Vanessa Chase is a fundraising and communications strategist with a love of great stories. She started TheStorytellingNonprofit.com to help nonprofits connect in more meaningful ways with donors through stories and stewardship.
Your Nonprofit’s Blog and Online Content Can Take You a Long Way
There are millions of nonprofit organizations in the U.S., many of which have similar causes and missions. But to most donors, these organizations are indistinguishable. As a nonprofit, this is a frustrating fact to deal with.
We want to grow our reach and raise more money, but it’s just not happening. Why? Because too few organizations are capitalizing on the interesting, value-added content they could be adding to their communications.
Incorporating content, like blogging, into your fundraising and communications strategy is what can help your organization stand out from the crowd. It will enhance your organization’s brand and personality, make every interaction a memorable one for your audience and consistently communicate your message with impact.
Marketing Really Does Matter
Time and time again, I hear from organizations that they want more people to give to their cause or that they want to create more awareness about an issue. Yet, very few of them proactively do anything to get attention. Instead, they stay the usual course. The essential problem with this is that it’s very hard for anyone to find out about your organization if you’re not making yourself more visible.
The beauty of marketing your organization online is that making a gift could be just one click away. But in order to trigger that gift, you must engage the audience. There are numerous ways to be marketing your cause online, but leveraging content marketing is by far the most valuable. Blogging is a great way to showcase your organization’s expertise and provide value to the people who read the posts. Furthermore, as you grow your reach and your audience there will be a larger potential donor pool to tap for your next campaign.
Why (Most) Nonprofits Should Consider Blogging
I add in the caveat of “most” because keeping a blog isn’t perfect for every organization, although it is worth considering. Nonprofits have tons of interesting content at their fingertips that would be enjoyed by donors and potential donor alike. This includes stories, updates from events, behind the scenes look at programs, opinions on local news relevant to the cause and more. Sharing the knowledge with potential supporters through blog posts is a way to develop their knowledge about, affinity towards, and trust in your organization.
Here are a few questions to ponder with your team to decide if you should pursue blogging:
- Is there a subject matter that your nonprofit could be consider an “expert” in?
- Would your organization be willing to share that information with others?
- Are you amicable to the idea of “lifting the veil” to give people an inside look at your organization?
- Is there a person or team who could coordinate the blog?
Make no mistake – blogging can be a lot of work! But with good teamwork, coordination and strategy, your organization can create a blog that people love to read!
5 Steps to Creating a Memorable Blog
What does it take to create a memorable blog? Here are 5 steps that will help you develop an intentional blogging strategy that will create a blog your readers will love!
Step 1: Know Your Audience
This is your most important knowledge asset when it comes to any communications endeavor. You must know who your intended audience is if you want to be effective in communicating to them. One of best tools for this is to create an audience profile.
Once you know who you want to target with your blog posts, creating content becomes much easier. Start by brainstorming a list of topics that you think your target audience would enjoy. Then start collecting content and ideas for blog posts with this in mind. If you don’t think your audience would like it, then don’t publish it!
Step 3: Be Consistent
One of the keys to successful blogging is to be as consistent as possible. You want to form a habit for your readers – like expecting your posts on certain days. Then they will remember to hop on over to your blog or will be more likely to open emails they receive that announce new blog posts.
Step 4: Market Your Content
Just because you write it, doesn’t mean that they will come. Once you’ve hit “publish” on your blog post there is more work to be done. Schedule posts for your social media websites to publicize your posts to a bigger audience. Send out an email to your email list once a month to tell them about your new content.
Step 5: Ask your audience for feedback
Be sure to incorporate ways for your audience to provide your organization with feedback about blog posts. This is the best way to improve your blog content because then you will be able to create more of what your audience really wants to hear.
By creating a blog that your donors love and look forward to reading, you will be building a community around your cause and increasing engagement prior to your next campaign.