How is your nonprofit like a guest blogger on Communicate?
Answer: You both have to put your audience before yourself.
How Guest Bloggers Succeed on Communicate
I don’t let just anybody post on the Communicate blog. It doesn’t matter how big a name they are or how long they’ve been in the field. What matters is that they serve readers like you: small- to medium-sized nonprofits that want loyal friends and donors.
Amy Hufford, Laura Rhodes, Tripp Braden, Brock Klinger, James Gilmer, Sybil Stershic, Tripp Braden, Rebecca Thompson, Lisa Dunn…all of these writers took the time and effort to do three things:
- Send tailored posts. Guest bloggers didn’t just grab something they’d written and chuck it my way. They came up with a topic and an approach that would interest my readers.
- Do the homework. They looked at other posts on the blog, figured out what you, the readers, like to see, and they wrote something like that.
- Be unselfish. Yes, of course we all know that the guest bloggers would like you to look at their websites too, and possibly to buy their products or services. But they thought about you first.
This Thank-You Thursday, I want to thank my guest bloggers. But more than that, I want to suggest you, the nonprofit organization, can follow their example.
Write For Your Donors, Not Just Yourself
This sounds obvious, but too often we forget: your donor has something valuable to give you.
I can only give space on this blog. Your donors give your nonprofit its lifeblood, the money it needs to keep running.
Or they don’t. Your donors can say no.
What do you need to do in order for them to say yes? The same things that bloggers do when they want me to say yes to their guest posts!
- Send tailored communications to your donors. Write first and most often about what they want to know–not what you want to tell them.
- Know your audience. Do research to find out who they are and what they care about. Segment your list so that you’re sending messages about housing to people who care about homelessness and messages about food banks to people who care about hunger.
- Make the donor the hero.
- “We do great work” is selfish.
- “We do great work with your help” is selfishness in a thin disguise.
- “You do great work. Keep on doing it with your donation” is putting your audience before yourself–and paradoxically, that is what will benefit your nonprofit the most!
Learn from my guest bloggers: what they say, but more important, what they do. Put others first if you want them to help you.