Is Your Nonprofit Blog Missing Your Organization’s Best Stories?

It’s been 22 years since a Swarthmore College student created the first blog.

Can an online tool launched in 1994, the year when Forrest Gump was number one at the box office and the Beastie Boys ruled MTV, still make a difference in your nonprofit’s communications?

Absolutely. Blogs are the perfect tool for sharing and promoting the content your organization is already creating every day. Unfortunately, many nonprofit bloggers don’t make the most of this old but reliable publishing platform.

The result? Your organization’s news about your most important research or accomplishments may sit forgotten inside fading press releases, thick reports and big binders tucked away in a dusty archive.

Don’t let that happen to your nonprofit. Here from a recent webinar by my colleague Jenna Cerruti are three ways you can use your blog to tell your best stories.

Out of the Filing Cabinet and into the Public Debate

Let’s be candid. Few people read the lengthy research reports we typically create in the social change world, no matter how valuable the information may be.  

Playworks, a national nonprofit which improves the health and well-being of children, offers a good example of how to use your blog when you need to share important data and get the good news out about your work.

The Playworks communications team turned a dense, complex evaluation about the positive results its programs produce into the kind of clear and brief story that donors and policymakers love. The web-friendly Playworks blog post lists three top takeaways from the research, includes shareable bites of information, and features a quote from founder and CEO Jill Vialet explaining what all the data means for kids.

Speak Your Mind, Early and Often

Every nonprofit has a point of view. Why else would your organization exist unless you sought change?

Your blog is the most affordable and far-reaching publishing platform ever created. You can make the most of it — and be a better advocate — by blogging about your organization’s public policy views. This is terrific way to mobilize your supporters, attract the attention of funders, and increase interest in your work by lawmakers.

Nonprofit membership group Academy Health regularly uses its blog to comment on health policy. A recent post discusses how Medicaid changes affects access for kids. The article also lets the organization share its own perspective about the new policy and explain why it matters.

Plug into the 24-Hour News Cycle Every Day

A positive news story about your organization adds to your credibility and authority. Make the most of the opportunity by including these articles in your blog.

A simple way to do this: Craft a post that recaps the article and adds your own perspective. The Prevention Institute’s website, for example, has an “In the News” section that publishes media coverage along with a short introduction.

Share Your Own Content Creation Secrets

How do you use your your nonprofit’s blog to tell your organization’s stories? Share your ideas in the comments below.

And check out these suggestions on the Prichard blog for how to stop treating your website like a filing cabinet, or download this guide from WiredImpact, “170 Blog Post Ideas for Your Nonprofit.”

Mac Prichard

Mac started Prichard Communications in 2007 to serve nonprofits, foundations and public agencies after a long career working in the public and nonprofit sectors and with elected officials. Mac lives in Portland’s Ladd’s Addition where he is often spotted taking Instagram photos while walking his dog Kai, a Weimaraner.

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