Women’s Division, UMR Communications Launch Communications Partnership
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dana E. Jones, 212-870-3755
The Women's Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries will partner with UMR Communications for production and distribution of print and electronic resources for United Methodist Women.
The transition of Women's Division publishing and marketing operations to UMR Communications will begin in September, with the partnership fully operational by January 2007. The new service will be known as the Mission Resource Center.
Through this partnership, UMR will handle production, distribution, sales and customer service for Women's Division resources and promotional materials, and join in the design and marketing plan for these products.
"Women's Division is excited about forging a partnership with UMR Communications that will serve United Methodist Women's need for mission resources with state of the art technology, cost-effective production processes and careful attention to customer service,” said Jan Love, chief executive of the division. “This will help us use Mission Giving dollars more wisely in the service of God's mission with women, children and youth."
UMR Communications' new digital technologies, which include print-on-demand capabilities, will enable one-to-one marketing and communication tools to more effectively reach the Women's Division's database, resulting in anticipated membership growth, participation and denominational visibility.
The partnership will allow Women's Division to reduce overhead, operational concerns and storage needs without reducing services. It will provide UMR Communications the opportunity to increase capacity and continue to invest in new technologies that can benefit the entire denomination.
Top executives of Women’s Division and UMR Communications hailed the partnership as a "win-win" for both organizations.
"The church has a critical opportunity to capture the power of print-on-demand and digital information technologies," said UMR Communications CEO Sarah E. Wilke. "As UMR helps lead the way into these new avenues of communication, this partnership with the Women's Division will give both of our ministries the financial strength we need to capitalize on the power of these new communication tools."
The Women's Division is the national policy-making body of United Methodist Women, an organization of approximately 1 million members, whose purpose is to foster spiritual growth, develop leaders and advocate for justice. United Methodist Women members raise about $18 million each year for programs and projects related to women, children and youth in the United States and around the world. Members place nearly 35,000 orders for resources per year.
With its recent experience in streamlining operations and services along with its historic commitment to customer care, UMR Communications has the expertise to provide publishing and operations solutions for Women’s Division, Ms. Wilke said.
UMR, which publishes the award-winning United Methodist Reporter weekly newspaper and recently launched the digital UMPortal homepage, will establish a separate company within its financial system to provide inventory management, database development and accounting functions for this partnership with the Women's Division.
UMR Communications is a not-for-profit ministry for the United Methodist Church. Its purpose is to provide tools for communication within the church, and its mission is "to share God's story by publishing quality religion news and providing print and digital resources for communication and education." Based in Dallas, Texas, UMR Communications uses the full capacity of available technology, including web press, digital press and Internet tools. UMR's staff distributes more than 7.5 million product pieces each year.