Avoid using personal email for an organisation.
If Jenny started up Example Trust then she may have simply used her own email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This now entangles her personal emails and the Example Trust emails. If she takes a few months out, perhaps for travel, or family reasons, then there’s the problem of how someone else can handle the Example Trust emails while not delving into Jenny’s personal mail.
Many organisations now have their own domain name, and there should be one or more free emails attached to that. It’s far better to use addresses attached to the domain name than addresses belonging to private individuals.
Use generic addresses.
When you choose an email address for your group it’s useful to think about whether the address will stand up to a change of personnel.
If Jenny’s the main contact person for Example Trust it may seem logical to get an email address such as: email@example.com.
But what happens when Jenny retires or moves to Australia? Now you’ll have to change that address and inform all your contacts. Alternatively you may need to set up some kind of redirect (perhaps for a monthly fee) to automatically send email on.
A better idea is to use a generic address linked to a role in the organisation, such as:
Use free email addresses.
There are a million services which offer free email addresses, though some have a poor reputation. Those which offer both a lot of online storage and the ability to use normal email software as well as a web interface can be very useful for a community group.
For example, with a free Google GMail address your group can store a copy of every email on their server (along with attachments) and you can allow certain privileged people access it through the password. You can set up as many GMail addresses as you need, and even use it as a quick backup method for important files. [Create a new blank email, attach the file and save the email as a draft.]
You could have addresses like these:
If you’d like a free GMail address email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for an invite.
Written by Miraz Jordan for CommunityNet Aotearoa Panui, October 2005.