Mike Wakeland has served as DialogueDirect’s CEO since 2012, and has overseen DialogueDirect’s growth during some of its most exciting, dynamic years. Hailing from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Mike graduated from Indiana University with a major in Public Affairs. He began his career in fundraising as a member of the Indiana University Telefund, and through a local fundraising company engaged in donor outreach for local police and firefighter organizations. At Fundraising Initiatives, he progressed from an entry-level role to become their National Manager, before taking on the role of COO with Keystone Fundraising, and later, the CEO of DialogueDirect.
Mike’s vision for DialogueDirect is ambitious but achievable: to install a face-to-face fundraising campaign in each of the top twenty five cities in the US, to provide our charity partners with 50,000 long term donors per year, and to continue raising the bar on quality and consistency, for both our fundraising teams and our donors. He strives to improve public perception on the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of face-to-face fundraising, and wants donors and charities to see that face-to-face fundraising provides an effective channel that will help many non-profits increase their impact and achieve their mission.
Mike finds the greatest reward in developing leaders, on the local and national level. He looks for decisive, self-reliant problem solvers, and considers leadership training his most important role. He believes the key to developing your team is identifying talent, and ensuring that talented people are in the right position at the right time. He has found success by surrounding himself by passionate, dynamic teammates. He focuses his efforts every day on asking his team and himself: what can we do today to make our business better? This urgency drives Mike’s efforts, and by extension, the efforts of our leaders and our teams nationwide.
In his free time, Mike enjoys traveling, having logged travel to twenty five countries in his passport, and plans to visit all seven continents. He enjoyed his travels to Prague, Switzerland and Jamaica in particular. He is an avid Broncos fan, a Notre Dame and Indiana basketball fan, and enjoys discussing current political events.