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News & Views

Here’s the BrightKey scoop—from the view from the top in our quarterly President’s Message to the outside perspective from our clients. We report on client successes not just to strut our stuff but also to prompt ideas for programs that will increase your success. With a large client base and more than three decades of experience, we have lots to share about effective practices.

I can’t think of a better way to sum up the power of BrightKey’s seamless support. And nothing makes me prouder than extending the reach of mission-driven organizations by delivering extraordinary experiences for members, customers, visitors, and donors.

Helping to build thousands of relationships…one at a time.

Our doors first opened back in 1988 to support associations, and we have long since expanded into the government and corporate worlds. With the addition of national museum clients in recent years, we have extended our services to include secure high-volume donor support. With our full-service caging operation, we continue to add security enhancements and apply leading-edge technology to handle donations — from receiving and opening the mail, to processing credit cards and depositing checks and cash (yes, people still send cash!)

The BrightKey team not only captures check images and promotion source codes but also scans the written messages that frequently accompany donations. In that way, the client development team can add a personal touch to their follow-up. All scanned information is completely accessible by search, so that phone and email inquiries can be answered on the spot and follow-up is timely and customized.

What makes your day bright?

Every time we answer the phone, ship a package, send an email, or support a donor campaign, we communicate on behalf of some of the country’s most important organizations. And we take that responsibility very seriously. We love adding the “bright” touch!

Here are just a few of recent highlights I’d like to share with you…

When opportunity knocks…BrightKey’s there to open the door: Recently, we took a call from a member who wanted to make a substantial client donation. He didn’t want the call forwarded. He didn’t want a return call. He wanted to make the donation right then and there. BrightKey processed that $50,000 donation on the spot. Now that’s what I’d call a bright day!

Honoring Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity during Black History Month: This long-time BrightKey client has stood at the forefront of the African-American community’s fight for civil rights, with members that include W.E.B. DuBois, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Thurgood Marshall. We recently recognized their important work with a donation at the Brotherhood Level.

Sharing the success: Hats off to clients new and old, and the stellar BrightKey employees that made 2022 a great year! We’re delighted to invest in innovations that will continue to help fuel clients’ growth…and to share our success with our dedicated team through recognition awards, bonuses, and a 50% 401(k) match for all plan participants.


Thank you! And stay in touch…

As always, I appreciate all our clients for entrusting us with your most valuable asset—whether it’s your members, donors, or employees. If you have an idea, a question, or an issue to discuss, I want to hear from you. Please contact me directly by email (hope@brightkey.net) or cell phone (410-570-5265).

All the best,

Rita Hope Counts
President and CEO


What's Trending (At a Glance)

Our broad client base provides a great view of what’s going on in many different areas. Each month, we send out a news brief with a quick read on hot topics, emerging trends, and action steps. Here’s just a taste of What’s Trending…

What's Trending for March 2023?
EU Harmonized System Codes
The European Union has recently implemented new requirements for Harmonized System (HS) codes on shipments which will go into effect on March 1, 2023. HS codes classify goods for customs purposes and are typically assigned during export. Under the new requirements, the exporter must ensure that the HS code is accurate and matches the product description as stated on the commercial invoice. This ensures that the goods are correctly classified, and that appropriate taxes and duties are paid. BrightKey has implemented changes to accommodate this new requirement for all clients utilizing our Warehouse Management System (WMS).

Conference Kits
Attendee kits for conferences provide a great way to increase attendee engagement and create a more memorable experience. They can also be used to thank attendees for participating and provide helpful materials such as swag, handouts, and information. Member kits can also help to create a sense of community among attendees and to promote a positive image of the event. BrightKey can handle all your kitting needs, whether bulk fulfillment to the venue or drop shipped to the attendee. Give us a call today to start planning your 2023 conference kits!
What's Trending​ for February 2023?
Membership Grace Period:
Many organizations with a calendar year membership offer a grace period that is fast approaching its expiration. Organizations then must decide whether to push another round of retention investment or pursue new member acquisition campaigns. With BrightKey’s Membership services, we tailor membership lifecycle campaigns to help drive higher retention and referral rates to allow our organizations to stay mission-focused. Call us today for a free program consultation.

Advanced Mail Solutions
As organizations continue experimenting with hybrid and remote-first workplace environments, they still need help with replacing or optimizing traditional office functions. BrightKey’s advanced mail solutions enhance organizational efficiency with mail pickup, digitization, lockbox, caging, and data entry services. Our solutions can help your organization transition to a modern workplace by replacing manual processes with automated data exchange and records management.
What's Trending for January 2023?
USPS Rates & EU Changes
The USPS announced rate increases that will go into effect on January 22, 2023. In addition, effective March 1, 2023, harmonized tariff codes (HS codes) will be required on all packages destined for the European Union. If this requirement is not adhered to, packages will be returned to the sender.

Leveraging Partnerships
The global economy is showing signs of challenging times ahead. A survey by AlixPartners of 3,000 global executives shows action is already being taken to mitigate risk. Survey participants reported that 20% have performed layoffs or intend to, and 25% have initiated hiring freezes. Associations should be evaluating how to leverage their existing B2B relationships better to maintain/grow their top line while also reducing their costs. BrightKey brings more than 35 years of customized outsourced experience to allow your team to remain nimble and mission focused. Call us today to discuss your challenges for 2023!
What's Trending for December 2022?
Digital + Direct
According to a recent article published by Rob Hanks in Mailing Systems Technology, the average person sees approximately 6,000 digital messages per day, pays attention to 50, and remembers only two. By combining direct mail with your digital efforts, you create a scenario in which a person must look at your mail before disposing of it, and this approach can deliver 40% more engagement. BrighKey provides direct mail and data integrity services to maximize customer engagement.

Member Experience
Technology and access to information are driving consumer expectations of what “good customer service” means. Virtual assistants and websites packed with information are great starting points, but what are you providing to your members as an additional resource? A live operator builds rapport with your members and leads to a higher rate of tickets being resolved with a single touch. This all contributes to an enhanced member experience.
What's Trending for November 2022?
UPS Year-End Push
Many organizations are in the middle of their busy season and wondering how they will accomplish all the outstanding strategic goals set at the beginning of the year. Is your organization short-staffed or needs a final push across the project finish line? BrightKey has the experience and resources to help your organization with membership, data integrity, fulfillment, mailings, and one-off special projects.

UPS Rate Increases
On October 21, 2022, UPS notified customers about rate increases slated for later this year. The rates for UPS® Ground, UPS Air and International will increase an average net 6.9%. UPS Air Freight rates within and between the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico will increase an average net 6.2%. This adjustment will go into effect on December 27, 2022.


“In my ten years of managing teams and handling customer services for large territories and being reliant upon partners to get the job done, I can honestly say that I have never received such raving compliments as I have received since working with BrightKey. There is absolutely zero exaggeration when I say that I receive daily positive feedback. Not one time since this has all begun have I received any questionable or negative feedback on the team at BrightKey.”

Manager, Membership Sales
Association Client
“I’m very pleased with the services that BrightKey provides. The smooth and productive transition to BrightKey was impressive. But I can’t say enough about BrightKey’s staff, to the degree of quality service they provide to our 2,000 associates her as well as around the globe.”

Senior Facilities Manager
Commercial Client
“After the first day of our telemarketing campaign, I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to hear how many renewals BrightKey has processed! We got a better response I none day than we were achieving with our previous vendor in an entire month. I am very impressed with the retention call program already and am looking for to GREAT SUCCESS! Thank you for your team’s hard work.”

Membership Manager
Nonprofit Client
“Words cannot express my gratitude for all the hard you do on our behalf. You’ve always gone above and beyond what is expected, and I just want you to know how much I appreciate your superior level of service. I feel as though with your leadership we’ve built a strong partnership. I look forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come.”

Coordinator for Fulfillment
Nonprofit Client
“I wanted to take a moment to tell you how pleased I am with all aspects of our business relationship. You and your staff could not have been more responsive in light of the terrible weather conditions you experienced. Your staff stayed in touch with our staff, and we were able to make sure our customers were aware of delays. We were also able to keep senior management aware of what was happening and what was being accomplished. You should be very proud of the professional, courteous, thoughtful staff you have. Thank you and all of BrightKey’s staff.”

Vice President, Member Support
Association Client

BrightKey Delivers Results

Aligning with the Times
FOCUS: A leading provider of residential servicing in the mortgage industry experienced unprecedented growth over the years but lacked efficiency in the mailroom. As a result, they sought expertise with streamlining incoming mail processes and the logistical complexity of handling the increased workload.

SKILL: BrightKey’s experts in mailroom operations and document scanning workflow, completed an onsite assessment of current operations and presented recommendations to enhance the essential mailroom operations. BrightKey assisted with procuring and installing state of the art mail processing and accountable mail tracking equipment in addition to deploying standard operating processes and procedures, and volume and performance tracking dashboards.

RESULTS: BrightKey continues to work with our customer to identify additional document workflows and expects to maximize the existing capacity to meet the demands of their growth. In addition, the implementation of new technology and the development of standard operating procedures and reporting provided the corporate operation with a well-oiled mailroom which turns around inbound mail the same day it is received.
Process Improvement and Efficiency:
Reducing Cost While Creating Efficiencies
FOCUS: A quasi-government organization encouraged our onsite team to evaluate the printing, mailing, supply processes, and equipment and make recommendations for process and efficiency improvements and anticipated cost savings.

SKILL: BrightKey’s Project Team researched costs for printer and coil machine replacements, designed supply workrooms for standardization, and identified a new approach to shipping and mailing.

RESULTS: By replacing a printer that allowed for in-house services rather than outsourcing, Brightkey helped save money and organize production within. In addition, Brightkey helped standardize the workroom for efficiency and supply management which allowed for ensuring standardization of both supplies and industrial equipment. Our team standardized supplies for tracking and reordering as needed which improved productivity. Brightkey advised using FedEx ground home delivery services vs FedEx express for employees working from home, reducing delivery costs for shipping.
Continuity of Mail Delivery During the COVID 19 Pandemic:
Following COVID Protocols While Remaining Engaged
FOCUS: In the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic, BrightKey’s client reassigned most of its employees to remote work. As a result, hundreds of employees no longer had access to their mail which contained time sensitive work product and various documents that must be processed or require dispositions. This presented a significant continuity challenge for our clients and anticipated cost savings.

SKILL: BrightKey worked closely with our client to outline their requirements. This resulted in timelines for completion and definitive performance standards for delivery and security. BrightKey also consulted with the client to develop a customized migration to their preferred file sharing application and implemented the solution within five weeks of initial request.

RESULTS: BrightKey developed a customized mail digitization program that allowed employees to work seamlessly from home or any location with internet access. Employees received their digitized mail by 1:00 pm on the same day received. All mail images were migrated via an encrypted network. Additionally, all hard copies were indexed, filed, and stored in a secure location, making hard copy retrieval fast and efficient.
Ongoing Process Improvements:
Enhanced Reporting for Mail Services
FOCUS: Client is in need of real-time reporting for the mail services BrightKey is currently providing.

SKILL: BrightKey implemented an online, customized Reporting Dashboard. No client resources were required to implement this solution. Our solution provided a customized dashboard and tabular reports along with drill down capability into report data, daily refreshing of reporting data, and export functionality. These capabilities allowed for improvements in real time data reports, accompanied by secure usernames and passwords for staff to access data when needed.

RESULTS: The dashboard provides daily data on both inbound and outbound mail volumes. The dashboard tracks items such as total shipments, mass mailing, and mail screening. With the help of BrightKey, the company was able to digitize some of the current flow of mail, facilitating the clients current flow of mail and mail tracking.
Win back members:
Last Chance Fellow Recovery
FOCUS: A one hundred-year-old, prestigious medical association that sets the standard for patient care and provider education sought to recover lapsed Fellow members. After numerous email and direct mail campaigns, the nonprofit wanted to invest in one last push with an outbound calling campaign to retain these expired members.

SKILL: BrightKey’s Strategic Outreach team collaborated with the medical nonprofit to develop an outbound calling campaign to transition the lapsed members. Campaign design strategy included calling Fellows near benefit expiration to create a sense of urgency, a compelling script that highlighted powerful member benefits, clear rebuttals that combined a discount on renewing membership, and strategic collection of member feedback to tailor strategy throughout the current and future campaigns.

RESULTS: The three-week, two attempt, outreach campaign approach ensured that every member received a form of communication, which included direct conversation, voicemail, and email follow up. The campaign success was measured by payments received over the phone, members who pledged to pay, and payments made after the first call. With a final campaign ROI of $34.73 for every dollar spent, the customized approach to the outreach campaign proved to be a successful win back effort.

Speak with one of our experts today.

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WBENC Certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE)

WOSB since 2012

SOC 1 SSAE 18 Type II Audit Certification Warehousing, Fulfillment, and Mail Processing Services

SOC 2 Type II Audit Certification Warehousing, Fulfillment, and Mail Processing Services

PCI-DSS Level 2 Service Provider