Reprinted from Starting Point (Appendix II.B.10)

Role

Maintains communications between the board and the membership by producing and distributing a regular newsletter that accurately describes the activities of the League.

General

Promotes good communication within the League.
Publishes a newsletter that serves as a source of organizational information for current members, as a recruitment tool for new members and as a public relations vehicle in the community.

Specific

  • Is responsible for compiling, editing, setting up layout, illustrating, proofreading, reproducing, collating, addressing and mailing the newsletter.
  • With the board, plans overall content of the newsletter, sets publication target dates, determines general format and budget.
  • Includes articles written by board members and committee chairs or composes articles from data they provide.
  • Stresses positive aspects of League activities and achievements.
  • Submits the draft newsletter to the president for final review and approval.
  • Sends copies of the newsletter to the state League and LWVUS liaisons and to other League leaders, as requested.
  • Complies with postal rates and regulations.
  • Keeps a file of the newsletter for the League's archives.

Techniques

  • Get help. Recruit members with design expertise, artistic talents, proofreading skills. Delegate reproduction, collating and mailing to a sub-committee.
  • Maintain a calendar of League activities and deadlines for the year (including information from the state League and the LWVUS) to help plan for future articles.
  • Set firm deadlines for copy.
  • Ask board members to submit their articles on computer disk or by e-mail.
  • Use camera-ready copy and logos from the LWVUS and the state League.
  • Use graphics, but with restraint.
  • Exchange bulletins with other local Leagues to get ideas for content and layout.
  • Pay attention to newsletters from other organizations, noting attractive features.
  • Credit the source of non-League material; get permission to use copyrighted material.
  • Fully identify and date each issue.
  • Work with other board members to get in-kind contributions, such as printing, and to solicit advertising for the bulletin.
  • Work with other board members to identify potential members, community colleagues and donors who should receive complimentary copies.

A good newsletter instills pride in the organization; arouses interest and makes members want to get involved; informs the reader about priority issues on the League's agenda and about actions taken by the board; summarizes important events; praises individuals and groups for work done; celebrates past successes and inspires new ones; welcomes new members and introduces them briefly; impresses nonmembers with the variety and effectiveness of League activities; and attracts the eye with layout, graphics and content.

Suggested newsletter features:

  • Message from the president--to share pride in the organization, to stimulate thinking about the League and its mission, to invite participation in upcoming events, to thank members for contributing to the organization's successes.
  • Calendar of upcoming events and related articles--to encourage participation, but without instilling guilt in those who choose not to be involved.
  • Local League news--to let members know what their organization is doing (studies, voters service, public forums, special events) and how they can participate.
  • Background information for consensus meetings—-to promote a well informed membership and encourage attendance.
  • Action column--to encourage responses to action requests that are not time sensitive and to let members know what action is being taken on their behalf.
  • Membership column--to introduce new members, solicit names of prospective members, invite attendance at new member events, encourage everyone to make a commitment to membership growth and diversity.
  • Highlights of successes, events and activities from the state League and the LWVUS — to build members' understanding of the League as a multi-level organization.
  • Contact information--to help prospective members learn more about the League.

Reprinted from Starting Point (Appendix II.B.10)