Strategies for Creating a Compelling Blog
Blogging can be a cost effective, credible way to show your organization’s voice to — and interact with — your constituents, and to start a two-way conversation that elicits their comments and thoughts.
Laura Quinn, founder and director of Idealware, provider of reviews and information on nonprofit software, says while she’s somewhat skeptical of the Web 2.0 craze — social networking sites, wikis and other online communication tools that stress online collaboration and sharing among users — she thinks blogs in particular are typically very useful for nonprofits. For one thing, they’re a fairly inexpensive way for organizations to proliferate updated content. Quinn says this can be especially useful for small nonprofits that often have rather static Web sites.
“Having a blog gives them the capacity to post, for instance, information about what they’re doing programmatically day to day, experiences, stuff like that,” she says.
Quinn sees blogs as particularly powerful tools for advocacy organizations.
“Advocacy organizations obviously have things to say, opinions they’d like to share, and it can be a really nice soap box to do that and then also engage the blogging community,” she says, adding that a blog created by a well-known executive director of an organization or a celebrity spokesperson, or even just staff members and volunteers in the field, can be compelling to constituents.
“I feel like a lot of nonprofits, especially bigger ones, begin to feel very large and bureaucratic from a donor or volunteer perspective,” she say. “So actually just showing that there are real people on the ground doing real work can be useful just from a branding perspective.”
Nonprofits can also engage their client populations to contribute to the blog. If your organization supports artists, Quinn says, it can be compelling to ask some of the artists you support to blog and discuss their work. If you are running a writing seminar for homeless women, what could be more compelling to constituents and potential donors to your organization than seeing the writings of homeless women on the blog?