Every week you send out an email to your volunteers and you’re frustrated when many show up having not read the critical information that you spent your precious time typing.

Every couple of weeks you send important email updates to the parents of kids who come to your programs and you can’t understand why more parents aren’t opening your emails. You wonder if they even care?

You’ve been calling the same list of potential volunteers for weeks and few people answers your call and no one calls you back.

Has everyone become apathetic and irresponsible? 

Calm down, it’s probably not what you think. Let’s not jump to conclusions. Don’t start confronting parents when you see them and reprimand your volunteers making reading your emails a volunteer requirement.

In case you haven’t noticed, communication has changed. Most people prefer not to talk on the phone, so they’re probably not going to answer a call from an unknown number. They’re not going to listen to your voicemail and it’s not because they hate you.

Email has become a beast and an entire generation has given up. You’re more likely to get a response from a text or direct tweet than from an email. Here’s some information you need to know:

  • According to 2015 email marketing statistics, only 25-26% of emails are opened that are sent from religious and non-profit organizations.
  • According to the latest US Consumer Device Preference Report, 66% of all emails are now opened on phones or tablets.
  • According to a 2013 report commissioned by SinglePoint, open rates for text/sms exceeds 99%. 90% of texts are read within 3 minutes of being sent to their phones.

Before you get frustrated, recognize how the landscape has changed. It’s not that your parents or volunteers are less-than-committed because they don’t read your emails. They, just like most people have moved on. Realize that you’re not going to win this fight.

So what does this mean for you?

You should be asking yourself some important questions:

  • If most emails are opened on phones/tablets (possibly when they’re on the go), are my emails mobile friendly?
  • Is communicating critical information best served in an email?
  • Am I communicating with volunteers/parents outside of email?
  • Do I have a texting strategy for my volunteers?
  • Do I have a texting strategy for parents?

Later this week, we’ll discuss communication strategies and what some are doing to best communicate critical content to different audiences.