More Email Complaints: Nonprofits beware!

I’m baffled by how some non-profits use strictly email to share information, while other will just use their blogs, and still others are so completely reliant on social media.  I’m on so many email lists I often feel that is the only email I get.  But I’ve noticed a pattern with in the emails.

Some of the organizations I receive email from I also follow on Twitter and liked their page on Facebook.  There are some that do an incredible job or coordinating what goes out through which system.  Meaning in  a busy day, I get different information from them through emails, Twitter, Facebook and their blog.  The majority of emails I get are asking for money, and as a former fundraiser, I’m not surprised.  It’s become the easiest, and fastest way for many organizations to raise quick dollars.  But they’re ignoring a large segment of the population.

At the same time, a couple of organizations are hitting with emails several times a day, about fundraisers, news, new studies soon to be released, etc.  All in the course of a few hours.  It’s too much.  And the worst part – I know they are not sharing this information through new media.  I know this as a follower, fan, active blog reader, etc.  This information never comes up anywhere but in their emails and on their homepage.

Yes, using new media can be time consuming, especially early on, and to keep up with it, but it is so worth it.  You can end up reaching an entirely different demographic than you would just through email or general website traffic.  I know Gen Y’ers who don’t check their email that often, because they can keep up with everything and everyone via new media.  Especially those in college now, and just out, new media is now that new to them.  Instead it’s their first place to turn for information.

I don’t want to just be asked for money.  I want to be informed, updated, and recruited for advocacy.  New media doesn’t just play to one, but to all.  You just have to know to make the connections.  Twitter is a great way to build support on an issue, fire up grassroots advocates….and point them your Facebook page, latest blog post, or YouTube Video.  I’ve seen so many YouTube videos this spring, put together by non profit organizations to share with their members, supporters, donors, etc.

The result is increased exposure, more people who are more interested in general information sharing, more advocates, and the most important part for any organization in this encoonomy – more donations.  Not just more money, but new donors.  The same can happen with a blog post that keeps being shared.

This shouldn’t be scary, and doesn’t need to fall to one person in the office.  If one or two people have the extra time and know how, or responsibilities can be shifted, it doesn’t have to require hiring additional staff.  Who already does your email updates?  Best they can post the same information in other places and relieve your members, donors and supporters the burden of deleting that extra email they don’t have time to read.  Or worse yet, no longer want to read because you’ve inundated their inbox.  Speaking for my inbox, and myself, we’d appreciate it!

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