A CENTURY OF COMMITMENT
For nearly 115 years, Rotary International has been committed to solving some of the world’s most complex humanitarian challenges. Since its founding in 1905 by Chicago attorney Paul Harris, Rotary members have been instrumental in enhancing the lives of millions globally—from expanding literacy to improving access to water and healthcare.
While its mission and commitment have remained consistent throughout its rich history, today Rotary faces several interconnected challenges that are common among across the non-profit sector. These include:
- Shifting donor and member demographics
- An increased focus on going global
- Increased competition for donations
- A challenging fundraising environment
Rick Barrett, Rotary’s Director of Treasury, views these challenges as opportunities to position his organization for future success. Working closely with Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML), Barrett and Rotary’s treasury staff have implemented wide-ranging solutions that boost efficiency and reduce risk. As Rotary’s primary global bank since 2006, BofAML provides lockbox, draft, ACH and commercial card services—streamlining its operations and enabling it to adapt to a new generation of donors.
A NEW APPROACH TO LOCKBOX
Despite the growing popularity of digital payments, the majority of Rotary’s donations arrive via check. As a result, BofAML’s image lockbox solution has been a crucial part of Rotary’s transformation.
"Each year, we receive thousands checks from donors in North America,” Barrett says. “Automating this heavy volume has been key to operating more efficiently."
Here’s how image lockbox works: After receiving each mail delivery, BofAML staff members immediately begin processing checks using state-of-the-art scanners. The scanners employ patented technology—including Accelerated Image Capture and Intelligent Character Recognition—that automatically converts paper receivables into data and images.
Scanning the images immediately leads to faster processing, which can accelerate access to funds. For Rotary, most image lockbox receivables are available within just a few hours. With Rotary’s previous lockbox processor, high costs prevented the daily shipment of remittances and supporting documents—creating more than a week of lag in some instances. Today, even Rotary’s exceptions are handled digitally, enabling quicker resolution and availability.
In addition to greater processing speed, Barrett also notes the bank’s advances in storage technology. "When we first implemented lockbox back in 2006, we received boxes of paper, and later CD-ROMs. Now all of our records are online—which greatly simplifies research and retrieval."
According to Linda Greer, lockbox product manager, it’s all part of BofAML’s ongoing commitment to helping clients simplify paper receivables. "We’ve invested heavily in transforming our lockbox capabilities—replacing manual work with new technology—to continually improve speed, accuracy and security."
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Case studies are for illustrative purposes only and intended to demonstrate the capabilities of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. You should not consider these case studies as an endorsement of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Case studies do not necessarily represent the experiences of other clients, nor do they indicate future performance. Results may vary.
- Rotary International helps millions of people through various humanitarian initiatives worldwide
- As the nonprofit industry evolves to meet changing global needs, organizations like Rotary seek innovative financial solutions
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch provides image lockbox, ACH, draft, and card services that help streamline Rotary’s fundraising and aid disbursement globally