About Mal Warwick

I can’t imagine why anyone would ever need to know this much about me. But I’m too lazy to edit it, so just read as little or as much as you wish . . .

Mal Warwick is the co-author with Paul Polak of The Business Solution to Poverty: Designing Products and Services for Three Billion New Customers. The book will be released Sept. 9, 2013, by Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Mal is an author, impact investor, and activist who reviews books on this blog and is one of three partners in the One World Futbol Project, a social enterprise he helped establish in Berkeley, California. One World Futbol manufactures and distributes a virtually indestructible soccer ball that never goes flat. It was designed to withstand the harsh conditions prevalent in refugee camps, war zones, impoverished inner-city neighborhoods, and poor villages.

For three decades before that, Mal focused on the nonprofit sector as an author, consultant, and public speaker on marketing and fundraising for nonprofit organizations and on the private sector as an advocate for socially and environmentally responsible business policies and practices.

Mal is the founder and chairman of Mal Warwick Associates | Donordigital (www.malwarwick.com, Berkeley, CA, and Washington, DC), a fundraising agency specializing in integrated, multi-channel fundraising and marketing that has served nonprofit organizations nationwide since 1979. The company is a Founding B Corporation and is now employee-owned.

Mal has written or edited a total of twenty books, including the best-selling fundraising text, How to Write Successful Fundraising Letters. The third edition will be released by Jossey-Bass Publishers June 17, 2013, under the title How to Write Successful Fundraising Appeals.

A serial entrepreneur, Mal has been active in promoting social and environmental responsibility in the business community nationwide for two decades. He is the co-author of Values-Driven Business: How to Change the World, Make Money, and Have Fun (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2006) with Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s. The Business Solution to Poverty is his second book for Berrett-Koehler.

Along with Cohen and others, Mal was a co-founder of Business for Social Responsibility in 1992 and served on its board during its inaugural year. In 2001, after more than a decade as an active member of Social Venture Network, he began a six-year stretch (2001-7) on its board, serving as Vice-Chair for two years and Chair for four. He also was a member of the Founding Advisory Board of the Center for Responsible Business at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2002-3. Mal remains active in Social Venture Network, chairing its Board Nomination Advisory Committee and co-chairing the organization’s 25th anniversary conference in New York in fall 2012.

For 25 years until February 2011, Mal edited the free monthly electronic newsletter, Mal Warwick’s Newsletter: Successful Direct Mail, Telephone & Online Fundraising™, which served more than 10,000 subscribers in 69 countries. During his fundraising career, he was widely in demand as a speaker and workshop leader throughout the world. Mal taught fundraising on six continents to nonprofit executives from more than 100 countries.

Among the hundreds of nonprofits Mal and his colleagues served over the years are many of the nation’s largest and most distinguished charities as well as six Democratic Presidential candidates and scores of small, local, and regional organizations. (The company’s Presidential campaigns included those for Gary Hart, Jesse Jackson, Tom Harkin, and Paul Wellstone.) Collectively, Mal and his associates have been responsible for raising close to one billion dollars—largely in the form of small gifts from individuals.

Mal played a leadership role in the fundraising and direct marketing fields both nationally and internationally. In 2009 and 2010, he co-founded and chaired the International Fundraising Congress Online, the world’s first virtual fundraising conference, involving more than 400 sites in 42 countries, and he chaired its successor, Fundraising Online 2011. Previously, in 2007-8, he served as Chair of that event’s sponsor, the international Resource Alliance (London, UK). The Resource Alliance is the organizer of the annual International Fundraising Congress in The Netherlands and a leading force globally in developing the fundraising capacity of nongovernmental organizations to build civil society. Having helped establish one of its two predecessor organizations in the early 1980s, he was also an active member of the Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation (Washington, D.C.). He also served for ten years on the board of the Association of Direct Response Fundraising Counsel (Washington, D.C.), two of those years as President.

In 2004, Mal received the Hank Rosso Award as Outstanding Fundraising Executive from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Golden Gate Chapter and Northern California Grantmakers. In 2009, he was granted the Max L. Hart Nonprofit Leadership Award by the Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation, in recognition of his lifetime contributions to direct marketing.

Mal chairs the board of GreatNonprofits (San Francisco, CA), which is partnering with major institutions to bring the voice of donors, volunteers, and beneficiaries to the forefront in evaluating the impact of nonprofit organizations. He serves on the board of directors of Berrett-Koehler Publishers and as a member of the advisory boards of several other companies, including Mission Research (Lancaster, PA) and GoldMail Inc. (San Francisco, CA).

Mal was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador for more than three years in the 1960s. Since 1969 he has lived in Berkeley, California, where he is deeply involved in local community affairs. Early in the 1990s, he co-founded the Community Bank of the Bay, the nation’s fifth community development bank, and the Berkeley Community Fund, where he served on the board (with one year as its president) until 2006. He also served for 11 years as Vice-President of the Board of the Berkeley Symphony (1991-2002).

In 2006, Mal was awarded the Benjamin Ide Wheeler Medal by the Berkeley Community Fund as “Berkeley’s most useful citizen” in recognition of his lifetime contributions to the community. Mal joined environmental leader David Brower, celebrated chef and restaurateur Alice Waters, renowned orchestra conductor Kent Nagano, and other notable Berkeleyans as a recipient of the award.

He is the grandfather of Dayna, Iain, Matthew, Gwen, Andrew, Kaleb, and Benjamin.