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Joanne Fritz

Lessons for Nonprofits from My Book Club

By January 17, 2013

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Cat with a book.

I know how easy it is for nonprofit folks to worry about over communicating with their supporters. I've been there and felt the same apprehension.

However, I'm gotten completely over that ever since I started coordinating my neighborhood book club last year.

You see, what I've learned is that people just don't remember stuff.

My book club has only a dozen members. They are all women...highly intelligent, well-read, competent, and very busy women.

But they don't remember much.

I send reminders, hand out a schedule at every meeting -- the same one each time, and yet several people seem to have never seen it before!

I have to remind people of what book they agreed to lead the discussion on, and that they agreed to host the club next month. Sometimes I even help them locate a copy of the book that is coming up or order it online for them.

We communicate by email primarily, but I remember to call a couple of people because I know they rarely check their email.

I love them all, but, really, it's a little like herding cats. But they are my cats, and what I get for the trouble is a wonderful group of friends, stimulating reading and conversation, and a whole lot of just plain satisfaction.

The point is that we should all get over the fear about over communicating. Your donors, supporters and volunteers probably appreciate it when you remind them, ask them again, report back to them even though you just did that, and when you use various channels to basically tell them the same thing.

And what do you get? Satisfaction and, more than likely, grateful friends for your cause.

I know that my book club members are grateful for me...they tell me that all the time. I just hope they don't read this post!

Photo: iStockphoto

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January 24, 2013 at 12:26 pm
(1) Elizabeth says:

I could have written this. It is the same with my book group.

January 28, 2013 at 2:52 pm
(2) nonprofit says:

LOL…thanks for that, Elizabeth! Maybe they are all alike.

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