The Power of your Message and the Growth of your Non-Profit
Managing a nonprofit is already more than a full-time job.
For your supporters, your organization’s blog is a window into your world. It showcases what matters to you, how you’re achieving your mission, and provides insight into the type of organization you are or want to be. Perhaps most importantly, it’s a critical marketing tool to spread knowledge of your work and the issues you prioritize to millions of potential supporters.
So what do you do to have your Non-profit’s message or blog at the forefront of all?
1. It all starts with fundraising
Behind every successful and influential organization is a team of people finding the money to fund great work. While your blog shouldn’t only be a vehicle to support the development team, every post is a good opportunity to turn a casual observer or activist into a donor. Make sure your blog contributors – whether within or outside your organization – are fully aware of this. After all, money is the fuel of it all.
2. Share with your constituents your “laser like” objective right from the get go.
The first step is to determine what you want your blog to do. Is it a place to showcase your research, field projects, and other activities? Are you hoping to use it as a platform to raise the profile of your issues and experts more broadly in the media world? Both? Answering these questions can help you figure out exactly what your blog looks like.
In my personal experience, one of the most effective ways to promote your message is to share with your constituents your track record and where you plan to go with increased funding. Try it, it never fails.
3. Choose your most impactful media venue.
Every non-profit is different. Think about how you can best tell your story based on the nature of your non-profit. It may be that a short video clip, a photo slideshow, or whichever spin that conveys the information better than a traditional article. The most successful blogs—both for-profit and non-profit—have a personality and aren’t afraid to try something new.
Write something you’d like to read. Not every post will work, but they all provide a chance to learn about what works for your audience, your brand, and your mission.
4. Get all your team involved.
While your “publications team” may manage your organization’s blog day to day, relying on just a few people to provide content can be limiting. Having multiple voices sharing their real expertise adds excitement to your blog. There may be some push back at first, but developing a smooth editorial process and providing guidance about writing subjects that flow with your organization’s mission can actually make blogging fun for everyone.
5. Recruit evangelists for your blog (and their followers too)
In order to ensure your long-term continuity on the Web, and in order to be able to live through these changes, you need a team of “hardcore evangelists” who can help you market your content whenever a new traffic source appears in a systematic and flawless way. Successful blogging is no hobby; it is WAR.
It’s easy to see how publications benefit from high-profile writers that bring an audience with their name. But even featuring local folks (perhaps the beneficiaries of your work) and relaying their experience in their own voice can add depth and further engage your supporters. You can also use these relationships to cultivate dialogues among practitioners and develop on- and offline relationships.
The worst-case scenario for a nonprofit is to devote time and energy to a blog post that no one reads. The internet is a big and complex place, so you can’t just rely on Google Search to direct folks to your page. Integrating your blog into your other points of outreach can drive readership. Your blog is a trove of great content for your official social media accounts. Don’t be afraid to ask your team members to tap into their own networks too.
Beyond social media, you have a lot of other ways to push your content out. Make sure to feature your blog on your own website and link heavily within it. That means not only links to the blog as a whole from around your site, but also connecting posts together to give readers a chance to delve deeper within an issue and learn more. New posts are also ripe for inclusion in your newsletters to engage your existing supporters. And don’t forget to practice good SEO, so that when people are searching key terms, your post has a better chance of showing up in the results.
I wish you the very best in taking your website and your message to the utmost stratosphere.
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