I get it. Even more so than businesses, nonprofit leaders wear multiple hats.
You’d be hard pressed to find some spare time, especially with all that hat shopping.
But that’s exactly why you, as a nonprofit founder or leader, shouldn’t be the only one writing content for you blog.
Should you write any? Please do if you can scape together the time. There is something to be said for having a lead figure and personality behind your nonprofit. Even at any size. It also allows you to keep a pulse on your communications, the message, and the persona that you want your nonprofit to have online because your content fuels your image.
But if you’re so busy making an impact, how can you find time to write a blog? You can’t without depriving yourself of sleep, right? But if you want your organization to survive and thrive in the next generation of digital interaction it’s not optional to create. You need to get creative.
I quote Seth Godin far too often, but as he says, “content marketing is the only marketing left”.
I was speaking with the founder of a nonprofit a little while back when I asked if he had a blog. He replied with, “we used to have someone doing it, but they stopped, and I didn’t want stale content on the website. So we got rid of it.”
I was disappointed, but who could blame him. It went from a marketing tool, to an anti-marketing tool.
As a founder or leader it’s your job to create a system of content marketing – which includes blogging. At first that might mean you writing, later it might mean a combination, eventually maybe you have multiple contributors so you don’t have to, and maybe you get big enough to afford to pay someone.
But likely you’re going to be sitting in the first couple stages. So how do you effectively use your team and connections to create content that matters for your organization.
Step 1: Decide Your Editors
You need one or two people that know the basics of writing and can do a final proof of posts before publishing. Maybe that’s you, maybe not. But it’s always best to have a second pair of eyes on top of whoever is writing, especially when it’s volunteer help.
*One thing to keep in mind is you don’t need volume, especially if it’s timeless content. If you’re writing news about your organization more frequent content is better. But the content that is truly USEFUL, the tips, and guides, and lists of resources for your donors or volunteers will be valuable to them long-term so whenever you write them will be useful.
Step 2: Find People to Write for Your Blog
There are many options for people to write for your blog. You’d be surprised at not only who is willing, but who has a knack for writing that you might not have suspected. Reaching out to these different groups could be very useful.
- Your Team – Obviously the best place to start is your team. You can ask someone to write an article about the previous event you just did, or even ask them to compile a list of tips for getting your kids involved in sports, or whatever your nonprofit is themed around.
- Your Donors – Reaching out to your donors with an email campaign, or in person if you have that luxury, can be a good resource of talent. It’s also a great way to get them more involved in the organization without having to donate more money or a lot of time. If you have a couple of topics handy, you can send those out to see if anyone is interested in writing an article.
- Your Volunteers – This unique perspective will actually give you an advantage in creating content as well. This is a level of “social proof” that will give your content credibility while also being useful. Try to engage with your top volunteers and let them know that you’re interested in having them write an article about a specific topic or event.
- Your Partners and Network – You can’t forget to reach out to your connections online, business partners, sponsors, or just friends might be more than willing to help your organization get more exposure. This type of content is also exciting for them to share because they helped your organization as well and will be happy to share it.
- Aspiring Writers – Many English majors and journalism students will be thrilled at an opportunity to hone their craft while also helping out a nonprofit. By partnering with universities and colleges you can ask for help to write content for your nonprofit. This is a fantastic way to not only network and spread the word, but potentially build long-term volunteers and passionate advocates.
- You – Like I said before, it helps to keep your pulse on your communications, what you’re doing and how to connect with your ideal audience. Just because it does take a bit of time, don’t rule it out. You will get faster at it and will be able to see the benefits not only in your organization, but in your ability to view the bigger picture while also working on your writing skills and building your personality as an organization leader.
Step 3: Organize Your Writers
It will significant help when soliciting for writers if you can spend a few minutes each week or each month coming up with ideas for content. Or have someone in your organization do this. If you need some inspiration and prompts take a look at this resource.
So take a simple excel sheet or word document and make a list of ideas. Spend an hour every couple weeks and brainstorm potential ideas. Everything from events you have coming up, talking about your donors/volunteers, the impact, or creating resources for your ideal audience.
Now that you have a list of ideas, reach out to your potential writers. Get them to commit to one or two articles, and try to line up articles for the next 2 months. One post a week, or every 2 weeks is totally fine to keep current and top of mind and start building momentum.
*Tip – It might seem intimidating, but giving your writers a deadline is crucial to knowing what to expect, and also to make sure they do it. While good intentions might make them agree, a deadline will ensure it gets done. Don’t be forceful, just simply say, “do you think you can have it done by August 31st?”
So take your stab at it. Decide who will edit, reach out to potential writers, and organize some ideas and schedule.
With this you’ll be well on your way to having your blog as the centre of your digital marketing – fueling your email campaigns, your social media, and your website.