Every day, we proudly support nonprofit organizations devoted to making a lasting impact on a local, national and global scale. As our clients work to make the world a better place, Merkle Response Management Group (RMG) helps them stay responsive to the needs of their donors and the communities they serve.
We’d like to spotlight three Merkle RMG clients who are creating positive change in the lives of people around the world and at home.
Maryland Food Bank
The Maryland Food Bank (MFB) is a hunger-relief organization leading the movement to end hunger throughout the state of Maryland. Operating from three facilities, MFB distributes more than 120,000 meals a day through its network of soup kitchens, pantries and schools in 21 counties and Baltimore City.
MFB’s School Pantry Program aims to minimize hunger and malnutrition in low-income households. It partners with schools throughout the state to establish on-site pantries from which students can access nutritious food to take home to their families. Launched in 2004, MFB has expanded the program from 10 to 220 schools statewide.
“Not only does it give students access to food when they need it, but the program allows them to have a regular supply at home,” said Meg Kimmel, Chief External Affairs Officer for MFB. “And, it empowers schools to be true resource providers in their communities.”
MFB’s Farm to Food Bank Program partners with a network of farms across Maryland to supply fresh, local produce to the organization’s community partners. In 2015, MFB distributed over 9.6 million pounds of produce that accounted for nearly 22 percent of the nonprofit’s total food distribution. At the same time, the program serves as an investment that supports Maryland agriculture.
In the last few years, MFB enhanced its marketing and branding efforts and experienced dynamic growth. Between 2012 and 2015, Kimmel said, MFB doubled its annual food distribution from 26.5 million pounds to 53 million pounds.
In light of this major growth, MFB looked to Merkle RMG for support in gift processing and acknowledgements.
“Merkle RMG has been a great partner in ensuring the processing of our responses is accurate and timely,” Kimmel said.
She added that MFB has specific goals for refining its acknowledgement program and Merkle RMG will be essential to that process.
“Merkle RMG is playing a key role in helping us fine tune our acknowledgement program,” she said. “And our direct marketing program is really evolving into a true source of communication with our donors.”
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. For nearly 40 years, the nonprofit has worked to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease by advancing research; to provide and enhance care for those affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Operating in local chapters throughout the nation, the Association supports millions of people affected by Alzheimer’s across the globe.
The Association provides a free, 24/7 helpline offering information and advice to caregivers, health care professionals, and those personally touched by the disease. The helpline supports more than 300,000 callers each year, providing counsel on a range of concerns including treatment options, professional care options, legal and financial decisions, and general information about aging and brain health.
Each year, the Association hosts the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in 600 communities nationwide. It’s the world’s largest event to raise awareness, funds and support for those affected by the disease. Joseph Dominguez, National Director, Donor Services, said this event is a key touch point for engaging donors.
“This event is something that really resonates with donors because they’re often walking on behalf of a family member, friend or colleague,” he said.
In its aim to increase funding for the Association’s programs, services and investment in research, the nonprofit seeks to expand its fundraising goals. Nurturing donor relationships is key to this mission, and the Association has partnered with Merkle RMG for support.
Dominguez says the transparency, accuracy and timeliness of Merkle RMG’s services has helped them be more responsive to their supporters.
“Merkle RMG is very good at getting quick, accurate answers,” he said. “They’ve been very effective in serving as the face of our organization.”
Dominguez says Merkle RMG’s processes are seamless and consistent. As a result, the organization faces fewer issues overall and can better focus on its mission.
“When you have a great partnership like we do with Merkle RMG and things are running smoothly, you experience significantly fewer challenges,” he said. “That speaks volumes.”
Project HOPE is a global health organization working to provide solutions to the world’s most pressing health crises. It serves at-risk populations worldwide by developing, managing and implementing innovative global health and humanitarian assistance programs. The organization specializes in delivering expert health programming and local health care worker training to meet the needs of vulnerable families and communities in more than 30 countries.
In 2015, Project HOPE’s assistance impacted the lives of nearly one million people. That year, it trained more than 23,700 healthcare workers, helping prevent disease and enhance quality of life by improving local health infrastructure and delivery of services.
“Imagine the ripple effect,” said Jann Schultz, the nonprofit’s Senior Director of Integrated Fundraising and Communications. “When you train more than 23,000 health care workers, think about the impact you can make. It’s very exciting to me how we’re able to improve people’s lives and promote their well-being through Project HOPE’s work.”
The organization also delivers donated medical supplies and equipment. In 2015, Project HOPE delivered over $206 million in medicines, vaccines and medical supplies to communities in need. These donations are vital to the success of the organization’s mission. Schultz recognized that without the support of donors, partners and volunteers, the nonprofit’s work would not be possible.
“They are key to our success and help make ‘HOPE happen’ for those in need around the world,” she said.
Schultz said that Project HOPE has been progressively focused on increasing donor retention and strengthening relationships by improving the donor experience. One of the steps they’ve taken is to implement a donor services team supported by Merkle RMG’s contact center.
“That has been very successful in providing donor services for extended hours, which is something Project HOPE can’t deliver on its own,” she noted.
She said that this capability allows Project HOPE to implement innovative programs to collect donor feedback, which, in turn helps the organization make improvements to the donor experience.
As a result, Schultz said, Project HOPE has improved donor retention rates by 20.4 percent since 2012. Additionally, the nonprofit has seen a 16.3 percent increase in active donor files between 2013 and 2015.
Schultz says confidence in Merkle RMG’s capabilities allows Project HOPE to more effectively channel its resources towards advancing its mission.
“I lean on my partners to provide expertise that ensures we’re using best practices and delivering an exceptional experience,” she said. “That allows us to do what we do best – improving health, preventing disease and saving lives around the world.”