Your Nonprofit Needs A Blog

April 22, 2005

Mission-Driven nonprofits have, I think, the most to gain from blogging than any other organization or type of individual. If your organization has a site, I think you really should have a blog. There are a number of clear reasons. Seriously.

The reasons to maintain a blog are all about education — which is at the center of most nonprofits' agendas. How many ways can you raise awareness and make changes in people's lives? Blogs offer a number of advantages over newspapers, magazines and flyers as mediums: They are free to print, they are easy to update and they are easily targeted to your base of stakeholders.

Here's an extract from an article published for a 2004 seminar on blogging and Public Relations:

"In the past, you've most likely depended on good relations with traditional media, and some combination of website, e-mail, and printed or electronic publications. Printed magazines and newsletters are expensive to produce, and e-mailed items run the risk of being neither received nor read. A website by itself can't always be updated as quickly as you'd like, and none of these provide the immediacy or the conversational attributes of a blog." Read the article.

Yes, they are certainly cheaper than print — you already have the web space and need only pay for the time it takes to post. If you already have regular emails that you are sending out to a list of subscribers, then you already have the content. By posting them to the web, you can memorialize your communication, keeping your activities transparent and engaging others.

By posting something to the web you are making it public and, even if it is only your staff reading it at first, this can really have a strong mobilizing effect on your organization.

Blogs can also help you build your fundraising mission, but, more importantly, they can also become part of your mission — you can contribute directly to your goals by keeping a record of your creative, collaborative thoughts on the current state of things.

A single-subject blog will help push your organization's site to the top of the Google results, because search engines love pages that are frequently updated. People will begin to find your page more if you put more information on it — and they will be people who are already interested in your subject.

Blogs are truly flexible tools: you can set up multiple blogs to serve multiple purposes. Most notable, you can have a private, group blog for internal communication and a public blog (perhaps maintained by one person) on your website.

Blogs help organize the web: Do you have a ever-expanding folder full of favorites that would be great to share with others concerned about your mission? Post them as you find them (with little reviews to clue people in).

Examples of other nonprofit blogs: "The Citizens League promotes the public interest in Minnesota by involving citizens in identifying and framing critical public policy choices, forging recommendations and advocating their adoption." "Organizes campaigns dedicated to restoring and protecting the world's oceans through policy advocacy, science, law and public education.