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Does anyone have experience helping a local church-based nonprofit overcome their reluctance to use e-mail communications?

New Member

Does anyone have experience helping a local church-based nonprofit overcome their reluctance to use e-mail communications?

The leadership is older and some lack computer savvy. They are afraid to go digital.
4 REPLIES 4
All Star

Does anyone have experience helping a local church-based nonprofit overcome their reluctance to use e-mail communications?

You don't say how many communications they send out or if the clients include younger people, but here are a few suggestions. Hope they help. Start slow. See if you can get them to agree to try it, and ask the clients if they would prefer to receive info by email. If they have email addresses themselves, send them a test email to show them what it would look like. (This worked for me!) If the budget is as tough for them as most nonprofits, tell them they will save money on mailing and postage costs! (This is the other thing that worked for me!)
Occasional Participant

Does anyone have experience helping a local church-based nonprofit overcome their reluctance to use e-mail communications?

The organization I work with also has resistance to technology and a more contemporary approach and their supporter/volunteer base is getting older and dwindling. You could offer that by going digital, you'll reach a younger demographic - what small non-profit doesn't want that? Maybe that angle will work. You could also suggest a trial period and then review the results. More than likely you'll have won most of them over by then.
Occasional Advisor

Does anyone have experience helping a local church-based nonprofit overcome their reluctance to use e-mail communications?

My church has a younger demographic and uses email very successfully. It is a great tool to remind their members of upcoming events, ask for help for events, announce news and upcoming themes, etc. I find it very well-received if the benefits are clearly defined. It is the way of the world now and brings freshness to the church. I agree with the others - encourage a trial period and I am sure the results will prove themselves. People nowadays are busy and a gentle reminder email is a fantastic tool. Good luck!
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CTCT Employee

Re: Does anyone have experience helping a local church-based nonprofit overcome their reluctance to

Hi Lisa. I am part of Constant Contact's education team and focus on nonprofit education specifically. I encounter this question quite a bit, out in the field; especially with nonprofits. I find statistics are the most helpful. So here you go...

 

Your supporters do use email:

  • 91% of Internet users between 18 and 64 send or read email. (Email Stat Center)
  • Email usage up 22% among 55-64 years old and up 28% among 65 and older. (The 2010 US. Digital Year in Review by comScore)
  • Communications technology preferences continue to shift among donors of all ages with 69% now preferring electronic over print communication. There is more interest in receiving information electronically, particularly among donors 65 to 74. (Cygnus Donor Survey 2011)

 

Email is a powerful compliment to face-to-face and direct mail communications. Email lets nonprofits communicate more regularly, which is essential to having engaged supporters:

  • People need to hear things multiple times to truly absorb it. 59% of people need to hear something about a specific organization 3 - 5 times to believe that information is likely to be true. (Edelman Trustbarometer 2011)
  • Regular communication helps supporters feel connected.The #1 reason existing donors stopped giving to a particular charity is that they no longer felt connected to the organization. Just less than 20% of donors believe that their donations make a major impact on the organizations they support. (2008 Bank of America Survey)
  • Supporters want more information - In 2010 42% of nonprofits had donors ask to be updated on how their contributions were spent. A significant increase from 32% in 2008. (2010 State of the Nonprofit Industry Survey)

In addition to allowing for more regular communication with supporters, email also helps nonprofits:

  • Keep supporters more informed and engaged
  • Allows for personalized/segmented messages
  • Trackability provides new insights - know what is getting opened and read, what content supporters are interested in and what they are not interested in. 
  • Reaches new people and raises awareness - email is easy to share with friends, family and colleagues - people that may not yet be a supporter.

With all of these benefits of email, it's no surprise that - E-newsletters are the most important communication tool for nonprofits in 2011, followed by website, direct mail, in-person events, Facebook, and media relations/PR. (2011 Nonprofit Marketing Guide)

 

Hope this is helpful for your nonprofit! If you have any more nonprofit related questions, I encourage you to join into the new thread just created in the Community just for nonprofits - http://bit.ly/NPCommunity. Ask questions and review the content already there. I also encourage you to check out our nonprofit specific live webinars (they are free) - http://conta.cc/Communitywebinars.

 

 

 

 

Caroline Shahar