Invite Your Board and Volunteers to Build Your Nonprofit Organization’s Blog

Are your board members and community volunteers helping to grow your nonprofit organization’s blog? If not, this would be a great time to invite them.

Your blog is one of the simplest ways to get the word out about what you do. Your blog also brings interested people to your website. When website visitors find lots of informative and engaging blog posts, they spend time exploring your site, bookmark it, and share your articles.

The challenge for nonprofit organizations is the lack of time to write and publish regularly on your blog. You’re busy serving your cause every day. Who has time to write?

That’s where your board and volunteers come in. They have unique ways of looking at your organization’s activities and sharing the importance of what you do.

Blogging for nonprofit organizations
Picture by Geralt at Pixabay

Your board and volunteers can write about:

  • Why they chose to join in your vision.
  • How serving your mission has impacted them.
  • Their favorite moments with your organization.
  • Highlights of an activity where they have participated hands-on.
  • How your organization benefits the community.
  • A day-in-the-life reflection.
  • Their greatest hopes for your organization and the people or causes you serve.
  • And so much more.

If they feel like they don’t know how to write an article, you might suggest that they talk into a tape recorder or make a bullet point list. There are simple ways to get ideas across in writing.

Perhaps you can find a volunteer to head up this project. Maybe someone who loves to write. This volunteer can interview the board members or transcribe and edit their recordings or thoughts. I had the privilege of doing this at an organization where I served on the board. My interviewing project helped me become more involved with the organization in many ways.

This volunteer can also interview staff members to capture their perspectives on the vision and mission. No doubt your staff has a lot to share but may be too busy to write about it. A volunteer can take the time to type up and edit the staff interviews and ask additional questions for further information. That’s another project I participated in, as a board member, and I was thrilled to do it.

Allow your volunteer bloggers to be creative and to reflect their unique style. Do you have an attorney on your board? Let her write her reflections in a legal style. Is one of your volunteers a poet or songwriter? Let him write creative verses for your blog. Moms are often good at capturing and writing in dialogue style. Encourage each person to write in their unique style and voice. That makes for a well-textured and lively blog.

blog writing for nonprofit organizations
Photo by StartupStockPhotos at Pixabay

It is amazing to watch a nonprofit organization’s blog come to life when many people get involved and contribute. We are doing this right now with an organization I am involved in, and these guest articles have stirred a lot of interest. Visitors see the activity and different perspectives, and they want to be part of what your organization is doing.

When board members and volunteers are published on your blog, they will share those articles with a whole new audience that you might not have tapped into yet. You will get more article shares from people who know and trust your volunteer bloggers.

If you don’t have a volunteer/board blogging team, start reaching out today. Getting everyone involved in your blog is great for team building and creating outreach momentum. And it just might be fun too!

12 Simple Questions to Bring Your Organization’s Blog to Life

With all the amazing work your organization is doing in the community, it’s not easy to find time to keep your blog up to date. But your blog is one of the first places people will visit to learn about what you are doing.

How do you keep adding to your blog when you don’t have much time?

Keep it simple.

Answering questions is one of the easiest ways to fill a blog post with useful information that also shows your passion for your work. You can even speak the answers into a tape recorder and have them transcribed quickly. Your answers will sound so natural that your readers will think you are talking directly to them.

There are many questions that lead to great blog posts. Often, those questions are the ones asked by your customers and supporters. Check through some of the inquiries you receive by email. You will probably find good topics for your blog. If one person is curious about something in your organization, others will be too.

If you would like some help in getting started, here are 12 questions relevant to your blog. Answer these 12 and you will have one blog post for each month of the year. You can blog more often (and probably should), but this will help you hold down the fort in the meantime.

Blog Questions:

  1. What is your organization’s mission, and what are 3 specific ways you have carried out that mission in the past year?
  2. What is the biggest problem your organization helps people solve?
  3. What are 3 ways your organization is unique from other organizations in your field?
  4. What is your favorite success that you have witnessed in your organization’s work this past year?
  5. What do you like most about the people you work with? (You don’t have to name names; just describe the qualities, personalities, goals, and atmosphere.)
  6. What is the biggest challenge your organization has faced, and how did you overcome it?
  7. What is one major change/improvement your organization wants to help create in the world?
  8. What are 3 things most people probably don’t know about your organization?
  9. What one thing has surprised you the most about working in your field?
  10. What do you like most about your customers or supporters and/or what are the qualities you appreciate about them?
  11. What is the latest “new thing” your organization has done? (It can be big or small.)
  12. How and why did you get started in this business?

Don’t overthink it. Just answer from your heart. Base your answers on the experiences that come first to your mind. As you answer the questions, just be yourself and speak/write in everyday conversational language.

You will be amazed at how your responses will connect with the people who visit your blog. Your answers will help make your company feel more three-dimensional, more real to them. They will see themselves wanting to get involved with your organization.

And you will have a blog that helps you stand apart online.

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.