The Rembrandt Association boosts member engagement with digital transformation

Find out how the Rembrandt Association is raising more funds for Dutch museums to buy great artworks with enhanced member management.

In today’s digital age, we’re all flooded with content, all the time. To make an impact on the audience, communications must be personalised, relevant, and accurate.

As it is completely reliant upon its members to raise funds, sending tailored communications is a priority for the Rembrandt Association, but its outreach processes lacked efficiency. By transforming its approach to member management with Wunderman Thompson, the organisation will be able to grow its pool of subscribers and donations.


“With Wunderman Thompson, we’ve digitally transformed member management and communications,” explains Maurice Bres, Digital Lead a.i. at the Rembrandt Association. “We are better suited to scale up in donors and memberships, whilst maintaining the high standard of personalised communication Vereniging Rembrandt values. Moreover, we have developed a platform that facilitates future innovation.”


Tailoring every communication to individual members

Established in 1883 to help strengthen The Netherlands’ public art collection for everyone to enjoy, the Rembrandt Association (Vereniging Rembrandt) offers subsidies to museums so they acquire works of art that would otherwise stretch beyond their budgets. Since it was founded, it’s helped purchase more than 2,000 pieces, including Vermeer’s The Milkmaid.


The organisation’s funding comes from member donations, who in return, are offered free entry to all museums it supports. With over 16.000 active member donors, the organisation’s relatively small member management team has its work cut out. The team must ensure that every communication is perfectly tailored to each individual member.


With an ageing CRM system, creating these bespoke communications was time-consuming and inefficient. “The Rembrandt Association’s legacy system was limited in its customisation and integration capabilities which limited the organisation’s ability to digitalise or develop its capabilities”, explains Lode Hendriks, Salesforce Implementation Consultant at Wunderman Thompson.


Rolling out Salesforce to simplify member management

To digitally transform member management and empower its employees, the Rembrandt Association partnered with Wunderman Thompson. Following a period of consultancy, requirements analysis, and custom development, Wunderman Thompson helped the organisation roll out Sales Cloud, which went live in October 2021.


The Salesforce solution is now used for membership management from start to finish. Via its website, the Rembrandt Association captures membership sign ups in Salesforce. Communication that follows, for instance welcome messages and thank you letters to gift givers, is managed from Salesforce. Integration with financial systems ensures effortless invoicing and clear visibility on donations.


“We created various bespoke capabilities to fit with the Rembrandt Association’s requirements, including a setup to ensure every member or subscriber accurately receives communication according to their preferences, built-in custom logic for invoice generation and member segmentation, and an AppExchange solution for document generation,” explains Hendriks. Wunderman Thompson continues to provide ongoing maintenance and development services for additional changes and improvements.


With member segmentation, the Rembrandt Association can ensure that the right content is sent to the relevant audience, and via an individual’s preferred channel and contact details. Regular communications include newsletters, bulletins, alerts when art purchases are made, updates on dinner events hosted by the organisation and its annual general meeting. The solution also includes a birthday report, so the team can contact members on their special day.


A more personalised member experience

Thanks to Wunderman Thompson and the Salesforce solution, the Rembrandt Association will be able to improve the member experience with more tailored, timely, and relevant communications. It can reach members more easily and with greater confidence and efficiency.


All these enhancements will help to increase member engagement and donations, as well simplifying the member management team’s day-to-day tasks. With everyone able to access the same member details and contact history, they will be able to collaborate more effectively and avoid complex handovers when people go on holiday.


“Cooperation with our Wunderman Thompson Salesforce Consultant has been enjoyable. We quickly get answers to our questions, in clear and non-technical language. Our current Salesforce implementation allows us to scale up our member base.” Kirsten Arends, Head of Member Management.


The start of the digitalisation journey

Implementing Sales Cloud is just the start of the Rembrandt Association’s digital transformation. “With a cloud-based solution and standard APIs, The Rembrandt Association can add in new features and functionality as and when required,” comments Hendriks. “Reporting and dashboards are already on the agenda, to help understand the current state of memberships and manage fundraising activities.”

In the near future we will also integrate a third party email marketing solution, adding an online portal for members to respond to invitations to events which directly feeds into Salesforce. All these capabilities will contribute to growing member volumes, enhancing engagement, and boosting donations, which will enable the Rembrandt Association to help more museums and galleries purchase important works of art.