MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL, November 12, 2009 — More than 83,000 donors to the University of Minnesota gave $267 million in gifts and pledges in fiscal year 2009, which ended June 30, 2009. This follows the best year of giving to the university. The total given in FY 2008 was a historic $289 million.

Columbia, Md., November 12, 2009 — Merkle (www.merkleinc.com), one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing customer relationship marketing agencies, today announced the formation of its new Market Research Practice, which will provide new insights into client marketing programs by discovering and understanding how consumer beliefs and attitudes shape purchasing and engagement decisions. The new practice is part of Merkle’s Quantitative Solutions Group, which provides leading organizations with analytical insight and strategy to drive highly targeted and measurable marketing programs.

Columbia, Md., November 5, 2009 — Merkle (www.merkleinc.com), one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing customer relationship marketing agencies, today announced that its Response Management Group has been selected by Alley Cat Allies to provide contribution processing services in support of the organization’s direct mail fundraising program. Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Alley Cat Allies is a national advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and improving the lives of cats through education, outreach and support for Trap-Neuter-Return programs. The work was successfully transitioned from the previous service company in August and the contract is ongoing.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., November 4, 2009 — The Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF) today released its Giving in Minnesota, 2009 Edition research report, the most comprehensive analysis of charitable giving in the state. In examining foundations and corporate giving programs with fiscal years ending between June 1, 2007, and May 31, 2008 - the most recent time period for which complete data are available - MCF analyzed the state's charitable giving for the months leading up to and during the very earliest part of the recession.

MINNEAPOLIS, October 28, 2009 — This year 12-year-old Abigail Osei is going to school. Until recently, Abigail had been out of school because her parents, who are cocoa farmers in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, couldn't afford books or a uniform, and didn't want her to go. But Abigail's father had a change of heart after attending meetings, organized by Cargill and CARE (a leading international organization that fights global poverty) where he learned about the benefits of education. Since then, Abigail has attended school regularly and even participated in a trip to meet role models.

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