We’re proud of the strong, lasting relationships we have with our clients, and those relationships often lead to exciting developments. Today, we’re happy to share that former client Jann Schultz has joined the Merkle RMG family as vice president, client services. Jann comes to us from Project HOPE, where she served as senior director of individual giving and communications. Her unique perspective from years serving the nonprofit side of our business will be a powerful asset in the work we do for our clients and their donors.
Jann takes over for former Vice President of Client Engagement Kent Grove, who is transitioning within Merkle RMG to an exclusively sales-focused role. She will lead and provide strategic direction to our implementation and account management functions — applying her signature “Donor First” philosophy at every step. That commitment to prioritizing donor needs stems from her experience in fundraising and fundraising operations, and from truly understanding donors as the life blood of nonprofits.
“In my earlier nonprofit work, I noticed there was always a heavy focus on the mission, yet no one was talking about the donors,” Jann said. “But nonprofits can’t do their work without them.”
“That’s why I’m committed to putting the donor first,” she continued. “And by bringing that philosophy to Merkle RMG, I’ll be able to apply that focus across 180 clients and truly be their strategic partner in raising the bar on the donor experience.”
A History of Collaboration
Merkle RMG’s relationship with Jann dates back to 2007 when we first partnered with Operation Smile and Jann was serving as the nonprofit’s associate vice president of donor services. From the start, Jann was our active partner in improving the organization’s fundraising operations.
“We did a full reimplementation and built an extraordinary program that strengthened our donor engagement,” Jann said. “It was wonderful exposure for me to understand all the services Merkle RMG offers.”
She later transitioned to Project HOPE, where Merkle RMG won an RFP to improve the nonprofit’s customer service functions with the implementation of a contact center donor relations team. That powerful partnership resulted in exceptional growth in retention under Jann’s leadership and led to adding mail gift processing, sustainer management and other services.
A Perfect Fit
I have always been impressed by Jann’s focus and dedication to delivering an outstanding donor experience. She is extremely passionate, driven, well respected and a known thought leader in the nonprofit space. I always sensed that she would align well with Merkle RMG’s culture and in how we go to market.
So when I learned Jann had left Project HOPE, I thought she’d be an excellent resource to consult with us — specifically to aid Amy Bobrick’s (Merkle RMG’s vice president of strategy) work in developing solutions that increase donor retention and value. Meanwhile, Kent and I were working on a strategy to improve our customer support functions. When we ultimately decided he would focus more on sales, I knew Jann would be perfect to lead those changes.
“Customer service is at my core, what I love to do,” Jann said. “Prior to working with nonprofits, I was responsible for professionally developing over 1,000 sales and service agents at the world’s leading cruise agency and travel company. Delivering exceptional experiences is what gets me excited every day. Whether that’s for a customer or a donor, driving loyalty and retention is at the heart of what I’ve done throughout my career.”
Jann has an insider understanding of what clients are trying to accomplish and what long-term success looks like to them. That rare perspective allows her to serve as a true client advocate. And, combined with her Donor First philosophy, it puts her in a unique position to enrich Merkle RMG’s account management in ways that create even more value for our clients.
“Account management is a vital lifeline to our day-to-day accounts,” Jann said. “The account manager is the key to the relationship after implementation is done. So that role is critical to improving retention, which is a key metric for Merkle RMG and one of my top goals.“
I’m thrilled to have Jann on board. She brings the perfect balance of a strong performance history and a forward-looking attitude.
“One thing I appreciate from my professional development days is the chance to engage, grow and lead an exceptionally talented account management team,” she said. “At Merkle RMG, I have the opportunity to take the really great work Kent has done and elevate it. That’s exciting, because it will have a direct impact on our clients’ experience.”
This is an exciting time at Merkle RMG! We’re pleased to have such talented professionals join our team. Stay tuned as we share more developments.