A High-Touch, High-Tech Approach to Mail Donation Processing

At Merkle Response Management Group, we know trust is the top factor in client and donor relationships. When a donor gives to a nonprofit, they’re entrusting that organization with their money and personal information. That’s why our clients must have complete confidence in us as a service provider to handle donor gifts and personal data with absolute security, accuracy and efficiency. In Merkle RMG’s mail processing department, we work to earn and keep this trust every day.

Meeting High Expectations

Merkle receives approximately 145,000 mailed donations per day for 170 nonprofit clients. We believe there is a “moment of truth” connected to every envelope we open. Each mailing is an opportunity to create a positive first impression with a new donor or to strengthen a relationship with an existing donor.

Expectations for timely response are higher than ever; payments should be banked within one day, data must be delivered within two days, and acknowledgements should be mailed within three days. In every instance, we must respond with speed and accuracy. So, how do we do it?

A Customized Approach

No two pieces of mail are alike. Each one is a unique transaction that requires a Merkle RMG employee to make multiple decisions about how it should be processed. For example: Which payment method was used? Is the check signed with a correct payee? Does the payment amount match the box checked on the donation form? Are there other exceptions such as removing names, address changes, comments, or other requests? Up to 20 different factors shape our response to each piece of incoming mail, varying with the distinct business rules of each client. These rules are captured through questionnaires completed with clients when they come on board with Merkle RMG. The resulting work instruction documents can be up to 30 pages long and detail all aspects of how donations should be handled. With this customized focus, we ensure each piece of mail is processed according to each client’s specific requirements.

The High-Tech Advantage

Meanwhile, high-tech methods help us manage enormous mail volumes with speed, security and efficiency. At Merkle RMG, we have made significant investments in technology and continue to acquire the necessary hardware and software to expand our operation and enhance our processes. This continually improves our capabilities and helps us maintain our position as an industry leader. With high-speed scanning and imaging, we’re able to perform accurate and timely electronic data capture, delivery and archival. We also use the latest applications and techniques to maintain highly secure operations – from data encryption to advanced facility monitoring, electronic access control and rigorous employee background screening.

A Commitment to Quality and Security

As the only provider in our market certified to ISO 9001:2008 – a quality management and continuous improvement system – Merkle RMG is dedicated to superior service levels and ongoing process improvement. We constantly cross-train our staff and apply stringent QC measures at each step of mail processing.

Caging is highly regimented and monitored, with strict business rules in place to meet our clients’ specifications securely and with precision. Cash payments are quickly consolidated, removed from the floor, secured, deposited via armored car at a local bank, and a check is cut for electronic deposit. Meanwhile, credit card payments are handled in a separate, locked-down department following a Level 1 Payment Card Industry (PCI)-compliant process.

We are careful to maintain a secure environment at our mail processing facility. Prospective employees undergo extensive background checks, including criminal and terror watch lists. Employees must leave items in a locker and are permitted to bring only a small, clear bag with a few personal items into the processing area. We use biometric scanning for entry and employees are allowed access only to parts of the facility for which they’re cleared. With these measures, we provide a level of integrity and assurance that our nonprofit clients would not be able to achieve on their own.

A Complete Solution

Merkle RMG’s mail processing service gives clients the best of both worlds: high-tech capabilities and individualized attention from highly trained staff. Electronic methods make our processes fast and efficient. Manual data entry and specialized handling help us accurately capture changes, make corrections and address exceptions. That’s how we manage 33.5 million mail responses each year while consistently meeting our clients’ high service-level expectations.  

With Merkle RMG’s best-in-class methods, clients can rest assured that their donations will be handled quickly, efficiently and securely. Our total managed mail solution helps save critical resources, build stronger relationships with donors and allows nonprofits to stay focused on their mission. Visit merklermg.com to learn more.