NEW YORK — Blue State, a leading creative agency and strategic advisor for purpose-driven organizations, has announced a major expansion of its fundraising practice. The US and UK-based agency has made six senior and specialist hires across creative, technology, and strategy.
Alex Liss, Brooke Still, Chris Maddocks, Eric Reif, Jaida Vaught and Michael Wang have recently joined the agency. The new team brings expertise from the likes of Hillary for America, March of Dimes, UNICEF USA, GirlTrek, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the DNC, Weber Shandwick, Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign, Mediacom, and Feeding America Food Banks.
Blue State’s expansion of its fundraising division comes in response to a growing need for highly specialized digital fundraising expertise. The growth has been fuelled by accelerated digital budgets as digital fundraising becomes even more important in a post-pandemic world.
Over the past year, Blue State has helped global nonprofits and political campaigns raise nearly three billion dollars online from more than thirty million individual donors. Blue State currently runs fundraising programs in partnership with UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, AARP, and more, with Amnesty International, Mercy Corps, and Oxfam America recently joining the roster, among others.
“We’re grateful and excited that these new hires chose Blue State as their new professional home. This group of leaders will make our fundraising practice that much stronger,” said Marie Danzig, Head of Creative & Product at Blue State. “Our holistic approach to fundraising – driven by powerful storytelling, audience insights, relentless optimization, and smart technology solutions – helps our clients meet the unique challenges of this moment while positioning them for sustainable growth.”
Alex Liss joins as Blue State’s SVP, Data and Analytics. In his 20-year career, Liss has led teams across a variety of functions including primary research, brand strategy, web and social analytics, data science, and cloud enablement. He is excited to focus on environmental and social impact causes at Blue State and develop solutions to create connections between causes and people across the entire supporter journey. Prior to joining Blue State, he led data science and analytics teams at the agency Wunderman Thompson, and earned an MBA in Business Analytics from the NYU Stern School of Business.
Brooke Still, Blue State’s new Strategy Director, Fundraising, brings more than nine years of fundraising and digital engagement strategy experience. Prior to joining Blue State, Still led strategy for League of Conservation Voters, Feeding America, Hillary For America, and Alley Cat Allies.
Chris Maddocks joins Blue State as Senior Vice President, Creative Strategy. As Chief Marketing Officer at March of Dimes, Maddocks led the organization through a rebrand and directed cross-channel campaigns. Prior to that, at UNICEF USA, he oversaw digital growth across marketing, fundraising, and key partner activities. Most recently he served as Chief Growth Officer for Seed Global Health, a social venture with health programs in five countries.
As SVP, Paid Media, Eric Reif brings more than a decade of experience in advertising, fundraising, and marketing strategy, working both for agencies and political organizations. Reif oversaw paid media on the Warren campaign, directed grassroots fundraising at the DNC, helped lead digital advertising for Obama 2012, and has worked at agencies including Weber Shandwick, BPI, and most recently the eStreet Group.
Jaida Vaught, Vice President, Global Strategy, brings more than a decade of fundraising experience. Previously, Vaught was Director of Direct Marketing at ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she oversaw the DRTV and digital fundraising programs, generating over $200 million in annual revenue. She most recently served as Chief of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships at GirlTrek, the nation’s largest health advocacy organization for Black women, where she was responsible for leading GirlTrek’s brand, marketing strategy, and strategic partnerships as well as growing the movement from 150k to over 1 million supporters.
Michael Wang brings over a decade of data and analytics expertise and will be the agency’s new Director of Analytics. Previously, he worked at the New York Public Library as well as the marketing agencies Mediacom and Digitas, leading analytics teams to improve brand health, increase on-site engagement, and optimize campaigns across digital channels.