nonprofit customers

David Williams, CEO of Make-A-Wish®, shares his expertise in delivering incredible experiences to a highly complex customer base in the nonprofit sector and beyond.

About our guest:

As president and chief executive officer, David Williams leads the national staff and 62 chapters of Make-A-Wish® in its simple, heartfelt mission: granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Since 1980, the world’s largest wish-granting organization has granted the wishes of more than 250,000 children in the United States.

Under his leadership, the national office annual revenue has nearly tripled to $90 million, distributions to chapters have increased five-fold to $56 million, and overall revenue including chapters has increased by over $100 million to $300 million.

Before joining the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Williams spent 11 years at Habitat for Humanity International, rising to executive vice president and chief operating officer. He lives in Arizona with his wife Martha. They have two grown children, Kate and Carson.

Connect with David


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Who are nonprofit customers, and are they any different?

We talk a lot about showing the human side of a brand to create an experience that customers connect with on an emotional level. To help accomplish this, many corporations are looking to nonprofit partners to help promote their brand and build anticipation. Make-A-Wish® is one of the most successful nonprofit organizations of our time, both in accomplishing their goals and creating outstanding cause marketing initiatives.

Why do so many companies choose Make-A-Wish® for their cause marketing campaigns?

CEO David Williams shares the story behind this hugely popular organization. Unlike most companies, nonprofits have a complex multidimensional customer base. It’s not easy to keep the many moving parts behind corporate sponsorships working in harmony while delivering outstanding experiences for donors, recipients, and the many chapters within the organization.

David also shares some of the secrets behind keeping an engaged workforce. Just like paid employees, volunteers need to feel appreciated and know they are making a difference. Make-A-Wish® has a unique culture where there’s a huge emphasis on fulfillment for volunteers.

Whether you’re a local nonprofit or a global retailer, David has some universal tips for you. Learn how Make-A-Wish® builds anticipation and humanizes brand experiences while creating a culture around delivering on big (really BIG!) promises.


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