Nonprofit marketers who understand the value of blogging often struggle with generating ideas for blog posts. It’s not uncommon for us to hear things like “we just don’t have much to say” when, in fact, even a small nonprofit has much more to talk about than even a large for-profit company. Not only are there a wealth of topics that any nonprofit can write about, there are ways of generating blog content without having to create it from scratch. Use the ideas below to begin publishing to your nonprofit blog regularly.
The most effective blog posts are educational, and not promotional, in nature. Articles that can be a resource for your supporters and stakeholders will drive the most traffic and establish you as an expert in the mission you serve.
1) Answer a question on Quora
Quora is a great place to mine blog post ideas. If you aren’t familiar with the site, Quora is a place where you can ask any question and get an answer from the community. Think of it as an interactive Wikipedia. If your nonprofit is associated with Alzheimer’s, for example, you can see what questions people are asking about Alzheimer’s, and then answer them in the form of a blog post! It’s a great way to ensure that what you are writing about is actually what people want to know about.
2) Use the Google Keyword Research Tool
Similar to Quora, the Google Keyword Research Tool is a great place to mind topic ideas. A quick search for “Azheimer’s” yields keywords that people are searching for associated with “Alzheimer’s” – like “symptons,” “research,” “prevention.” It’s clear from this search that people are hungry for content around those topics.
3) Answer an Email Question
It’s likely that someone on your staff responds to frequently asked questions about your organization, its mission, and the areas in which it serves. They don’t know it, but in answering an email they’ve also written a blog post. Repurpose this content into a blog post for a quick and relevant article. Get started by searching your inbox for “how do I” or something similar to isolate any questions that may have been asked.
4) Share News and Research
Nonprofits in particular who operated in and around the medical field, there is a steady flow of new research, opinions and findings that you can present to your readers. The trick here is to do so in an impartial and agnostic way, so as not to specifically endorse one opinion over another. Sharing new findings can generate a lot of interaction on your blog in the form of discussions in your comments section.
5) Press Release
A press release can be quickly and easily posted to your blog to share a new announcement with your readers.
Interviews are a painless way of generating blog content, because they don’t require that the author write something from scratch. You can simply transcribe the interview and publish it (with a few original sentences at the beginning and end). Consider interviewing:
Ask them why they work for/support your nonprofit, and it might just help your recruit new supporters!
11) Event Recap
If your organization puts on events, share a recap for those who couldn’t attend. Photos and videos can really make these articles pop.
12-15) Success Stories
Stories from the heart that showcase the impact your nonprofit makes in the community can be some of the most widely shared articles on your blog.
How a donation was used
How volunteering made a difference
How a stakeholder was affected
How a major gift was acquired
You don’t have to do it all alone! There are ways of having others generate blog posts for you.
16) Ask for a guest blog post
Volunteers and supporters may be willing to write a blog post for you. Ask them to write about why they support your organization, and what difference doing so has made in their lives. Identify your most engaged supporters, especially those who are already visible online.
17-21) Who Should You Follow?
Social media is a great place to mine content, as it’s likely your blog readers also have at least one social media account. Why not suggest ways in which they can use social media more effectively if they’re interested in “x” topic?
Share the “top 10” users they should follow on Twitter
Share the “top 5” Facebook pages they should follow
Share the “top 3” YouTube Channels they should subscribe to
Share the “top 5” blogs they should be reading
Share the “top 3” email newsletters they should subscribe to
The beauty of these posts is that you are involving others who can benefit from promoting this content for you. After all, it promotes them as well!
Blogging doesn’t have to be a chore for your nonprofit, especially when you use the tips above to repurpose and source relevant content from elsewhere.
Steven Shattuck served as the chief Engagement Officer at Bloomerang for 10 years. A prolific writer and speaker, Steven contributed to “Fundraising Principles and Practice: Second Edition.” He also supports the Association of Fundraising Professional's Fundraising Effectiveness Project, serves as an AFP Center for Fundraising Innovation (CFI) committee member, and sits on the faculty of the Institute for Charitable Giving. He is the author of Robots Make Bad Fundraisers - How Nonprofits Can Maintain the Heart in the Digital Age, published by Bold and Bright Media (2020).
You can find Steven Shattuck on LinkedIn