Got Bloggers?

Did you know that if you are a nonprofit organization, you can invite bloggers to write in their personal blogs in support of your organization? (If you are a for-profit company doing a market campaign with a nonprofit, you might want to know this as well. It would be a great suggestion to give your nonprofit partners, and you might have the resources to help them set it up.)

We all know that the best way to spread any message is word of mouth. And what better word than the words written by people who love blogging and love what you do.

Compassion International offers a great example of engaging bloggers to make a difference in the life of a child. You can learn more at their Compassion Bloggers web page.

Samaritan’s Purse also offers a Blogger Network and sends occasional blog post topics for people to write about. I recently wrote a post in one of my blogs in response to the annual Samaritan’s Purse Christmas Shoebox project (notice I am intentionally not using the full name of the project because I don’t want this blog post to detract from their own online messaging).

You can read my blog post about the shoeboxes, where you’ll see that I opened with my own story: what a special Christmas box meant to me as a teenager. Then I went on to explain why I love the project. I closed with a reminder of the upcoming collection date and a link to their website.

Samaritan’s Purse did not pay me to write that post. I offered it voluntarily – in other words, I have offered my blog and my blog writing skills to support their cause and to let people know what they are doing. Therefore, I am not under advertising influencer restrictions.

Yet I did choose to write at the bottom of my post, in italics, that “I volunteer for the public Samaritan’s Purse Blogger Network,” with a link to their blogger website. (Some blogger networks even provide a badge or button that bloggers can add to their posts with this messaging already on it.) That alleviates any questions about my reason for blogging and my relationship to the organization. It also alerts other bloggers that they can sign up for a similar opportunity to blog for this organization.

In my blog posts, I also sometimes talk about or refer to The Center for Inner Healing, Inc., which is another nonprofit organization I support with my writing and for which I also volunteer locally. There again, I am not paid to write about the organization. But for the sake of informing my readers, I add to those posts that “I enjoy volunteering for The Center for Inner Healing, Inc.”

Blogger networks and blog posts by volunteers: Those are two different ways you can help bloggers write about the amazing things your organization is doing. While bloggers may choose to write about you in any type of blog, whether personal or business, often people will write about your organization in their own blog with a similar theme. Bloggers often write because they are passionate about a cause. If their passion lines up with your cause, chances are it’s something that will interest the readers of their blog as well. That’s more people who would love to know what you are doing and who would love to click on your website link to learn more.

If you set up a blog network or allow your volunteers to blog about your organization, be sure and create a disclaimer that the volunteer/network bloggers are not representing your organization. You might also occasionally spot check to be sure the blogging network is being utilized appropriately (one of your volunteers that you trust may enjoy that task).

If your own volunteers write on their own blogs, be sure they understand what is and is not appropriate to talk about (i.e., no confidential information from inside the organization) and be sure they indicate in their blog posts that they are volunteers, so readers will know they are not speaking on your behalf. You can provide whatever messaging you want them to add to their posts to clarify this, or even create a message badge or button for them.

When I reference The Center for Inner Healing, Inc. in my blog posts, I am very careful to word things so readers will know I am not representing or speaking on behalf of that organization, but rather I am responding to them as a volunteer who loves what they do.

There are bloggers out there who love what you do. Consider giving them a way to give back through their blogging.

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