seek advice from employers  and publically recognise their achievements in front of industry figures.

Commercial Break 2015

DMT provided £5,000 to fund the delivery of a two day training course for a small charity covering the essentials of digital marketing in an interactive programme which includes both doing and listening. The training will cover the major digital marketing channels plus an introduction to analytic, branding , user experience and content development.

Commercial Break is a small charity which works with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to give them a start in the communications industry.

In November and December 2015 Commerical Break selected 6 young people to work on a brief provided by Comic Relief. They formed a ‘pop-up agency’ and were mentored by industry professionals to complete the project over an 8-10 in January 2016. The training has been scheduled for the last week in April to help students in their placement.

A full report will be provided when the training has been completed.

For more information on Commercial Break go to