Does your genealogy society have email accounts for board members and staff? Why is this important?
- It maintains continuity as different people move in/out of positions within your society.
- When new people move into officer or staff positions, the outgoing staff member passes on the account password so the new person can access the email account. A quick password change and the new officer has complete control of that account. Your membership will always be able to contact the society president using firstname.lastname@example.org.
- New officers have instant access to all historical messages in their accounts.
- It makes it easier to maintain outside accounts (like web hosting services or PayPal) when the people who maintain and make payments to these accounts change every year or so.
- It reduces personal liability in case of litigation. Should there be litigation with subpoenas for all email records, society accounts would be the focus instead of personal accounts.
If your society uses a hosting service to maintain your website, that service probably also includes email. You can also take advantage of free email providers such as Google’s Gmail or Yahoo Mail. If you are considering using Google for Non-Profits, it includes free email accounts using your own domain name.
Use positions rather than people when you set up your email account. Instead of JohnSmith@mysociety.org use email@example.com. For the commercial email providers you can include the society initials with the name – firstname.lastname@example.org for example.
Some members may not be comfortable managing multiple email accounts – especially if they only use webmail to access their messages. It can be irritating to have to check mail in multiple places. In this case an email client program may be the best choice. These programs – Outlook for Windows, Mail for Mac and iOS devices – support easily managing multiple accounts in one place.
Email is one of the most affordable ways to communicate with your members and staff. It’s time to take advantage of the many opportunities these services can offer.
*Email icon courtesy AJ Cann via Flickr.