I know, nonprofits get away with a level of self-promotion and “selling” that would make people turn away and laugh if it were a for profit business.
But people accept that nonprofits are truly in it for the good of their mission – and the self-centered content isn’t as scoffed at.
However, only talking about yourself is the biggest mistake nonprofits make when blogging.
Thankfully, it’s easy to fix. For every blog post you write about yourself make 2 others related to your niche but not about you. This 2:1 ratio is still on the low side, I would encourage even 3 non-promotional posts for every 1, but this will get you started.
What do I mean by self-centred nonprofits?
You might still be confused why I think your nonprofit is being too selfish. You’re probably thinking, “I’m doing a great job posting blogs every week, or every month to keep in touch with my donors and volunteers”.
That’s fantastic, but when your posts are like any of these:
- Join us at our event this month
- We raised $10,000 at our Gala
- Moving to a new office
You end up coming across as very self-centered, and YES, even though you are in it for the good of others. It’s always me me, us us, we we. The best you can hope for is to be informative, and slightly entertaining if you have fantastic writers.
“There’s a whole world out there in content marketing that you’re not tapping into if you’re constantly blogging about your own nonprofit.”
How To Become Less Selfish With Your Nonprofit Blog
There are endless ways that a blog can be turned from a “communication” medium with your donors and volunteers into a powerful resource that attracts, educates, enlightens, and entertains not only current donors and volunteers, but soon-to-be’s.
Here are 4 other categories of blog posts that will help take your blog from me me me, to you you you.
I don’t just mean educating people about how your nonprofit works, or the industry you affect. I mean educate them in a way they can learn a skill, a new way of looking at something, or advice to take action themselves to help further the cause. The simply way to start thinking of educational content is start your post title with “How-to…” or “5 Steps to…”
Share something about the current events in your industry. Maybe a celebrity was talking about the same issue you deal with or the government has been changing regulations or policies that affect your issues. This is all information that informs your readers, keeps you topical, and shows you as a leader in your space.
It doesn’t have to be original if you don’t have the resources. You can share some research from other organizations that talks about your cause or issues. This type of content is fantastic for generating links to your website (especially if it’s original research). Original research could be the results of a survey you did of your donors. Or curated research could be multiple data points from different sources that you combined in your post (or graphic) to illustrate a point.
Similar to “illustrating your point” with research, you can also create opinion pieces. With medium/large organizations these can be harder to get approval for unless you’re one of the senior executives. But if you’re running a small nonprofit, positioning yourself with a strong opinion about events or society can be a great way to stand out and gain attention.
Many people are afraid to “offend” or scare people away. But the truth is if you want to connect deeply with some, you need to repel some too. You can’t please everyone. If you try, you will be bland and unmemorable. You can share opinions about your industry, the main issues, other nonprofits, other blog posts or news stories.
If you only talk about yourself, you will be stuck connecting with a small subset of people that are already actively and passionately following you. By creating other types of content you can connect with people who have never heard of you, or who are interested but aren’t actively looking to participate and get deeply involved yet.
This other type of blogging is what content marketing businesses do extremely well, but nonprofits have a long way to catch up. YOU can start the ball rolling though. Nonprofits should be leading the way with content so that our world can be seen in a better light, inspire more people to do good, and teach people new ways of thinking and acting that benefit others.