This post has been contributed by Lance Trebesch and Taylor Robinson from TicketPrinting.com.
Think your nonprofit organization has no need for a blog? You may want to
think again. According to Technorati,
more than 10,500 blogs were tagged charity, 4,000 blogs nonprofit and 2,300 blogs philanthropy in January of 2007 and these numbers are predicted to rapidly increase in the future. Below are ten reasons your nonprofit should participate in this movement and harness the power of the blog today.
1. Search engine optimization — Keywords and website design are important
to search engines when calculating a search result list. A focused,
well-written blog on your website will contain several keywords
which improve the site's search ranking. Additionally, if the
blog has useful content, other sites will want to link to it,
improving your website's level of importance. To keep search
engines current with your blog, remember to ping them regularly
using one of the many free tools such as pingomatic.
For more information on search engine optimization, read my article
“Make Your Nonprofit Website a 'Hit': A 30 Day
Step-By-Step Guide to Better SEO,” or one of the many articles
Engine Land or Search
2. Expert in the Field — Nonprofit organizations have a wealth of information
on their specific area of focus. This information is highly desired
in online blogging communities. By posting regularly in blogs
focused on similar issues, your organization will gain a reputation
for being an expert. Bloggers want to read more postings by experts
and will follow links to your organization's website. According to
the March 2007 Blog Readership Report, 67.3% of bloggers found
information by following links from other blogs. Technorati and BlogCatalog are good directories to find topically relevant blogs. Icerocket has also done an excellent job dissecting blogs and making them more search friendly.
3. Credibility —
It is more important today than ever before for nonprofit
organizations to be trustworthy in the eyes of their contributors.
One of the best ways to establish this relationship of trust is to
make events and projects as visible as possible. By having weekly
updates on projects and the projects' successes, users will know
exactly what difference their donations have made (or will make if
they donate). Furthermore, project developments can be posted onto
the blog keeping the organization's efforts current (Have
Fun Do Good Blog.
4. Awareness — The beauty of the “blogosphere” is that almost all
blogs are linked to one another. This creates a useful network of
information that bloggers have access to. According to Vizu’s
March 2007 Blog Readership Report, more than 30% of bloggers use
blogs as a source for information. This means that with an
estimated 57 million bloggers today (Technorati),
more than 17 million of them are information-thirsty bloggers who
desire the kind of content your nonprofit blog could provide. In
addition, having a blog allows you to create your own media and
bypass traditional media channels which are often expensive and
limited in frequency.
5. Negative Comments — People are talking and probably writing about your
nonprofit already. Hopefully, the majority of what is said is
positive, but almost inevitably there will be some negative
commentary. A blog provides a median to field complaints or
concerns and defend the decisions the organization has made. Be
sure to keep the tone of the commentaries professional and respond
6. Events — A regularly maintained blog will attract loyal readers who can
easily be informed about upcoming events. To incentivize new
or to increase the loyalty of existing subscribers, consider having
special promotions on the blog before events. It is important to
note, however, that a blog should serve to work in conjunction with
the traditional channels of marketing already in place, not to
7. Annual Report — Many nonprofits are required to compile an annual or
semiannual report. By working smarter and creating a blog, you will
have most of the content for the report already completed before you
even begin compiling it (Have
Fun Do Good Blog.
Furthermore, many supporters feel that blogs are more honest and
accurate than formal annual reports, so the effort required to
create the content will be more cost effective.
8. Information —
One of the most difficult aspects of any nonprofit is gaining an
understanding of its supporters. A blog can help tap into this
resource of information and more. Two major information-related
users to create — A blog encourages involvement in the
organization. The AARP
allows readers to create entries about what issues they feel are
important and receive feedback from these entries.
information to supporters — If a picture can convey a thousand
words, then a blog on your website will have a lot to say. So much
of the success of a fundraising campaign (whether you like it or
not) comes from its emotional appeal. By having a blog that
contains pictures and stories, viewers will become more emotionally
involved with the cause or service.
9. Fundraising —
By using charity badges on your blog, you can get your supporters to
help with fundraising efforts. A charity badge can be set up
quickly and allows people to share the small graphic image you
create to make donations. ChipIn
both have charity badges available for a small fee. There are
countless examples of blogging communities that have worked together
to raise money using charity badges.
“Heart” of the Organization — A blog gives you the
unique opportunity to show the organization in a totally new light.
While blogs are beneficial for marketing and fundraising purposes,
their most important function should always be to convey interesting
and compelling stories about the organization.
Lance Trebesch and Taylor Robinson