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The Production Management Group

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Devoted to helping nonprofits cost-effectively achieve their missions!

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Rick Powell

Have you ever stopped to think about how much nonprofits contribute to our quality of life? Most charitable organizations exist to help solve a societal need that isn’t being adequately addressed by local, state or federal government. Whether their mission is to protect abused and neglected children, provide shelter for families displaced by a fire or natural disaster, or enthrall concert goers with a beautiful symphony, nonprofits add tremendously to our lives.

Because their goals are so inspiring, most nonprofits receive lots of help from volunteers to fulfill their missions. However, there are always out-of-pocket costs that need to be covered, and historically, most nonprofits have relied heavily on direct mail to raise the money they need.

When Rick Powell founded the Production Management Group (PMG) in his basement in 1997, there were only a handful of folks willing to take the chance of working with the startup without a guarantee, only a handshake. But because Rick had been active in the philanthropic world for two decades, he knew how valuable a service PMG could provide to nonprofits by using economies of scale and the latest technologies to reduce their direct mail fundraising costs.

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Producing Direct Mail Pieces

Reducing Production Costs: The first goal PMG tackled was to produce mail pieces less expensively. Once PMG was purchasing materials for many clients at once, they were able to negotiate substantially lower prices for materials such as letters and envelopes. Additionally, the sheer number of mail pieces they started producing allowed PMG to command better pricing from the mail houses as well, thus reducing costs for every single piece a nonprofit produced.

As PMG’s client base grew, they continued to look for other innovative ways to reduce their clients’ costs. When the U.S. Postal Service started offering lower postal rates to companies involved in its work-share program in the early 2000s, PMG expanded into postal logistics.

Chart showing mail flow with Commingling

Minimizing Postal Rates: Mail being sent outside of the local area goes through six different postal processing facilities, being resorted and reprocessed each time, before it is delivered to the recipient’s home. By arranging to “commingle” the direct mail from many companies together, PMG can cost-effectively ship the mail directly to postal facilities closer to the ultimate destination for each piece of mail.

Because this eliminates a lot of the sorting and shipping the U.S. Postal Service has to do, the U.S.P.S. substantially reduces what it charges for postage for commingled mail, thus saving nonprofits money.

Finally, because nothing is more wasteful than mailing to undeliverable addresses or mailing multiple copies of a mailing to a single household, PMG expanded into providing state-of-the-art data processing services in 2010.

Data Processing
Data Hygiene Report

Avoiding Wasteful Mailings: Keeping a nonprofit’s mailing list up-to-date is surprisingly complex. As just one example, roughly 11% of Americans move each year and only two-thirds of them file a Change of Address form with the Post Office. Additionally, names are continually added to a mailing list from numerous sources, some containing misspelled or abbreviated names and addresses. PMG applies the latest in data hygiene and merge-purge processes to make sure that one, and only one, piece of mail is delivered to interested consumers.

Through these and other non-postal-related services, PMG improves the efficiency of its nonprofits’ fundraising efforts so that a higher percentage of their spending can be devoted to fulfilling their crucial missions. And because the company believes so strongly in the value they add to the community, PMG even leverages its supplier relationships to provide pro bono production services to a number of local nonprofits.

At PMG, we’re proud of how we are helping all our nonprofit clients make the world a better place. And almost two decades after moving out of the basement, PMG still operates on a handshake basis with all our customers!

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