Social media has been good for nonprofits as donating money tends to be an emotional reaction to a cause we feel passionate about. There are few of us who chart and graph our charitable donations; most of us are touched emotionally and answer the need with our wallets. Social media allows nonprofits to reach a larger audience through personal connections. By assigning a familiar face to the cause (through social network-forwarded pleas from family or friends), donors are more apt to give.
But personal connections don’t have to end at someone’s email list. A blog is a great way to give a personal face and voice to your cause. Universal McCann reports that 77% of all active internet users regularly read blogs.
Quick Ways to Establish a (Likeable) Voice in a Blog:
1. Open most (if not all) of your posts with a short, personal story most people can identify with. It’s okay to date yourself with stories (of your childhood or other times) as long as they reflect emotions or situations others can relate to or imagine. The other important part of the equation is “short.” While your audience may find you interesting, the web is not a place for reading tomes the size of Moby Dick (sorry Kindle).
2. Add some humor. Although “funny” is difficult to write, it does merit forwarding and subscribing to so try to add a little humor now and then. Not sure what’s funny? Try writing the way you talk. That’s funny, fa shizzle and if it’s not, at least you are establishing a credible voice.
3. Be who you are. I know I just said to be funny and if you can, great. But if it’s just not in you, don’t fake it. Find your niche and be true to it. If sarcasm is your thing, perfect. If you enjoy pointing out the irony in the every day, have at it. If you want to base every blog posting on the theme from a book you’re reading… give it a try. Communicate in a comfortable way and your audience will know who they’re donating to.
4. Don’t fundraise (directly). I’m not a professional fundraiser but I am a professional reader. I read blogs mainly for tone, not content. If I like the way you write I’m going to read you whether you’re talking about farms or festivals. But eventually if you keep writing about how badly you need money, I’m going to start wondering why you’re blog writing and why you’re not working on writing a grant. Mix it up. Don’t ask for money. Explain all the good work you’re doing, who it’s affecting and the changes that are occurring because of the generosity you’ve received. Don’t get me wrong, you do want people to realize you would like some money just let them get to know you first.
5. Use multimedia. Are you a nonprofit serving a really beautiful cause? The answer is yes. No matter what you do. Capture some video, take some pictures, film some interviews of the differences your group is making in the world and upload them to your blog. How often have you thought “If only people knew what we were doing?” A blog is the perfect way to call attention to that work, to allow people to understand what goes on behind the scenes and to affect the hearts and minds of your audience. It doesn’t require a degree in English (but I do promote heavy use of the spell-check button) it just requires the desire to tell a story. If you can’t write about you, write about them — the people, places or pets you’re helping. Focus on what drew you to this cause to begin with and let others know so they can be a part of it too.