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Friday, April 22, 2005

 

Non-profits can profit from blogs

Blogs are a powerful addition to any non-profit organization's marketing and public relations effort.

Blogs work well, either as a blog section within the site, or as a free standing blog linked to the organizational website.

Non-profit organizations include charities, industry organizations, special community events, trade unions, and Chambers of Commerce.

The goal of any non-profit is not to turn a financial profit in the generally accepted sense. Their goal is to put forward the causes and interests of the organization's membership.

The value of blogs to any non-profit is almost unlimited.

First of all, a blog provides a powerful informational vehicle for the association. The Board of Directors and association staff can keep the membership up to date with the latest initiatives and activities of the organization.

Because a blog is constantly updated, with fresh content, the organizational leaders can maintain up to the minute contact with the members.

Since one of the major difficulties faced by many non-profit organization is membership recruitment and retention, a blog can display the benefits of membership, in real time. Regular postings of how members benefited tangibly from joining the non-profit, can be a useful and interesting series on the blog.

Blogs help the organization in recruiting volunteers for its many activities, from policy committees to fund raising to membership recruitment drives. Openly posting notices of upcoming association events will attract volunteers from the readership.

A blog serves avaluable public relations function for both local and regional news media. Even the national media may pick up stories from a non-profit organization's blog.

Journalists are known to read many blogs on a daily basis, searching for newsworthy article ideas. By posting the policy positions on the blog, as well as distributing them by way of traditional press releases, the story has a greater chance of coverage in the media.

Constant updates about activities and initiatives, on the blog, can go far to helping journalists write about your organization.

Often, non-profit organizations fall victim to some bad press coverage. A blog can get the organization's message out to the media in a hurry. A rapid response, to real or perceived problems, will go far in enhancing the association's image and reputation in the community.

Fund raising can gain a boost from the blog as well.

By regularly highlighting how the money raised by the organization, has helped real people overcome their challenges, the blog will make raising donation levels much easier. Fund raising volunteers will be another result of the charity's success stories.

Charities are a natural home for blogs. By discussing the worthwhile cause, and utilizing the personalization power of blogging, charitable organizations can benefit greatly by blogging. Information about the charity and the people it serves, combined with success stories, form a ready source of posting ideas.

As worthwhile causes, links to the charity's blog will be frequent and powerful, propelling the organization to the top of the search engine rankings. As a high ranking site, the organization's blog adds credibility. Along with that credibility would arrive an increase in volunteers and in donation revenue.

Chambers of Commerce, attempting to gain public support for business, will do very well with blogs. By showing the general public and their elected representatives, how a strong vibrant business community benefits everyone with more jobs and a stronger local tax base, support for business will grow.

Many businesses already maintain blogs, and will happily link to the Chamber's blog.

Small businesses, in particular, will benefit from being part of the Chamber of Commerce reciprocal links from its blog. Association with other businesses, and the networking opportunities afforded through working together, can form another frequent posting idea for the organization.

As you can see, blogs have much to offer to non-profit organizations.

The benefits of a blog to association leaders and managers are endless.

It's time your non-profit organization added a blog to its communications program.

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