A blog is more than just a way to post stats and press releases about your company. In fact, used properly, blogging for nonprofit can be an indispensable tool to further strengthen the brand of your business and inject a bit of humanity as well.
If you want to try blogging for charity, then there are a couple of practices that you need to adopt in order to make it the best blog it can be.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that a lot of the non-profit blog ideas are similar for blogs in general. That’s because, ultimately, whether you’re trying to be one of the nonprofit blogs or not, it’s all about creating content that resonates with your readers.
So, let’s get started!
1. Communicating With Your Users
The biggest blogging mistake that most people for non-profits is to not engage with their audience/users. A blog is not just place for you put up articles about your charity drive and company accomplishments, it can also be a place to communicate directly with your audience.
When you put up a blog post or an article, ask your audience what they think about it. Doing so will not only start a dialogue between you and your users, but it also humanizes your organization. If you’re blogging for charity, giving your staff a voice helps remind users that the people running your organization or business are real people and not just some corporate machine.
Real life examples
Utilizing online marketing, PR, and social media, M+R is one of the top nonprofit blogs that not only communicates with its users but also asks for their help directly.
Every year, they perform the “Benchmarks Study” which is a huge study on nonprofits that had successfully managed to raise awareness and funds to support their programs. To get as much data as possible, M+R is reaching out to its readers to contribute to their 2019 study by volunteering to be part of their survey.
And, for those that participated in the study, M+R will give an individualized analysis of their organization and compare it to other organizations of similar size and type. This a great example of engaging with your audience and encouraging to participate for a good cause.
2. Hire Writers Or Get Guest Bloggers
Keeping with up a consistent blogging schedule can overwhelming, especially if you’re just running it by yourself. If you’re having trouble figuring out nonprofit blog ideas, then hiring a freelancer or an intern to write for you might be the solution.
With a team of writers, you can easily spread out your blogging duties to reduce the workload. Plus, it makes scheduling your blog posts a lot easier by assigning each person an article a month or setting a quota for your team.
If you’re not ready to expand your writing team yet, you can also opt for guest bloggers to contribute to your blog. Whether it be your constituents, board members, volunteers or experts in the industry, using a guest blogger offers a ton of advantages.
In addition to having more blog content (that you don’t need to write yourself), guest bloggers can bring fresh perspectives that you might not consider. If they are a supporter, they might share personal stories that relate to your cause or how your organization have helped them. Plus, they are more likely to share their work on their network, further increasing your credibility and reach.
3. Show Your Authors
The sole purpose of starting a nonprofit blog is to show a human side to your organization and to steer clear of the typical awareness or donation-seeking approach. Not only does showing authorship to your content humanizes your organization, but it also lets your readers put a face to your blog, which makes them more relatable.
The easiest way to to do this is to add author biographies to your blog posts. You can even do take it a step further posting articles that highlight staffs, writers, and even volunteers to your organization.
Real life examples
Nonprofit Pro is a great resource for nonprofit professionals but they way they highlight their contributors is a great example of to showcase your authors. As soon as you load up their blog page, you’ll see the author’s picture along with the article. Scroll down further you’ll see the entire staff bloggers picture, which you can click on to see more information.
Even if you’re blogging for charity, if your readers can’t see the people who make up your nonprofit, it’ll be hard for them to connect to a faceless organization.
4. Share Compelling Stories
If you want your blog posts to connect to your readers, they need to be able to invoke powerful emotion. The best way to do this is to share personal and compelling stories about your nonprofit.
Telling these stories via video or visual content is also a great way to inspire and inform your audiences as well.
Real life examples
EB Research Partnership launched a video campaign called “Cause The Wave”, which gives viewers an up close and personal look of three individuals living with EB. Through the video, EBRP managed to create a powerful connection with its viewers by showing the personalities of the victims of EB.
Plus, they also had Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, who is also an EBRP board member, share his own story of how and why he adopted the cause as his own, to give the organization more weight.
Of course, if you’re not capable of making videos, visual content such as illustrations or even infographics can be a great way to communicate your nonprofit aims in a compelling manner. Just remember that the basis of all your nonprofit blog ideas should revolve around content that is compelling.
5. Put A Spotlight On Your Volunteers
Just as it’s important to highlight the cause of your nonprofit and its staff, it’s equally important to highlight your volunteers as well.
If there are people volunteering to your cause, whether it be through fundraising, being a committee member, or even guest blogging, it’s important to highlight them from time-to-time and showcase how they’ve been helping your organization.
The benefits of putting a spotlight on your volunteers is that: A. It validates your volunteers for the time and effort they’ve put in; B. You’ll inspire others to get involved; C. people are more likely to share their volunteer efforts to their friends and family, which helps spread awareness and lead people back to your blog.
Real life examples
PAWS is a great example of how to showcase and highlight your volunteers. Not only do they list who their volunteers of the year are, but they also hold a Volunteer Appreciation Party to celebrate their volunteers.
You don’t have to go as far as an event to celebrate your volunteers. A simple blog post or even a video (just like this one by the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando) that thanks and acknowledges your volunteers is more than enough.
6. Reusing and Repurposing Content
When you’re blogging for charity, there’s a high chance you’ll come across a number of frequently asked questions by your visitors. Most of the time, these questions probably have stock answers already, but your audience just doesn’t know where to find them.
This is where repurposing and reusing old content as new blog posts can help solve these issues. While an FAQ page is useful for these occasions, creating a blog post allows you to answer specific questions or topics and go into greater details.
Questions such as “How do I grow my nonprofit blog?” or, “What writing strategies should I know as a fundraiser?” are nonprofit blog ideas that you can explore. You can even write articles that go in-depth about your industry by explaining terminologies, listing out resources, or even highlighting experts or bloggers.
These evergreen topics are relatively easy to write and they can exist forever on your blog. Plus, if you have it optimized for search engines, it’ll make it easier for users to find the information when they are looking for it.
7. Don’t Forget To Choose A Good Web Host
While your nonprofit blog might have compelling content and offer tons of information to your audience, all of it is pointless if you can’t keep your blog (and website) online consistently.
One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of nonprofit blogs often do is to not make web hosting a priority when they first started out. This leads to a lot of headaches down the line when the hosting provider is not capable of handling an increase in traffic and/or goes down often due to terrible server performance.
It’s always a good idea to research which is the best hosting companies for you before you launch your nonprofit blog.
Some of the key ingredients for a good nonprofit web host include consistent uptime rates (99.95% and above), packed with features (SSD storage, 1-click installation, etc), friendly user-interface, reputable company, and affordable pricing.
As a nonprofit, you’re probably dependent on donations to help run your website but that doesn’t mean you should choose the cheapest host around. Invest in a quality hosting provider so that you don’t have to worry about your nonprofit blog going offline.
Running a blog for charity is a noble cause, but it'll be better if you can make the blog a success as well. Read and follow the best blogging practices we've listed above you'll be sure to take your nonprofit blog from grassroots to a movement.