Unless you’ve got someone writing for your nonprofit that’s making fun of obese children (or something equally bad) there’s absolutely no harm in having a nonprofit blog.
You’re almost guaranteed to provide some value to your reader, and to your organization even if you’re not a professional writer.
In fact, there are so many ways that your blog can help your nonprofit grow. Hoping that it will just “increase donations” is not setting the right expectation. Content marketing and blogging are long term strategies and a “way of running your organization”, not a quick tactic to boost revenue.
When you set off to use a blog you should be hoping that it will help you with any one or multiples of the following:
- Tell your donors’ stories about their impact in the world and keep them involved
- Connect and inspire your volunteers to share their involvement
- Make your mission an “us” problem, “not a you donate and we will do this”
- Connect and create visibility online for people searching to help with this problem (volunteers, donors, recipients, and partners)
- Fuel your email marketing so you can stay connected with your current relationships
- Inspire people to subscribe to your messages and stories, even if they’re not ready to donate
- Teach people about topics and ways they can help you, themselves, or others (aside from donating money)
- Inform donors, sponsors, partners and investors of annual reports and successes
- Fuel your social media strategy with longform content to backup your posts and create value to share
And these are only a few. With all of these original question of “Does Blogging Really Work for Nonprofits?” is not as easy to answer. It’s a bit open ended and it depends how you define your success and the purpose of your blog.
But in most cases, a consistent blog written well with varying stories, promotions, events, pictures, and information or instructions will make a big impact for your nonprofit from many different angles.
Unique Nonprofit Blogging Examples
There are countless nonprofits that are running a successful blog, and not just the largest like charity:water or even Ladies Learning Code, but down to the smallest like the Coquitlam Search and Rescue team from BC, Canada here.
Here are some unique ways these nonprofits use their blogs successfully:
charity: water – Sharing Stories and Appreciation
This post is a unique way of appreciating charity:water’s donors while also making it topical. They picked some of their high impact donors that are also dads. Not just dads, super dads! This post is a great example of making your content timely and fit in with an event, but also making sure you’re sharing stories about the real heroes, the donors.
Ladies Learning Code – Teaching and Educating
Some nonprofits, like this one, mix in educational content to provide value to their audience. Ladies Learning Code understand their target audience is the parents of young girls, and this post shows them how to get their kids involved with coding. It’s a functional post, but also promotes what they offer at the same time.
Coquitlam Search and Rescue – Share Stories and Provide a Public Service
Coquitlam SAR helps the public by sharing stories of how they have been deployed. In this case they use the example to teach people about preparation before a hike, and even link to resources that will help potential hikers avoid this situation. In other blog posts they also provide warnings and updates about weather, Google Maps errors that could lead to dangerous situations, and educational material. They also benefit from this because it’s a platform for news organizations to reference when also reporting on the stories.
Nonprofit Blogging is So Much More
Just remember, your blog isn’t just a stage to talk about yourself. It’s a platform to provide value, share stories, educate, appreciate, and inform your target reader. By doing this the success of your blog isn’t tied to one number such as donations. However, if you keep up a consistent blog, it sure will bring in that as well.
Your blog is the equivalent of your neighbour regularly bringing you fresh baked treats (I wish this happened more often). When they eventually need help moving a couch you’re more than willing to spend a minute to help them. Your blog posts can be those cookies for you to provide value and build a relationship.
Are you interested in starting your own blog, or getting it more organized and purposeful? Start the Kickstart Your Nonprofit Blog Course for free and have your blog up and running and start building momentum right from the beginning and build your strategy as you practice.