History

Strong Roots

A clear vision and solid track record of growth and success

Our
Story

The Founding Years
Masterworks was the brainchild of Dr. Raymond Schenk. Dr. Schenk had spent time working for the Christian Missionary Alliance denomination, World Concern and Screen Communications. His extensive interactions with marketing agencies left him disturbed by the extent to which agency profit drove decision making.

He was convinced that commissions-based agencies weren’t motivated to cut costs for their clients . . . because those cuts would hurt the agency’s pocketbook. So in 1989 he founded the Raymond Group — the agency that would become Masterworks — based on one radical distinctive . . . they would accept no commissions.

Steve Woodworth joins the team
In 1992 Steve Woodworth joined the company as executive vice president. He brought with him a depth of experience in the nonprofit marketing world, having most recently served as the vice president of marketing at World Vision.

When he joined the Raymond Group, he brought with him another innovative idea: fixed fees. The price we quote for a project is the price you pay. No surprises. No excuses. This has been our company policy ever since. This unique business model pushes us to work quickly and efficiently –– for you.

The 1990s
Throughout the 1990s we continued to fine-tune our skills, test new ideas and learn what works in order to serve our current and future clients better. During this time we developed a short-cycle (60-day) work process that allows us to complete a job twice as fast as the industry average. There have been numerous emergency situations, like after the devastating quake in Haiti in January 2010, that we’ve produced both print and online pieces in less than 48 hours. We also pioneered the use of noncommercial Christian radio to market nonprofits during this decade.

Becoming Masterworks
The 2000s were about getting wiser, faster and deeper. We developed data mining techniques, saved our clients millions of dollars through Constituent Relationship Management, integrated personal contact with direct marketing and led the market in developing segment-specific cultivation strategies.

In 2004 we changed our name to Masterworks and made the switch from being primarily a direct mail agency to a full-service, integrated, multi-channel agency.

Today and the future
We’re looking forward to a future of increased multi-channel integration that will transform constituents into active partners, deepen donor loyalty and create sustainable net revenue for the ministries we work with.