Spring Transformation … Yes, I Think So.

Well, technically spring has sprung.

But it certainly doesn’t feel like spring here in Rhode Island. We’ve had three Nor’easters in the last two and a half weeks, and I can’t say that I’m upset this last one fizzled. 

Despite the snow and the wind, it was a nice break from rushing around. I was able to hunker down for a bit to reflect and refocus, and really take stock of my goals for the year. One night when I was snowed in, my boss sent an email to our team — and his words could not have come at a better time! (I needed a bit of perspective and motivation).


Pretty powerful and relevant, right?!  This truly is the ethos of my role.

I realize this quote is about the failure of Toys-R-Us, but there are so many parallels to our nonprofit industry…

  • competitive dynamics of the market intensified
  • failed to respond and evolve
  • lost relevance, customers

(Quick, but important note: Charles P. Lazarus passed away on March 22, about a week after the announcement that the company he founded 70 years ago, Toys-R-Us, would begin liquidating its assets.  Mr. Lazarus was an incredible entrepreneur whose stores are a part of some of my fondest childhood memories. He was a brilliant entrepreneur.)

Toys-R-Us started as the successful venture that it was because of Mr. Lazarus’ ability to respond to customers’ changing needs. Unfortunately, over the years, the company lost its ability to do that, and that’s where it failed.

As an industry, we are sitting on the precipice of momentous change. I am hoping that nonprofits see this as an opportunity to transform their current approach to donor cultivation, and begin leveraging and utilizing the resources that have always been at their fingertips.

Merkle RMG has taken its first step to begin its own transformation with the launch of Rapport last month.  Rapport is a suite of strategic solutions that focus on building deeper and stronger relationships between a nonprofit and its donors to improve donor retention and lifetime value.

The solution itself comprises different products that work across channels to deliver a one-to-one giving experience for donors.  Rapport connects a donor’s giving experience to a nonprofit to engage them in a meaningful relationship.

It’s a pretty big concept to wrap your head around. We put together a quick two-minute video that will walk you through the process at a high level.

Donor response data is one of the most underutilized resources in our industry. There is so much an organization can learn from what is captured during gift processing, and it’s a shame that it often goes to waste. My desire to help nonprofits use and interpret this data to help inform donor (and even fundraising) decisions was the motivation and inspiration behind the creation of Rapport.

Over the next few months, we’ll continue to promote Rapport and its supporting products, and offer education across the industry illustrating the importance and the value of donor response data.

In the meantime, if I’ve piqued your interest about our latest solution, reach out to me at ambobrick@merkleinc.com or @AmyBMerkleRMG. And if you’re attending NTEN18 down in New Orleans the second week of April, let me know. I would love to catch up!

Happy spring, friends! Here’s to warmer (and drier) weather!