Thinking about starting a blog for your nonprofit, but wondering how exactly a blog might make a difference? That may be because the blog is an unfamiliar medium, but once you get started, you’ll see that the possibilities are endless. Here are ten ways you can use a blog to help your organization.
Tell all. Did your organization host an event or a conference? Use your blog to offer readers an inside glimpse. For instance, if you hosted a $100 a plate charity ball, tell your readership about the notable guests, how much money you raised, and offer lots of glitzy photos of guests in evening dress.
Show what you know. If your nonprofit organization is an art gallery, for instance, interview knowledgeable staff about new acquisitions and exhibits. Tell just enough to fascinate and draw people to your gallery. Offer some estimate of what it is you need to further your work.
Shine the spotlight. Let volunteers share photos of their work on the blog. For instance, volunteers from the car donation charity, Kars For Kids, helped distribute 1000 coats to children in Staten Island, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Photos from the event allowed volunteers a moment in the limelight and might serve as impetus to draw more volunteers to help during future such efforts.
Insider info. A blog can serve as a clearinghouse for information and resources to tell potential donors more about a nonprofit’s work. The Humane Society, for instance, may want to offer information on what people might do if they note a case of cruelty to animals in their area.
Provide a soapbox. A nonprofit may invite guest blogger submissions on a variety of topics related to the nonprofit’s field of expertise. UJA as an example recently awarded their 40 under 40 – and could allow high-profile award winners like Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm to blog – and bring traffic and potential new attention to UJA.
Community bulletin board. Offer an interactive space where readers can post about events in the community that bear a relationship to your organization. People will appreciate your thoughtfulness and community activism and will flock to your blog to learn about upcoming events.
Support system. A blog can be a place where people can read about others in difficulty and lend moral support. The March of Dimes’ blog has a feature called, “Share Your Story,” that allows parents of children in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) to talk about their experiences and lend support to others in the same boat. By giving these people a space on the blog, the March of Dimes offers compassion to those the organization wishes to help, draws traffic to its website, and presents a narrative about its work.
Clear up media mistakes. Sometimes the media is less than kind to a nonprofit. In that case, a blog is a great place to correct the record for your public. Set the facts straight. Document the truth. Clear your name. It all falls under the heading of ORM (online reputation management).
Empower the public. If you use your blog to tell your readers how they can make a difference, for instance, by offering tips, you further your goal and make your readers feel good, too. They’ll keep coming back for more. They’ll begin to grok the importance of the work you do, and will want to support you, too.
Attract donations. You never know who you’re going to reach with your blog. There is always the potential to find new donors to help fund your work. Offer good content, and they will come.