The umbrella body has reported almost double the number of organisations entering fundraising campaigns for its awards this year compared with 2007. About 100 charities have put in entries.
Mike Barnes, director of marketing and business development at the DMA, said the entries showed that direct marketing was being used in a wider context by charities.
"The quality of the work has increased and charities are slowly recognising that there are other ways of working," he said.
The association's judging panel said that, despite budget cuts, entries showed a more targeted approach and more integration between online and offline marketing than in previous years.