As a nonprofit minor in college, I learned that in many ways, nonprofits function just like for profit companies. But one of the biggest distinctions is that many nonprofits are too cash strapped to afford the marketing budgets of their counterparts. But blogging is a free (or very cheap) way to level the playing field.
The Internet is messy, companies are now “brands” and your customers are looking for you on the Internet (and trusting what they read). Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s get to the meat of why nonprofits should blog.
Nonprofits should blog because…
1. You have a story worth telling.
Unless you’ve avoided every major ad agency and marketing website for the past 5 years, you’ve heard that marketing is now all about storytelling. Gone are the days when consumers blindly bought whichever product was advertised while Johnny Carson was on commercial break.
That said, storytelling is one of the most powerful arenas where nonprofits maintain an advantage of their for-profit counterparts. Where for profit companies can struggle in explaining their mission in a meaningful and engaging way, nonprofits typically have a much easier go of it.
2. People Don’t Understand What you Do
As I said earlier, advertising budgets are often small to nonexistent for small to midsized nonprofits. I learned first hand that working at a nonprofit often means wearing lots of hats that don’t always fit perfectly on your head (meaning you don’t always know what you’re supposed to do).
So an easy way to spread your brand in your community and engage your followers is to blog for them. Blogs are great places to answer questions for customers, lead discussions on your industry, and make it clear just what your mission is.
3. It Drives Consistent Web Traffic
If you’re not in the top tier of nonprofits in terms of revenue, you probably don’t have a huge budget for web optimization and design. But instead of leaving your website out to dry and only checking in when something big changes, use blogging to provide consistent content for your followers.
By writing posts geared towards you keywords, you can create indexed pages that Google will recognize and your SEO will therefore improve tremendously. More content means more pages for your visitors to view which means they will, hopefully, spend more time reading on your website and becoming away of your mission. And that means that… (you guessed it) you will grow your donor base!
4. You Can Show your Supporters where their Money is Going
Good fundraisers understand that people are more likely to donate when they are made totally aware of where their money is going and how it is going to be spent.
Free Blog Posting Idea: Post a blog about a specific effort/campaign and include the names of the people who helped make that initiative possible.
5. You Should Properly Thank Your Supporters
Every nonprofit must thank their supporters—it is an integral part of the giving process. That said, some donors prefer public thanks and others shy away from such unsolicited publicity. So before you post with any giver’s name, make sure that you have their approval.
Blogging is about community building and for nonprofits that means thanking.
6. Your web presence is lacking
How’s that company twitter profile doing?
Consistent, relevant, blog posts give you content to distribute which adds value to literally every other avenue of your web distribution. All of a sudden, you have more to tweet about, more ways to target offers, and a bigger community to engage with.