Getting into a rhythm with your organization’s blog can sometimes mean that you work yourself right into a writer’s rut. Instead of getting stuck in an endless series of press releases and general news updates, use all of your work running nonprofit programs and services to craft better blog posts.
After all, blogging gives you the ultimate flexibility and control when it comes to publishing content about your mission. It’s the perfect platform to showcase your impact, the community, and the need for what you offer.
In this post, I’ll break down the best practices for loading your blog up with program-related content, give you some helpful examples of how nonprofits are already doing it, and throw in some sample topics to get you started.
How to Blog About Nonprofit Programs
Sure, you could probably throw together a quick update on the status of your programs or services and get it out into the world. But what would that accomplish? Make the time to take a step back and think through these best practices before you hit “publish.”
Have an audience and goal in mind
Avoid the trap of writing for the general public. Instead, focus on the group of people who will be most interested in the topic or likely to benefit from the information. Then you can decide the main goal of the post, like driving them to take a specific action or downloading a related resource. Once you have a target audience and goal, making decisions about the rest of these best practices becomes a lot easier.
Check out how the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines used a post about their oral history program to ask for donations. As another example, this budgeting blog post from Habitat from Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley does a nice job offering helpful information paired with a plug for their related services.
Use different blog post formats
Depending on the goal and audience, you might decide that the best way to talk about your program is in a written format, video, photo essay, case story, interview, resource round-up, infographic or other blog post format. You aren’t limited to paragraph after paragraph of written explanations when another approach would be a better fit for the information you’d like to share.
If it helps, keep a list of different formats in your editorial calendar to spark new ideas. Start keeping track of the formats of published posts to see if you notice any trends about which types are more successful or engaging for your audience.
Add voices from inside and outside of your nonprofit
Lone wolf marketers without a lot of contributors clamoring to help write for the blog can easily get overwhelmed. When possible, look to program managers at your organization to put together posts or help identify people that might be interested in participating in an article by way of interview. Bringing in new voices not only offers new content, but it can also provide even more value to your readers when they get a chance to hear about different perspectives and experiences.
For example, The Stability Network does an incredible job bringing in subject matter experts from within their nonprofit’s community to blog about mental health.
Cross-link to related program information
It pains me to read a great blog post that doesn’t include a single link. If you’re writing about a topic on your blog that doesn’t relate to anything else on your website, why are you publishing it?
Cross-linking between your post and other pages about your nonprofit programs is a must. It helps readers move around in your website content, no matter where they start or what they read first. Links can direct them to the next step you want readers to take.
See how the Council on Aging of Central Oregon put together a blog post about their meal programs that links back to related information on their website, including ways to get involved.
Offer resources through content curation
Don’t feel like you have something new to say about your programs? Try thinking about information that people who participate (or that you’d like to participate) in your programs would find valuable and interesting. And rather than trying to create it all yourself, look for quality and trustworthy resources that you can share from third-parties like related agencies or partner organizations.
You should still mention how the guides, reports, activities or other types of resources relate to your programming, but the focus can be on providing value rather than promotion. For example, in a series on the Chicago’s Community Kitchens program, the Greater Chicago Food Depository publishes recipes and cooking tips that are practical and approachable.
Dive into the issues that make your program necessary
Put on your journalist hat and make sure you’re covering the “who, what, where, when, why and how” of your nonprofit programs. Putting your program or service into a larger context is an important part of educating people about your intent and the anticipated outcomes. One way that bloggers commonly do this is by talking about a recent news event and explaining how it connects to their work on the issue.
See how the Fund for Public Health in New York City blogs about their programs in relation to COVID-19 and the opioid crisis.
Promote and repurpose your posts on other channels
You’ll get more out of each of your blog posts if you have a plan to actively promote them beyond your website. Think about your audience and the best ways to reach them. Should the post be included in an email newsletter? Shared on social media? Printed out and placed in an accessible location?
Strategically distributing and repurposing your posts also has the added benefit of providing content for your other channels, which can ultimately send more traffic to your site. We provide a more detailed rundown of this process in a related post about blogging.
10 Nonprofit Blog Ideas for Programs & Services
Need a little help to get started on your next blog post? Here are ten blog post ideas for writing about your nonprofit’s programs or services.
- Talk about the impact of a program previously and what you’re on track to accomplish in the year ahead.
- Interview a monthly donor about why they choose to support your program every month and the difference it makes.
- Showcase a program participant and their journey over time, including challenges and successes.
- Share a lesson, activity or another component of your program and break down why it’s important and the intended result.
- Offer behind-the-scenes insight into how your program has changed over time and why.
- Create a list of 5-10 resources, tips or related programs that someone might need after participating in one of your programs.
- Feature a partner organization that’s involved in a program and describe their role.
- Round-up quotes or video clips from participants about how they were impacted by one of your programs.
- Create an infographic that describes how your program works and the intended outcomes.
- Use a newly published report or news article to help explain why your program is necessary and what might happen if it didn’t exist.
Writing about your nonprofit’s work is a great way to help your programs grow and get people involved. Don’t forget about the publishing power of your website’s blog to educate, spread the word and share stories that inspire others.
What questions do you have about writing blog posts about nonprofit programs or services? Have you written a post that you’re particularly proud of? See you in the comments section.