Nov. 10, 2021 4:36 pm

Testing a new Generocity

In the last 18 months, it has become increasingly clear that the most effective way we connect, inform and engage our community of nonprofit professionals is in email. This week Generocity.org begins piloting a newsletter-first product.

Christopher Wink speaks to Julie Zeglen, who was Generocity's editor for three years and is currently Technical.ly's managing editor.

(Generocity file photo)

Set fewer goals, and do them better.

In the last 18 months, it has become increasingly clear that the most effective way we connect, inform and engage our community of nonprofit professionals is in email. Ten thousand of you welcome us into your crowded inboxes already. Yet we’ve treated our email newsletters as just one of many tasks to complete in the financially-constrained environment of independent local journalism about philanthropy and nonprofit. Now we’re making it clear: We’re focusing on the best way we have to connect with you.

This week Generocity.org begins piloting a newsletter-first product.

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Each week, we’ll send a single, high-quality curated newsletter with the very specific goal of making connections for nonprofit professionals in the Philadelphia region — connections to ideas, people and job opportunities. The newsletter will feature a reported story about an issue, topic or trend relevant to you in philanthropy, social services, general nonprofit and civic fields. We’ll curate professional comings-and-goings (a la our Power Moves column), share links both locally and nationally that will inform your work, and list the latest openings from the popular Generocity jobs board — which has been more active this year than ever.

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We intend to run this pilot at least through the end of the year. We see it as our job to make the Philadelphia region’s nonprofit sector better connected and more effective at addressing our thorniest challenges. We’re curious whether we can do that better if we focus our attention on our best performing product, rather than spread our limited resources across daily beat reporting.

This change is informed by other realities too — you know, like the finances of local reporting on narrow beats. The ways we financially support Generocity.org today have not tied directly to the daily reporting we’ve done for a decade. Here’s what does support our journalism:

All are dependent on serving a vibrant community of nonprofit pros — but not necessarily dependent on the expensive, time-intensive process of daily reporting. (For insiders, this is in contrast to our sister site Technical.ly, which has successfully established a virtuous cycle in which our independent daily reporting is paired with daily messages from companies that want to hire from our community. That isn’t changing.)

This distinction — that our community of nonprofit pros is important but not necessarily our daily reporting — and those inevitable financial constraints make this weekly newsletter pilot the right move. This decision’s timing was then accelerated with the bittersweetly fortuitous news that our current celebrated Generocity.org editor Sabrina Vourvoulias, a three-year veteran of this work, is taking a role to develop a community desk for our friends at the Inquirer, who have faced criticism for their workplace and coverage diversity. She will help them tackle this challenge as thoughtfully as she has tackled addressing similar challenges in the nonprofit sector.

For those of you who will miss our daily dedicated reporting, we want to hear that — email me at chris@technicallymedia.com. Maintaining that level of coverage isn’t financially sustainable at current levels. We’ll need your help to change that. Either way, this pilot is a step forward to serving our community of nonprofit professionals in a real focused way.

Subscribe to our newsletter and respond. We don’t think of the 10,000 of you already who receive our newsletters as readers, we think of you as a community we are a part of — so we want to hear from you. We’re putting our focus on this community of nonprofit professionals to inform and connect. We want to do this work with you. Thanks as always for being part of this work.


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