Delegation: Using a Committee Email Together

The following is excerpted from the Gmail Guidebook that I prepared to help those who need to use a shared email address understand how to do this effectively.  Contact me (the Webmaster/Karin Carlson), with questions.

Email Delegation


In a nutshell, Gmail delegation allows people other than the one person with the committee’s email password to log in to a committee’s email with their own account. This allows everyone to keep track of their own login passwords and recovery information while preserving the integrity of the committee email.

Here’s what delegation does:

  1. Step 1: A member sends an email to
  2. Step 2: Two people can read and respond to email to/from the committee.
    1. One person is logged in to the committee email directly.
    2. The other person is a delegate, so they logged in with their personal uuwinnipeg address and then switched to the committee address.
  3. One person, either the delegate or the person logged in directly, responds to the email. The response comes from, no matter who wrote the response.

The process of responding to a person's email from the committee rather than yourself


What is a delegate?

A delegate is a person who can enter the account of a committee or team, read the emails that are there, respond (reply) to them, delete emails, apply email tags, etc. What’s different about a delegate is that they log in to Google as themselves, not as the account holder.

Some background for context:

  • All our committees have an email address which affords them email (obviously) and the ability to use Google Workspace services, like shared drives, so we can work on documents together.
  • It’s important to allow people to log in directly to these accounts if they need to send email from that account. Primarily this is to keep email threads (conversations) whole and kept in the email account of the committee, but also so the person sending the email to the committee gets a reply from the committee, not a member of the committee.

And, there’s the rub…

There’s an issue with this system, though. If more than one person needs to log in using that “shared” email, we’ve run into an issue that we can’t control that can make it difficult or impossible for a person to log in. Google will periodically ask the user to “prove that they are them” by sending a text with a code or an email to a recovery email. For example, let’s say two people share the email, Alex and Kris. If Alex’s phone and email are the recovery phone/email, and Kris is trying to log in from their phone, Kris will be locked out unless they can contact Alex and coordinate with them.

The solution is delegation

Making a person a delegate to an email account lets them access the committee email, plus rights to send email from that account.

This wouldn’t necessarily be everyone on the committee — it would only apply to those who needed to a) read all the email that comes into the account, and b) optionally reply to the email, or send new email, from the account. Here’s how it works:

  • Every person who needs to be a delegate is given a new, personal uuwinnipeg email address (e.g.,
  • The person who is managing the committee email logs in to the email account and then, in Settings, makes that person a delegate for the account.
  • The person gets an email asking if they want to accept this. They must respond to this email.
    • Note that the email might arrive in the Updates folder, if the person’s private email address is also Gmail:
  • The new delegate will then log into Google using their own, private uuwinnipeg email. Once logged in, they’ll be able to switch between their own uuwinnipeg account and the committee’s uuwinnipeg account.
    • In this screenshot, I’m logged in with my personal uuwinnipeg account, and I can switch to the delegated account for test-email (the email address I set up to test all this).
  • After switching to the delegated account, the person’s email inbox updates to the delegated account, and they can use the committee account as if they’d logged in directly to the account. For instance, all the email is the committee’s, not theirs, and any email they respond to will come from the committee, not from them.

Benefits of delegation

Benefits of delegation include:

  • More than one person can use the committee’s email at once. There are limits to how many people can be logged in with one email. With email delegation, everyone logs in with their own email address except one person, who uses the committee’s.
  • Two-factor authentication works. Because the delegate used their own personal uuwinnipeg email to log in to Google in the first place, if they get a request to prove that they are them, they are the only person with that account, so the recovery information will be theirs.

For Committee Managers/Chairs: How to Assign a delegate

  1. On your computer (you can’t add delegates from the Gmail app), go to and, if necessary, log in to the email account that you manage (e.g.,
  2. Open Gmail.
  3. In the top right, click Settings > See all settings.
  4. Click the Accounts and Import or Accounts tab.
    The Settings page in Gmail
  5. In the “Grant access to your account” section, click Add another account.
  6. Enter the email address of the person you want to add.
  7. Click Next Step  Send email to grant access. The person you added will get an email asking them to confirm. The invitation expires after a week.

For Committee Members/Email Delegates: How to accept a personal account and become a delegate

Overview: First, you’ll use the email you receive to log in to your new UU email address, then you’ll respond to the delegate “invitation” email. After that, you’ll log into Google with your personal email only, and switch to whatever other committees to which you’ve been assigned a delegate.

Note: You’ll get invitations for any committee you’re a delegate for, and you’ll need to respond to each one of those. You’ll only have to set up your email once.

  1. Step 1: Log in to your personal UU email account and reset your password.
    1. The email from the website will contain a temporary password that you can use to log in for the first time to your new personal church email. If you can’t find or don’t have this email, just use the Forgot Password link.
    2. In a browser window, go to and log in with your new email and this password.
    3. If you have a Gmail account and your browser is logging you into it automatically, follow the instructions in this article to add an account.
  2. Step 2: Accept the invitation to be a delegate.
    1. Switch back to your personal email account. Find the email you’ve received from the website. If you have Gmail, it might end up in your “Updates” tab. The subject line will be something like “<committee email name> has granted you access to their First Unitarian…”
      Here’s what the inside of the email looks like:
      delegation email
    2. Click the long link after the text “To accept this request, please click the link below:”
    3. Next you’ll see a Confirmation message asking if you want to view and send messages on behalf of the Board. Click the Confirm button.
  3. Step 3: Switch from your personal UU email to the email account for which you’re a delegate
    1. After about 5 minutes, you’ll be able to access the committee email account from your personal UU account. If you’re not already logged in, go to Google and log in with your personal UU email account. Click on the button that displays your profile picture and then choose “<committee> Delegated“:


Proposed Policy on Email Use at First UU Winnipeg

(Note that these are my opinions and this has not been approved by the board. – Karin Carlson, Webmaster)

Anyone who needs to work directly with a job role or committee/team email account, where “work directly” means needing to read, send, and manage email from that email account, needs to be either the manager of the email account, or needs to be assigned as a delegate to that email account.

  • A manager knows and can change the password for the email account, and is responsible for adding and removing people as delegates to that account, which is done through the account settings.
    • Each job role and committee/group UU email will have one person who is the manager of that email account. For job roles that have their own email that isn’t shared with anyone else, such as the BOD President, this will be the person with that position. For committees, it might be the committee chair, or someone else in the committee.
    • Note: You don’t need to be a manager to manage the email. The rights that a manager has that delegates don’t are changing the password for the account and adding and removing delegates.
  • A delegate is given a personal UU email which they use to log in to Google. After they’re logged in, they can switch to any other UU email to which they have been assigned as a delegate. As a delegate, they:
    • Can read and manage email and send email from the account.
    • Can manage/organize the email in the account, for example, assigning Labels and archiving emails that have been addressed.
    • Cannot change the email password for the account.

Regardless of what kind of UU email you have, manager or delegate, each person will have:

  • One password which they can change themselves.
  • One alternate email and phone number (typically a cell number) used for account verification and recovery. This is their own to set or change, and isn’t shared with anyone.
    • If they forget their password or have issues logging in, they can request a password reset from the Google login page and an email with a link to set a new password will be sent to their recovery email address.
    • Google might also periodically ask for “proof” by way of verification, which is typically a text to a cell phone number, or an email.