You are here

MAA Section Email Policy

The Association is able to send out email “blasts” to all of the members of a MAA Section, or to particular subgroups (i.e., those with particular ZIP codes or in a particular state). These messages are visually appealing and professional-looking, with the MAA logo as a header and whomever you designate listed as the sender.

To make this process efficient and effective, the Association follows the following policies and procedures:

Email Submission Policy

  • MAA Sections may not create or maintain their own private email lists for the general MAA Section membership, using any information available under the Member Lookup feature on the web site. Any message of general interest to the MAA Section – meeting announcements, requests for nominations for awards, distribution of the newsletter – must be sent through the MAA office, so that all current members are included.
  • In some cases MAA Sections may create and use their own subgroup-lists for specific purposes, if the recipients hold appropriate positions in the Section and have opted in by giving their consent. (This statement can be as simple as an email message stating, “I agree to receive email messages from [name of group]. I may withdraw my permission at any time by contacting [Section officer].” The Section officer in charge of the group should keep these permissions as long as the group exists.) Some examples:
    • MAA Section officers
    • Members of a committee
    • Department liaisons or representatives (one per department)
  • There are legitimate reasons why a Section might want to contact a particular group of people in their Section – members or non-members. For instance, a Section wishes to email all math department chairs to solicit nominations for a teaching award. Or they want to encourage graduate program directors to tell their grad students about the opportunity at a Section meeting to give talks or posters. The MAA office does not maintain email lists of non-members and cannot send out an email from your Section to them. (They can tell you who is a departmental member in your Section, and can provide you with physical mailing addresses for math departments.) To identify appropriate people to populate an email list, we recommend using the AMS Directory of Institutions. That list, organized by state, includes names and email addresses of department chairs, and you may use it to create your own list. We caution, however, about sending out emails indiscriminately and risking being identified as spam. The most effective contacts will be with someone you know at an institution.
  • Sections are encouraged to communicate with their members; we can guarantee processing and sending up to two emails per month to the general membership of the Section. Please try to collaborate with others to combine messages, and make sure that only one person is submitting a particular message.
  • If special circumstances require a Section to send out more than two messages in one month, especially to an appropriate subset of their membership (all of the members who live in one state, for instance), we will try to accommodate that request if time allows.
  • The MAA reserves the right to amend this policy at its discretion. In case of amendments, users will be informed appropriately.

Email Submission Procedure

  • A designated Section officer (the chair, secretary, or communication officer) must submit each message to, with the following information:
    • Your name and email address
    • Your position/office in the Section
    • Who should be listed as the sender of the message/ the person to contact if members have questions. Be sure to include their name, position, and email address.
    • Subject line for the message
    • The text of the message, exactly as you would like to see it
  • A staff member in the MAA Office will format the message, add a banner and logo, enter it into the MAA email system, and send a draft to the sender for approval.
Timeline for Reliable Workflow

The MAA office has developed a procedure to insure all MAA Section emails are reviewed and approved in a timely manner. This procedure will give readers engaging and timely information from their Sections. We ask that MAA Section officers take note of these guidelines involving an MAA Section email request.

  • Tuesdays will be "Section Email Day," meaning this is the weekday on which all section emails will be sent. Having this on the calendar will allow the MAA communications staff to effectively distribute all communications to members as evenly as possible throughout each month.
  • To meet the Tuesday send date, an email request from the designated MAA Section officer (the section secretary, by default) for the upcoming week should be sent to by 2 p.m. ET on Monday 2 weeks prior to the requested date.
  • The designated MAA Section officer will receive the draft message for approval by close of business Friday the week before it is scheduled to go out.
  • The MAA Section officer will then send approval of the draft to by the following Monday at noon ET.
  • Any email correspondence that misses the deadlines detailed above will be considered part of the next week's email cycle.
  • Section officers should continue to be proactive in the gathering information from all stakeholders so that as much information as possible is included in each section email. (In particular, it should be due only to rare, occasional oversight that we might have instances of sending email to a particular section membership two weeks in a row.)
  • Please note that we cannot always guarantee this timeframe. (It may not be possible when all of the staff is at MAA MathFest, for instance.) Please let us know if your message is an emergency -- a Section meeting has been canceled, or all meeting attendees need a particular piece of information – and we will let you know if we can send the message out right away.

Guidelines for content

Emails to your MAA Section members reflect upon the MAA, which places a high value on having every message meet a standard of consistency, clarity, and conciseness.

The goal of MAA Section emails is to deliver important, engaging, and timely information to members. In addition to the general guidelines below, you can see good examples of past emails here.

  • Edit content for clarity and conciseness. Shorter emails are easier to digest and more likely to be read. Limit your paragraphs to 3-4 sentences to help readers process information.
  • Only include pertinent information that will increase attendance for your event or help fulfill the call to action for your message. Provide links to websites with more information and hyperlink within the text of the email.
  • Keep the tone active and professional and the language engaging. Include a call to action if you would like readers to do something such as register for a Section meeting or nominate someone for an award.
  • Formatting tips
    • Abbreviate and bold dates to make them stand out. i.e. Aug. 1-4, 2018
    • Include a salutation. You can request that the MAA customizes emails with first names. i.e. Dear James, or Dear MAA colleague,
    • Include links to websites and documents to give readers access to more information and link within the text of the message.

Questions? Comments? Contact or Lisa Marano, Council on Sections at

Revised January 2024

These policies and procedures will be reviewed on a regular basis – at least every five years –  by the MAA Council on Sections and the MAA Communities Office.