note: i will be open about this one, i sit on the board for the united methodist reporter communications so i'm a bit biased that you need to use them for this ministry tip. but you might be able to find another variable printer.

do you ever feel like your printing needs miss the mark or you are having to create massive publications that are super wordy to meet you church congregation or ministry? well, that is a thing of the past if you want it to be.

andy clued me into the world of variable print some three years ago & i just love it. i have my plans this year to harness some of its beauty for our youth ministry.

the basic concept is this, you combine a spreadsheet document with some specific 'variables' such as children/young adult/active-inactive and your publication is set up (similar in concept to a mailmerge where they put your name into the 'dear someone' spot) with variable designations. when its all set up your publication is run with individual personalization in full color, address printed on, and then mailed & you never have to look at it.

cool thing about this

1. gone are the days when you needed to do plates that look the same for everyone and cost you extra money to make simple changes
2. you can cut down on the paper usage because you don't need to produce mega documents that you're specific ministry gets lost in the mix of everyone elses
3. color printing (at dirt cheap from what you might think) gets an almost 85% more response rate than a black & white or one color publication
4. youth can feel affirmed when their newsletter/postcard has them and/or their friends doing ministry activities (and they aren't mixed into a huge messy collage)
5. you never have to deal with stamping an envelope, taping a trifold, once it prints they can send it for you

so, if you want to know more about this stuff give andy a shout (ajames(at) he's one of the sales reps at the umr & my buddy.

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