The charity has split a total of £51,600 between four non-commercial initiatives that aim to support the DM industry, through supporting education, research and skills development projects.
The winning initiatives include a new direct marketing (DM) qualification by The Institute of Fundraising; a new post-graduate qualification from the New Technology Institute, Birmingham; a Data Students Workshop for maths undergraduates from The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing, and a study into consumer attitudes to data privacy and the economic value of the DM industry by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).
Applications for grants were assessed by the DM Foundation's board of trustees, which is headed by Rosemary Smith, director of the Opt-4 consultancy and former chair of the DMA board.
Smith said: "We have tough selection criteria that ensure we allocate funds only to those projects that will benefit the direct marketing industry as a whole, rather than just one company or organisation.
"The projects we selected will have a great impact on encouraging the next generation of talent to get a career foothold in the industry, as well as research that will shed light on important issues that affect us all."
The DM Foundation is now taking applications for the next round of grants and is requesting nominations for a new trustee to join its board to represent youth and new entrants to the DM industry.
Other trustees include Experian managing director David Coupe and Yell Group head of compliance and ethics, Malcolm Green.
Follow Matthew Chapman at @mattchapmanUK