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What to Include in Your Nonprofit Blog: 10 Ideas to Get You Started

Corinne

No matter where you are in your philanthropic adventure, you might be seeking some fresh ways for people to tune in to what you are doing. Nonprofit blogs offer people seeking best practices first hand experiences of people who have "been there, done that" and write from a wealth of experience. It is a great way to increase awareness about your ventures and educate people on exactly how to be a part of them. 

When you are starting a nonprofit blog, you want to attract attention. There are tons of blogs out there and creating memorable content will help you stand out from the crowd. Build the page around who you are and what you do since this will be a key place people come to check out your current projects. Starting a blog may seem overwhelming, but do not worry! You have everything you need right here to succeed. 

Let’s get into it! 

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Why a Blog Is a Strategic Move For Your Organization

Blogs are an awesome method to display thought leadership in your field since you have an opportunity to share the knowledge you have acquired so far. When you speak from your own experiences and professional knowledge surrounding your mission, you bring a unique perspective to further your cause. For example, a nonprofit working to end gang violence in their community will know far more about the root motivations and can provide the local government with insightful suggestions and resources to support ways to curb it. When you provide enough value to your audience, you give them a reason to come back. Your audience will remain loyal and inevitably grow organically. 

Pro Tip: Blogging can help your organization improve its SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts. SEO connects keywords on websites to the searches people type into search engines. If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, utilizing keywords through blog content that is relevant to your organization, and to your audience(s), is an ingenious way to get yourself near the top of the search results for keywords related to your nonprofit and bring in those readers you are searching for. View our nonprofit blog examples to see some of this work in action.

The kind of content you provide is essential to the success of your blog. If you are not quite sure what to include, we have divided our ideas into two categories! 

Theme Ideas

A theme is the overall energy your blog is going to bring. When someone first lands on your website, what they see and feel first will reflect the theme you create the site with. You can go for a casual theme, with stream of consciousness posts, or you can go for a professional theme, with lots of statistics and research to back it. It is up to you, however, you should be sure to come at it with an authentic and honest approach. 

Post Ideas

We are going to talk about exactly the kind of content you can feature in your blog based on your chosen theme, and how to pack all the value you can into these posts. You can jog your imagination with some examples, and then run free to find out what you come up with! 

what-to-include-in-your-nonprofit-blog-10-ideas-to-get-you-started-whyNancy is feeling strong about her blog ideas!

You will surely try to put your best foot forward and master your representation the first time around. If reality does not meet with those expectations, do not let it faze you! With everything communication and marketing related, curating the right blog tone and topics will likely take a bit of time to hit the mark. 

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5 Nonprofit Blog Theme Ideas

Your theme is going to guide the majority of the content you will be posting, so take the appropriate time needed to brainstorm. It is essential to make sure that the theme you choose is completely aligned with your organization’s mission, as well as the goals of your blog. Remember our sample nonprofit working to end gang violence in their community? Well, the organization's founder may have a secondary passion around the concept that the United States prison system has turned into big business. While the topic is tangentially related to the nonprofit’s core mission, blogs' topics around prison reform may not bring the right audience to the nonprofit’s site. The better aligned your content is with the interests of your audience and your specific mission the more appropriate traffic you will receive. 

The Staff Journey

You may choose to use your blog to document the highs and lows of the work you and your staff do. Here, you can focus primarily on storytelling, with each post following the previous one in the series. This creates a candid and down-to-earth feeling, which is likely to resonate with people looking to better understand your journey.

Your audience will be captivated by your adventures, and you have a unique opportunity to create a connection. Through this process, people will make a habit of tuning in to see what happens next, so you may secure regular viewers as they get to know you, your staff, and your stories. 

Success Stories

Your blog can be the perfect platform for you to showcase your beneficiaries. It can be a beautiful stroll down memory lane to create these posts, and they are also going to be big on storytelling. Tell the full story, from beginning to end. Add photos and create a picture in the reader’s mind that shows them the true impact that your organization has had on the situation.

Do not be afraid to use emotive language. It can be helpful to keep your readers engaged, and really feeling along with you as they process the steps of the journey. You are educating the future leaders in the nonprofit game, so take pride!

Pro Tip: There is a fine line to walk in terms of storytelling, particularly when related to beneficiaries. Engaging your audience and telling stories of the people your organization helped to empower can be an amazingly powerful message that makes people want to roll up their sleeves and get involved. However, you need to ensure your message does not paint your organization as having a "savior" mindset. If you come across as believing you have saved someone from a life of misery, you may find that your message has the complete opposite effect and has people walking quickly in the other direction. Consider attending a nonprofit storytelling conference to refine your skills.

Share Updates

There are a lot of things that will change in your organization, especially if you continue to upload posts to your blog over a long span of time. Sharing updates and announcements around the communities you serve is the most useful when you already have an engaged user base, but it can be helpful when you are just starting out as well. 

You might benefit from splitting these into two, since "updates" can be a pretty broad spectrum. Try these on for size:

  • Organizational updates: these can be posts about new additions to your team, new partnerships, new locations opening dates, or anything else that serves as big news

  • Community updates, like opening hours, event dates or changes, hiring events, or new local outreaches. The only thing to be mindful of here is that it is not as inclusive of a strategy, since it does not address anyone who is outside of your community. 

Showcase Donor Impact 

Your blog can be a great place to showcase the impact your community’s donations have had on the world around you. People who visit your blog may be considering donating, or even sharing your organization with their employers to request additional donations. One of the best things you can do to secure their support is show them how you have already been of service, so those donors know their funding is going to a good cause. 

Pro Tip: Although not all nonprofit blogs focus solely on fundraising, some do. If that is your main motivation, consider researching other fundraising blog examples for inspiration.

This should be a serious priority if the blog is predominantly for your preexisting donors as opposed to new eyes. These people may tune in specifically to see this information. When the value of their donation is apparent, they will continue to have confidence around the benefit their support is making in the community. 

Industry News

If you work in a field that is constantly changing or dependent upon current events, it might be a great route to talk about the industry news. You will make strides towards becoming a valued and trusted source of information. Thought leadership can boost your credibility with similar organizations as well as donors, members, and volunteers. That trustworthiness can result in various opportunities to discuss various topics at industry events, TV news programs, relevant podcasts, or other forums relevant to your work. The increased publicity will help drive awareness about your nonprofit and its mission.

what-to-include-in-your-nonprofit-blog-10-ideas-to-get-you-started-theme-ideasTristan is having a good think on his blog theme.

Additionally, staying up-to-date on current events allows you to use what you learn to refine and enhance your own work. As you stay in touch with industry news and what similar organizations are focusing on, you continue to build a knowledge base that will help you refine organizational goals and operations, ultimately leading to a more successful organization. 

Pro Tip: Remember that mixing themes is recommended. Rather than choosing a single theme and sticking with it, design your structure with a few different concepts in mind so you have a versatile and valuable resource for your viewers. You might like to use your blog for primarily documentation of where your donations go, but you can also throw in weekly or monthly industry news and organization updates. 

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5 Nonprofit Blog Post Ideas

Blog posts are the structure that executes the decisions you have made about your themes. Your posts are the actual information and fillers with headlines and keywords that will represent your work, your organization itself, or whatever else you chose to represent within your themes. It can also be a good idea to throw in some unique, eye-catching titles, even if they do not fit your theme to a T, just to keep things interesting and engaging.

Event Summaries 

When you have a successful event, follow it up with an event summary blog post. To better prepare for the resulting blog, do not forget to take pictures during the event! You can include them in the summary post that reviews the event and tells a story of how the day went. Include any highlights that could be fun to read about, because those who missed the event will get to be there in spirit as they read.

Behind the Scenes Content

Certain communication management tools allow you to restrict content to certain members of the community. With Springly, you can produce specialized posts that are specific to certain members of your community. Content-specific to members, or for members with a higher-tiered membership, can be separated from other content where needed. 

Guest Posts

When you invite your guests to write single posts for your blog, you engage your audience in a creative way while simultaneously inviting a little spice into your page. Guests offer a way to create new content, outside of your regular schedule. The goal is not to augment your staff with another content writer, although that may be an added bonus, but you are able to offer your audience a different perspective by bringing on someone with unique expertise and an entirely different network. Your guest’s community will mix with yours and that is beneficial for those looking for visibility. If you find that you accumulate a number of guest blog posts over the years, consider creating a separate blog dedicated to guest posts.

Highlight a Volunteer 

If there is a volunteer or someone in your community that has done something worth mentioning, you could use it as an opportunity to give them a shout-out while also creating some content. Do not just think of someone who acted bravely or did something outstanding. Oftentimes, the most powerful members are those who are there, consistently, using their time to help someone else. These people deserve recognition just as much, if not more than someone who happened to be in the right place at the right time. Inspire your community to pay it forward by recognizing your most valuable volunteers in a special way! 

Written Interviews or Q&As 

For this option, you can interview an influential character (or characters) in your field. This could bring a new layer of depth to your page, while also highlighting an intriguing member of the community. If you prefer a lighter tone, go for a relaxed Q&A, and keep a sense of humor to create a carefree energy.  

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Communication & Marketing
Corinne