Mailing lists are the most straightforward method for Community Boards to expand their outreach in the community, beyond just reaching members.
In recent years, most Community Boards switched to email rather than conventional mail. Email is faster and cheaper, and easier to scale up to reach more people.
Some Community Boards maintain several different mailing lists, split up by topic of interest. Lists vary in size amongst Boards we spoke with, from several hundreds to several thousands. For example, Manhattan Community Board 2 successfully increased its mailing list from 200 people in 2006 to 2,800 in 2012. Manhattan Community Board 7 had a mailing list of 3,000 people in 2011. Their goal is 12,000 people. Manhattan Community Board 4 has a mailing list of 1,000 people, which is 1% of the Community Board’s population. Their goal is at least 5%-10%.
Here are some examples of tools that can assist Boards in expanding their mailing lists.