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Building deeper relationships with your donors impacts the bottom line of your mission

This is a complex time to be a fundraiser — with rising consumer expectations, donors now have access to more communication channels than ever before. Merkle helps nonprofit organizations navigate that complexity to build deeper relationships with donors and constituents by understanding their motivations, by fostering affinity through personalized experiences, and by engaging them consistently across channels. We work with leading nonprofits to counteract three of largest trends impacting fundraising today:

  1. Declining engagement from a traditional donor base. Acquisition and retention rates continue to fall despite concerted efforts to boost them. The universe of donor-aged people is increasing, but the pool of qualified prospects is declining. Competition for the best donors has intensified as we share lists, and that competition has decreased donor satisfaction. The more we utilize best practices to improve each channel’s bottom line, the more we “feed the problem.” The current fundraising approach is narrow and limits our ability to truly measure cause and effect, resulting in most nonprofits being in a perpetual state of acquisition.


  1. The “Age of the Consumer.” Today’s donors take their own unique paths to action.  Those paths include a shift in how they consume media, with high mobility between devices and mass donor-to-donor engagement via social media. The donor can no longer be treated like an ATM.


  1. Competition from for-profit brands. Amazon’s spent more than $7B on marketing in 2016 and they provide the premiere user experience in the marketplace. Donor expectations are shaped by these interactions — they expect you to know what they care about and tailor to their needs.

Our founding membership in The Nonprofit Alliance supports the diverse landscape of nonprofit organizations, promoting, protecting, and strengthening the philanthropic sector in the best interests of donors and beneficiaries.

The Nonprofit Alliance

We are passionate about our clients and the causes they fight for every day. We partner with top nonprofits to:

  • Create and execute scaled, omni-channel fundraising programs;
  • Plan and implement technology solutions that deliver personalized constituent experiences;
  • Acquire new donor prospects by targeting known individuals to economically fuel and re-energize acquisition programs;
  • Measure constituent affinity to understand the value of each individual relationship to the organization, and to develop strategies to maximize that value across organizational silos (from fundraising to advocacy to events).

Merkle has deep history in the nonprofit sector. Our Nonprofit group has raised over $2B for our clients over the past 28 years. Last year alone we raised $163.4 million and engaged with 2.8 million constituents on behalf of organizations seeking to make the world a better place.


“Multiple Sclerosis recognized the need to shift our organizational strategy to focus on the donor journey. Aligning our internal groups and partnering with Merkle drove an increase in research revenue, number of individual donors and amount of the average gift.”

Graham McReynolds

Chief Marketing, Development and CRM Officer, National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Clients we serve

  • Habitat for Humanity
  • American Red Cross
  • MADD
  • Greenpeace
  • Heifer Foundation International
  • American Cancer Society
  • National MS Society
  • AARP Foundation
  • Cohen Children's Medical Center
  • Arthritis Foundation
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
  • American Heart Association
  • Lutheran World Relief

Recent Awards

  • NonprofitPRO Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence

Our Team of Experts

Ready to learn more?