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Open for applications: The DM Trust


The DM Trust is the industry’s charity created from the merger in 2015 of the IDM Trust and the Direct Marketing Foundation (DMF). The Trust was created with the mission to create a sustainable future for data-driven marketing by distributing funds to support the best new talent coming into the industry and to promote all aspects of responsible marketing.

Funds are available to groups, individuals or organisations to raise industry standards either by nurturing talent or promoting responsible marketing.

The current Chair of the Trust is Matthew Housden. Matthew has worked in data-driven marketing for 30 years and is Principal Lecturer at the University of Greenwich, visiting Professor at the Grenoble Graduate School of Business, and visiting faculty at Imperial College London and the University of Leeds Business School and. He has been a member of the Board of the DM Trust since 2015 and is also a member of the IDM qualifications advisory board. Housden succeeded Rosemary Smith, Director at Opt-4, who led the Trust since its inception and helped steer the organisation through the merger of the DM Foundation and IDM Trust. Rosemary currently remains a Trustee.

Current Chair, Matthew Housden said: “At one of the most exciting periods of change marketing has experienced, we must remain committed to improving the skills of individuals within our profession and helping the next generation of talent to find routes into our industry. The mission of the DM Trust is to promote the value of responsible marketing and to ensure we have the skilled people in our industry to deliver this”.

Other Trustees include: Caroline Worboys, who served as Chair of the IDM Trust for 10 years; former Experian MD David Coupe; political and communications professional Mike Harrison; and Tom Davis, who has worked in marketing for many years, in both financial services and in charitable organisations at director level.

The DM Trust comprises two distinct grant-giving committees to distribute funds: The Derek Holder Legacy Fund, chaired by Melanie Howard, former Future Foundation founder, and the Consumer Grants Fund, chaired by Rosemary Smith, Director at Opt-4.

Derek Holder Legacy Fund

IDM founder Derek Holder left grants worth around £700,000 to attract talent into the industry, and the DM Trust has been responsible for distributing these funds over a five year period. It funds initiatives that focus on developing direct marketing skills, both online and offline, giving students, apprentices and others who might not otherwise be able to participate, the practical skills needed to thrive in the marketing industry of tomorrow.

Consumer Grants Fund

The DM Foundation gave any remaining funds to support consumer orientated projects through the Consumer Grants Fund.

More than £200,000 was earmarked for grants and projects that help to increase consumer trust in the one-to-one marketing industry. The Trust continues to support efforts to prevent any negative impact from marketing, especially on those who are disadvantaged, less able, or vulnerable.

The DM Trust remains open to applications, and funds are available to groups or organisations with initiatives that raise the standards of the industry, either through nurturing talent or promoting responsible marketing best practice.

To find out more or to apply for a grant, please visit:

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