A Modest Proposal to Missionaries on How to Combine Snail and Email

Subtitle: Or, If Your Older Donors Don’t Use Computers, Why are They the Ones Who Keep Sending You the Cute Kitten Emails?

Really enjoying the dialogue with everybody on the recent post we did entitled “Dear Missionary, Please Stop Sending Prayer Letters. Sincerely, The 21st Century”. (Make sure to click the “Comments” link to make the dialogue visible.)

As I noted in my response to Bill Reichart’s comment on that post, I believe that there can still be a valuable for mail in the missionary communication pantheon. I just think it’s a completely different place and purpose than the missionary prayer letters of yore.

Todd Eckhardt is the Director of Partner and Champion Development at World Gospel Mission, one of the agencies that best exemplifies the application of Transformational Giving principles to missions. Todd himself is one of the best “practical theologians” of Transformational Giving and the only person I have so far asked (and keep asking!) to do guest posts on this blog. Sharp guy, he.

I asked Todd to share his thoughts on the question of snail and email from missionaries, and I found him to be insightful as usual.

So I yield the podium to my colleague from the Great State of Indiana:

My agency is as about as conservative base as you may find.

Funny thing is the seniors are the ones who fill my inbox with forwards about how to pray for the president or the latest cute kitten picture that says, “I prayed for you today, pass it on”.

If we still ride both rails of snail mail and email for the time being, why can’t our snail mail be better targeted?  Who says if we do snail mail all letters have to be the same?  Send one batch of letters to your “Owners” with deeper content and a different batch to the P/E crowd.  After all don’t the owners deserve or want deeper content anyway?

So reduce the mail and become strategic in when you do use paper.  Do not do it just because the quarter is up and the calendar says it is time for an update.  The true updates are online, current and relevant.  The snail mail can be more solid with different content that makes the person glad they opened the envelope, rather than thinking, “I read this last month on Facebook.”

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is the former International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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2 Responses to A Modest Proposal to Missionaries on How to Combine Snail and Email

  1. Pingback: 2011 January 29 | Fundraising Headlines

  2. Pingback: Don’t Use the Pony Express to Mail Your Prayer Letter | World Indigenous Missions

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