6 Ways Your Non-Profit Can Use a Blog to Kick Ass [with Examples]
Almost all web traffic—93% of it—comes organically from search.
What that means is this: if you want people to visit your site, you need to have content on your website that can be found by Google.
Businesses know this. That's why the majority of companies that do any business online will have a blog. They're extremely effective marketing tactics and, in the long run, very cost-effective.
What about non-profits? Should a charitable organization invest in a blog?
In short, yes.
Here are 7 ways that blogs can help non-profit organizations achieve all of their—from advocacy to fundraising to engaging members.
1. Blogs help you effectively tell impact stories
Non-profits survive, by definition, on the support of others. Sometimes through individual donations, sometimes through government grants... but in each case, someone has to see your non-profit as worth it.
To earn that support, your non-profit has to show that you make a difference.
That means sharing stories of impact. Non-profits must be able to continually demonstrate that they are providing a benefit for society—and that the benefit they bring matters.
Blogs are an effective place to house those impact stories.
Example: 1% for the plant
1% for the Planet is an organization that coordinates the distribution of 1% of the revenue of member companies to environmental organizations. On their blog, they've got a ream of impact stories, like this one of the Maine Beer Company donating over $160,000 to environmental organizations in 2019.
This is effective because it demonstrates the value of this organization: their program has helped raise significant amounts of money that they have directed towards sustainability projects. These stories make it easy to see the value of this organization.
2. Blogs can help drive donations
Blogs aren't just an effective way to demonstrate the work that a non-profit does; they can also be an effective fundraising tool. For many NGOs, blogs are one prong of a complex fundraising strategy.
Example: BC Children's Hospital
The BC Children's Hospital is a public hospital in British Columbia that specializes in children's medicine. Their blog features a number of stories of children they have helped overcome serious illness.
Prominent on these stories is a "Give now" button that allows the reader to easily make a donation to the hospital. This is a very effective way to solicit donations as part of a wider strategy to solicit donations and monetize web traffic.
3. They give you a platform for thanking donors
One of the best ways to keep donors engaged with your organization is to recognize them. Sending recognition emails and mailing thank you letters are effective ways to do this and are critical.
But you can up your recognition game by thanking your donors—either individually or as a group—on your blog.
Example: Ocean Wise
After months of being closed during the pandemic, the Vancouver Aquarium was set to close. Ocean Wise, along with several other non-profits, came together to coordinate a fundraising campaign to keep the aquarium open.
In this very effective blog post, Ocean Wise acknowledges the contributions of the many community members who made this fundraiser a success.
4. They show potential partners you're active
One reason to maintain a blog is to demonstrate that you're still active. Before donating or getting in touch to volunteer, potential supporters want to know you're still around.
A well-maintained blog can do that for you.
You don't need to post every day—or even every week. Just as long as you make sure that you're consistent. If you post once a month or even once every two months, that can still be an effective way to show your audience that you're alive and kicking.
Example: Canadian Red Cross
The Canadian Red Cross posts 2 to 3 times a week on its blog. They share stories about what is happening in the community and the important work that they're doing. These help website visitors know that the organization is still active.
5. They are an effective way to share news
Want to tell people about important events coming up or changes to your organization? Your blog is the perfect place to do that.
Example: FirstCall: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition
First Call is a coalition of non-profits that work together to advocate for the conditions that allow children to thrive. A big part of their work is public education, community mobilization, and advocacy for public policy.
They effectively use their blog as one way to share news that's important to the organization. They share events that they're hosting or participating in, release reports on relevant topics, and even use it as a platform to communicate their position on various subjects like Anti-Black Racism.
6. They can be a way to engage partners
Blogs are a great way to collaborate with your partners. They can strengthen relationships and show your audience who you keep company with.
Example: Family Resource Programs BC
FRP-BC is a member organization that connects family support programs in British Columbia. They work with the people that work with families that have young children.
To build their authority, they feature blog posts by a local registered psychologist, Dr. Vanessa Lapointe. This not only provides useful information and ideas for families and family support workers, but it also positions FRP-BC as well-connected to the early childhood community and as a strong source for mental health information.
Blogs are an essential marketing tool for non-profits
These days, blogs aren't just a place for your ED to share their thoughts. They can be a powerful tool as part of a sophisticated marketing effort. They can rally and inform your audience, provide a medium on which to articulate your stance on policy positions, and even drive fundraising.
Yes, blogs are one more thing to update and keep current. Are they worth it?
They can be if they're done well. They can become an essential piece of the communications strategy for non-profits and charities—big or small.
And they don't have to be much extra work. In many cases, you can re-use the information that you're already writing for your newsletter, in your emails to donors, or even in your annual reports. Your blog just gives you a more permanent home for those communications.
If you're looking for an easy way to engage your audience, your partners, and tell the world about the impact you're having, consider starting a blog.
Want to get a blog set-up for your non-profit? We can help. Get in touch and make it happen.