Published Apr 28, 2021
The United States Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors is preparing to seek its annual cost of living increase in postage of about 1.5% over current rates. However, it is now expected that the Board will seek an additional 5-7% rate increase to cover the structural deficit in budgeted postal service operations. If your church routinely uses USPS to deliver information to members and attenders, it could be a great time to reevaluate your communication processes.
- If you haven’t already, the move to digital newsletters is a great place to start. It is no more costly to email a 10-page newsletter than a one-page document. Church newsletters can be transformed into full-color documents without having to print them. If your current staff doesn’t have the resources to tackle this, this is a great opportunity to involve members who do.
- Consider the bills your church pays monthly. How many bills can be converted to electronic payments? Utility bills – electricity, gas, water, telephone, trash, sewer service – can be paid via the vendor’s website or by authorizing automatic payments, which avoids the potentiality for late payment charges and lost or delayed mail.
- E-mail may be the next best move to communicate between the church, its staff, and its members and attenders. However, before sending emails and text messages, the church must obtain consent from recipients. California and federal privacy and communications law requires entities to obtain consent from the recipient to receive electronic communication. The church is not exempt from these communication privacy laws.
- If you’re starting from scratch and don’t have a database solution that has already obtained communication consent, a contact form to all adults in your church could be a great start. Ask for household information, including landline and mobile telephone numbers and email addresses for all persons in the home who are 13 and older with check boxes to indicate consent to receive text messages or emails. It’s also a convenient way to make sure the church has accurate contact information. You could also include a checkbox for consent to publish the information in a membership directory.
- All electronic communications from the church or staff members intended for children should be directed to parent(s) or guardian(s). This needs to be part of a broader set of child safety policies designed to protect the church’s children.
Bringing your church into the digital era is critical to church growth. Increasingly, members expect electronic communication, and many of them prefer text messages to email. Many churches have realized the benefits of online giving and text-to-give platforms. If your church has not started utilizing these platforms, it’s time to consider moving there.
For more information, contact the HR & Church Compliance Ministry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 559-256-0858.