Ask Supporters to Blog for Your Nonprofit

Boy and Dog at Computer

Most of the organizations we talk to believe in the benefits of having a blog.  The issue is rarely why they should have a blog.  It’s more often a matter of how they can find time to maintain it.

Like many organizations, nonprofits are often strapped for spare time.  And while a blog can seem like a great idea, we often see it fall into that “nice to have” category instead of something that’s deemed vital.

But maintaining a blog can be a significant boost to the success of your nonprofit’s website.  By tapping into the support network you’ve developed, you can ask longtime supporters to write content that is not only valuable to your website visitors, but also takes the burden of content creation off of you and your staff.

Why Ask Supporters to Blog?

There are a variety of reasons you should consider asking supporters to write for your blog:

  • Increase Your Reach.  A guest author on your blog is likely to share the post with their friends and connections, thus exposing your nonprofit to a new audience.
  • Offer a New Perspective.  A supporter can offer the unique perspective of someone that’s decided to support your cause but doesn’t work for your organization.
  • Cover Unique Topics.  Your supporters are better equipped to write about certain topics that could be very interesting to other potential supporters of your cause.  For more on topic ideas, see below.
  • Show You Value Your Supporters.  By asking a supporter to write for your blog, you’re clearly demonstrating to them and readers that you care what they have to say.
  • Save Time.  You can focus on editing.  Your supporter can tackle actually creating the content.

Potential Topics for Supporters to Write About

While not at all a comprehensive list of potential topics, here are some ideas for you to consider.

From Your Donors

Your donors can help to provide insight that will resonate with those that are deciding whether on not to financially support your nonprofit.  Honesty can go a long way here.  Chances are even your most loyal donor had some apprehension at first but ultimately decided to support your cause.  Such openness may help your organization connect with potential donors.

Potential topics from your donors include:

  • Why I decided to donate originally
  • Why I’ve continued to donate
  • How my donations have been used
  • Why I think this organization is different than others
  • When I realized I cared about this cause
  • My advice for potential donors
  • How I know I’m making a difference

From Your Volunteers

Your volunteers can be hugely helpful in recruiting additional volunteers for future events.  Hearing in-depth accounts directly from volunteers can help to convince potential volunteers to give their time to a cause they believe in.

Potential topics from your volunteers include:

  • Why I give my time to help this organization
  • Why volunteers matter in this community
  • My favorite volunteer event I’ve attended
  • How I plan to support this cause in the future
  • A particularly powerful moment I’ve had while volunteering
  • When I realized I cared about this cause
  • What I’ve learned by volunteering
  • What this organization does well and what they could do better

From Your Event Attendees

Event attendees can help garner support for your future events as well as reflect on successes from past events.

Potential topics from your event attendees include:

  • My favorite event I’ve attended
  • Why I’d likely attend a future event
  • My key takeaways from attending an event
  • Why I decided to attend an event
  • What makes these events unique

The Key is to Get Personal

The key to creating an impactful post from a supporter is to make sure they get personal.  The more specific they get, the better the post will be.  Instead of writing how much fun volunteering can be, have them write about one child they spent an afternoon with.  Instead of writing about how great your nonprofit is, have them write about the moment they decided to overcome their apprehension and donate for the first time.

The success of such a post hinges on the intimacy the author brings to the piece.

Have you seen any nonprofits sharing content written by supporters?  Or do you have any additional potential topic ideas?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Related Reads

Should Your Nonprofit Start a Blog? – Benefits and Drawbacks

Bringing Authenticity to Web Copy

Storytelling: An Important Part of Any Website

Image courtesy of Mike Licht, Flickr