I have been the Voter editor for the LWV-South Hampton Roads for the last two years.  I estimate I put 20-30 hours into each newsletter.  I also maintain the Facebook page.  The nominating committee has been unable to find a candidate for this position.  I have sought feedback from the members about what forms of communications are most effective.  The result is that I want to propose that we send out a calendar + officer contact document monthly and follow up with email announcements of specific interest. 

The state League president believes that producing a newsletter is an obligation of the local League.  If that is the case, I would like to suggest that methods of member communications may need to be re-examined now that we have so many new options.  I feel strongly that members need to be informed and encouraged to get involved, but I question that a formal newsletter is the most effective use of effort to make that happen. 

Thanks for any guidance you can provide on this. 


Carolyn Caywood


I really appreciate the comments so far.


Replacing the voter

As we have lost our voter editor and have no volunteer replacement and as we have recently created a new web page which we are up dating frequently, I am strongly considering dropping the newsletter or going to a much less frequent publication. Although people claim to love the voter, they never respond to requests for volunteers posted there. I don't know whether they come to meetings because they are posted there or because we send out email reminders of each upcoming meeting.  A fall voter which is also a league handbook to meetings scheduled for the whole year, contacts for all activities etc and an annual meeting announcement voter would be the most stripped down schedule. A january issue could update the fall edition and announce meeting schedule for spring.  Through the year the website and regular emails could keep members posted and link them to linger articles on the weave.




I too am a VOTER editor.  We have changed to a quarterly newsletter with email contact in between issues.  Have heard no complaints and participation in programs and committee meetings continues to be high.  We are about evenly split between those who receive a print copy and those you get the VOTER by email.  I think eventually it will be all email with only a few copies that will need to be mailed.  I also intend to begin using ConstantContact for delivering the emailed VOTERs in the near future.


newsletters and their alternatives

I have been "helping out" with our newsletter this last year as we too are challenged in finding one person to produce the newsletter.  There were four of us producing the newsletter (one paid staff) and it is still a huge challenge to get  1. Submissions from members 2. Submissions from members on time 3. Photos from members 4. Response from members on requests to volunteer for this or that  5. Response from members for feedback.  And there are always the editing and layout challenges. 

I find it frustrating to spend so much of our valuable time on something I'm not even sure the membership is reading.  And no matter how much information we include and no matter how flexible we are in putting in last minute articles, there is always at least one more "can you include this" request that is always too late.  Many times the newsletter is already out-of-date by the time it gets into a member's mailbox/e-mail. 

I really think it is time to transistion to some of these other really useful means of communication.  Of course, I don't know what is going to be the most effective and that is also a frustration.  I would be in favor of doing the printed newsletter several times a year (maybe around our fundraiser, annual meeting and election time issues) and using a monthly or weekly e-news kind of communication the rest of the time.


Update on thke VOTER

I think this is worth a try.  It might be worth trying to organize the information somewhere around the major Committees of the League.  Many thanks.  carolyn V Brown  Juneau, Alaska.


I like that idea.

With so many levels of League efforts, it would be great to have a web site to go to for article examples others have done. That might not be the most timely source, but why should we all be reinventing the wheel. We don't have the boots on the ground to produce a totally local focused newsletter. \

Martha Stamper

LWV of the Palatine Area (IL)


Replacing the VOTER

Since our membership spans the generations, a mixture of media works best.  We have four members who no longer use their computers (average 90 years old).  They prefer something in the mail.  Once articles are written, they can be shared in the various methods.  We still produce a monthly VOTER.  It is mailed to those without computers, posted on our Webpage, and meetings are announced on our Facebook page.  The editor of the VOTER shouldn't have to take on the entire job.  Over the years we have learned that if you want someone to volunteer, ask them to help.  A telephone call is more direct and gets faster results.


Replacing the Voter

I know of several Leagues who have a mix of electronic notices and a printed Voter.  Some rely heavily on the electronic side and others more the printed.  I think you idea of a couple printed Voters at key times of the year to provide printed material like the directory is a great one.  You can direct people to your website or Facebook page via a link emailed to them.  This method reaches them with the updated and recent news and the link makes it very easy to access the information you would like them to see.

Carol Reimers



ads in Newsletters

I am Communication chair and we are looking into selling ads for our newsletter, since it is expernsive and we are committed to keeping a print version. Does anyone else sell ads and hwo is it working?

Elaine Apter

Montgomery County MD LWV


Ads in Newsletters


We stopped printing our newsletters - primarily because of cost. We now publish a newsletter through Constant Contact - a full year is less than the cost of printing two newsletters, plus we no longer pay for our bulk mail permit. We do still send out about half a dozen to members who are not on-line.

Linda Hoff, LWV-Flint Area