Nonprofit Blogging: Getting to Know You

A lot has been written about how businesses can effectively use blogs as a key component in their marketing strategy. But what if your business is a nonprofit organization? Does blogging still make sense?

You bet your keyboard it does! Just because your organization is a nonprofit doesn’t lessen your need to communicate. If anything, nonprofits may have a greater need to communicate with their constituencies. And often, a nonprofit’s constituency really doesn’t know the organization very well.

Many nonprofits are multi-faceted, but people tend to know them in a very limited way.  It’s a bit like the old tale of the five blind men describing an elephant.  Each describes the part of the elephant directly in front of him.  It’s only part of the big picture. Maybe your organization is like that.

Maybe your organization is involved in improving literacy for women, men, girls, and boys. Perhaps your organization is known for a big book drive that collects books to give away at Christmas. It may be a great event, and it may be what captures publicity—but it’s not the whole story. And there’s a danger that adults who could benefit from your literacy programs will never be helped because of the perception that you are the “Books for Kids” organization.

You can use your blog to talk about the bigger problem of illiteracy in the community. You can open the eyes of people who think you only work with kids to the breadth of your involvement. You can talk about the social and financial impact of illiteracy on the community. And you can tell stories that show how your organization is making a difference. The more your constituency knows about you and what you do, the more likely they are to support what you do—and tell others about you.

Another benefit of blogging for nonprofits is that it allows your organization to get to know your constituency. By nature, blogs invite response. As you interact with people, you’ll discover more about what’s important to them—and that means better communication with them in the future.

Don’t settle for the “blind men and the elephant” approach. Help your constituents see your organization for what it really is.