Blog Archives

Your non-profit reputation and the internet

whats in your walletI woke up this morning with the words of Samuel Jackson echoing through my head. While this actor has played a number of different roles in Hollywood, the words in my head were from his Capital One credit card commercials . . . “What’s in  your wallet?” As I shuffled around my hotel room trying to wake up, I started reviewing all of the possible reasons why I woke up with this popular commercial on my mind. After a little thinking, I’ve decided that my subconscious mind is still wrestling with an email I received yesterday morning from a non-profit organization asking me not to delete any reference to them in a blog I posted last week.

Here is what the email said (of course, I’ve removed names to protect the innocent):

“We noticed that you referenced ABC Agency in a blog post and linked to a 2005 memo written by our former Director of Development. As the information is old, and the director is no longer with our organization, we kindly request that you remove the reference from your blog post.”

Let me start by saying . . . of course, I honored their request. I’m a nice guy, and my professional goal in life is to help non-profit organizations and not become a thorn in their side.

However . . . something is obviously bothering me about this email. After thinking it through, I figured it out.

I found this document with a simple Google search. So, this agency (or someone associated with the agency at one time) uploaded this document to the internet. Once you do that, it is likely “out there” for the entire world to see and use. Forever! Once something is put into the public domain, it is almost impossible to take it back.

whats in your wallet2I think there are a number of “lessons learned” associated with this situation. Here are the one’s I can identify:

  • Be careful about what you post to your organization’s website, social media, blogs, etc. Consider putting policies and procedures in place to guide what employees can and can’t share about your organization online.
  • If your agency has decided to have an online presence, adopt the wise words found in the Serenity Prayer when it comes to things you can and cannot change. In the long run, it will likely save you from “Maalox Moments“.
  • In order to protect your brand’s reputation, monitor your organization’s good name. Periodically Google your agency name. Set-up a Google Alert and let Google tell you when someone is saying something about you.
  • When something is posted about your organization that you don’t like, a polite email with your request to remove the comment, reference or document can be appropriate (however I refer you to what I said earlier about the Serenity Prayer). More important, be careful about what you say in the email because you have no idea who will read it, who it will be forwarded to, or where it will end up. (Please note that I shared the agency in question’s email with the world on my blog. Enough said?)

If you are looking for a few resources on this subject, this is what I found:

What is your wallet? LOL Seriously, how has your non-profit organization decided to tackle the question of appropriate online content? Please use the comment box below to share your thoughts and experiences? Why? Because we can all learn from each other.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC!/eanderson847

How does your non-profit organization use SEM?

An effective way to market your agency’s website

By Rose Reinert
Guest blogger

rose1For those of you who are new to the DonorDreams blog, I’m going chapter by chapter through Lon Safko’s book, The Social Media Bible,  on Mondays and applying his thoughts to the non-profit sector. We continue this lovely Monday with Chapter 19, “Marketing Yourself (Search Engine Marketing)”. Last week we began exploring SEO, and this week we dig a little deeper into marketing yourself through SEM — Search Engine Marketing.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is one of the most effective strategies to market and advertise your website; however, there is a cost. In this chapter, Safko unpacks the idea of the idea of CPC (aka Cost Per Click) or PPC (aka Pay Per Click).

At first glance, this entire chapter seemed difficult to apply to our non-profit world. Many budgets are tight and marketing generally does not have a lot of wiggle room. However, after some additional research, I found an awesome manual that will help us explore how to apply SEM to our non-profit world.

The Non-profit’s Guide to Search Engine Marketing  is a free online manual to help your non-profit organization spread its message, cheaply and effectively, with the help of SEM. It gives great examples from real non-profits that effectively apply SEM to increase visibility, attract supporters and donations, and create awareness for their cause.

pay per clickOne great suggestion I found in this resource was to think about ways to turn your charity projects into brands (e.g. the Tap Project). It helps if the brand is descriptive, as opposed to abstract, because people tend to search for generic terms. For example, “CureBlindnessNow” could be both a brand and a search term i.e. “cure for blindness”, “how to cure blindness”, etc.

This online manual doesn’t just explore SEM, but it also provides the reader with even more topics addressing overall online presence, social media, etc.

It is a great read (as is Safko’s Social Media Bible) and worth the click!

I am interested in hearing how your agency utilizes SEM for your organization. Please share your experiences.
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Your non-profit needs to learn how to say “Cheese!”

Online pics are worth a thousand words!

By Rose Reinert
Guest blogger

rose1We have all heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, that is the basis of Lon Safko’s eighth chapter, which he titled “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (Photo Sharing)”. In this chapter, he discusses the impact of utilizing images in social media.

Safko illustrates the impact of utilizing photos in social media through an example. I will utilize the same concept, but place it in terms of donors.

Put yourself in the shoes of a donor. You have been engaged by an organization, and you want to learn more about them. When you go onto their website you find pictures of events depicting a wide array of supporters. You also see pictures of the agency’s leadership (e.g. board of directors) and see their mission in motion on Facebook through pictures with client activities and events.

While this seems like it might not make a big difference in regards to whether or not the prospect ultimate engages, consider the alternative.

You begin researching an organization and find very few images on their webpage or social media sites. There are no pictures of leadership, events or even of their facilities. What questions would that leave in your mind?

Still not convinced, consider these statistics provided by MBooth:

  • Photos are liked two times more than text updates
  • Videos are shared 12-times more than links and text posts combined
  • Facebook reached 100 million users in 4 years, but Instagram is on pace to beat it
  • 42% of all posts on Facebook are photos

Is there any doubt? Adding images enhances the users experience, and it is lots of fun!

Where should you start? Simply begin to think about your posts and experiences through images. I started to look around at some well known organizations to see which ones stood out to me.

Girl Scouts of America

bullyingI just loved their Facebook page that was filled with various images. What I loved was how they branded each message with their colors and their logo.

They also included pictures of Girl Scouts from throughout the nation doing various projects and activities.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

st judeThis group really understands how images can impact and catch the viewer’s eye. With every post on Facebook, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital included an image.

This really pulled me and engaged me in their stories!

There were stories of success, struggle and impact both from those benefiting from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as well as those supporting the organization.

World Wildlife Fund

wwfOf course, when I looked at WWF’s Face book page I expected to see tons of pictures of animals. I was surprised, however, to see even more.

This group also does a great job posting a photo or a video with each story. The posts were not just highlight various animals, but also provided daily things each of us could do to help.

What about your agency?

So, now it’s your turn! It is pretty easy, and very fun. Start spicing up your posts and see how people respond. I would love to hear more about your experience.

How have you used images to tell your story? What responses have you see to your usage of images? What struggles have you had with sharing images?
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Is your non-profit’s website changing with the times?

Using best practices to improve your agency’s website

By Rose Reinert
Guest blogger

rose1It has almost been a year since I took on my new role as Marketing & Outreach Coordinator for a local federally qualified health center. One of the first things I set my sights on changing was our agency’s website.

Our website was made with love by my President/CEO . . . with lots of love . . . but . . . umm . . . lots of words.

You can imagine this was a very delicate project to propose, but I was determined. I am proud to say that nine months after starting, we launched the new website, and it has been our pride and joy ever since. I will insert a shameless plug for you to check out our new website and see what you think!

In chapter four of “The Social Media Bible,” Lon Safkow presents the subject of “The World of Web Pages.” I loved this chapter! I was intrigued by the history of websites. I also loved reading about the “Eye Tracking Study” that discussed people’s reading patterns and confirmed that we look first, and refer back to the upper left corner the most often.

With all of what Safkow talks about in this chapter, I hit the web and learned more about the role that Web Pages play in philanthropy, engagement and donor relations.

Of course, by now, we know that a website can do wonders for:

  • engaging people
  • sharing your story
  • providing a platform for donations

However, we need to ask: “Is simply ensuring your non-profit has a web site enough?

We learned in last week’s blog that when sending an e-mail or e-blast to an audience, we only have their attention for a few seconds. A website is much the same.

website2Once someone plops on your home page what do they see? Is it mobile friendly? Can they easily navigate it?

Each click and movement to another page is another transaction with our audience. It is also another commitment on their part to give time to learn more. If they grow frustrated, confused or turned off, they can quickly disengage.

In marketing, I often look to those on the cutting edge of technology for trends (in other words . . . those younger than me of course! LOL). There is no doubt that non-profits must figure out how to engage the younger generations to ensure that philanthropy and engagement continued.

So, when we take a look at websites, what do we see and what do our donors want to see?

The Millennial Project is an initiative that assists companies and organizations in learning about and engaging the Millennial generation. (Note: The Millennial generation is made up of those sometimes referred to as Generation Y, with birth years from the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s.)

The 2013 Millennial Impact Report was completed by Achieve which is an agency working with causes to provide research, awareness and support campaigns. This report provides research on what interests this generation, including how to capture their support via your website, social media and other factors. I highly recommend you take a look as it provides insight on so many different topics.

The report highlights the importance of ensuring your website is mobile friendly. (Note: ‘mobile friendly’ does not just mean your site can be pulled up on your phone) If you are pulling up a site and have to zoom in and out in order to see the site, it is more than likely not categorized as “mobile friendly”.

mobileDoes mobile friendly really matter?

According to a recent article, “What Users Want Most from Mobile Sites Today,” on Google’s Think Insights, it is clear being mobile friendly indeed does matter:

  • When they visited a mobile-friendly site, 74% of people say they’re more likely to return to that site in the future
  • 48% of users say they feel frustrated and annoyed when they get to a site that’s not mobile-friendly
  • 36% said they felt like they’ve wasted their time by visiting those sites

Not only is accessibility important, but obviously content is just as critical. Here is more great info from the Achieve research:

  • 75% of young donors are turned off by out-to-date web sites.
  • Six in 10 said they wanted non-profits to share stories about successful projects and programs and appreciated information about an organization’s cause and the people it serves.
  • The donors also prefer to give online, with 84 percent saying they want to give through a Web site.

As we look at continuing to engage the current and next generations through our website, taking a fresh look can be helpful.

There are some easy ways to get outside input on how your website can be improved including:

  • Work with an area college to set up focus groups
  • use on-line surveys
  • gather feedback during donor visits

Take a look at your web site. What do you see? What are some ways you could offer a fresh look? Do you have the infrastructure to support updates to you your site? Share some of your experiences from your favorite websites in the comment box below.
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Is your non-profit website using pictures to tell a story?

Last week, my friends at Network for Good sent me their weekly eNewsletter with links to all sorts of good things. One of the links took me to an article by Caryn Stein titled “10 Amazing Nonprofit Websites“. With a few free minutes on my hands, the headline was like a fishing lure, and I was hooked. I wanted to know:

  • Who are those agencies?
  • What made their websites “amazing”?
  • What do those sites look like?

The following images are the front pages from three of the ten non-profit webpages highlighted by Caryn. As you scroll down, I encourage you to take a good look because I think there is a common thread running through all these home pages.




What did you see? As you scrolled through these three website homepages, what went running through your head?

For me, it was the pictures that captured my attention. I found myself thinking:

  • Who are those people?
  • What is their story?
  • How did the agency help them?
  • Is there a happy ending?

It has been said millions of times that a picture is worth a thousand words. Since a webpage packed with lots of verbiage has been proven by SEO experts to chase people away, then why wouldn’t you use as many pictures as possible to pull people into your agency’s story?

Last week, I introduced you to Christopher Davenport’s storytelling resources and his book “Nonprofit Storytelling for Board Members“.  Starting on page 10, Christopher introduces the concept of “The 4 C’s of Storytelling,” which are:

  1. Character
  2. Connection
  3. Conflict
  4. Conquest

I won’t expound on these ideas because you’re really supposed to go buy his book. (Disclaimer — I am not affiliated with Christopher Davenport and do not profit from your purchase of his products.)

However, I bring up the 4 C’s because the three websites from the Network for Good eNewsletter article remind me of how much one picture on your website can do when it comes to the four elements of storytelling. After all, doesn’t the picture essentially introduce the character? Doesn’t the image also initially create a connection and get you wondering about the conflict and potential resolution?

Of course, nothing is ever easy when it comes to technology. So, the moral to today’s story isn’t as simple as “go add some pictures to your agency’s website“.

Lenka Istvanova wrote a great post titled “How to Increase Traffic To Your Website With The Help Of Images” at Koozai blog. She goes into great detail about:

  • Alt Tag
  • File Name
  • Image Size
  • XML and Image Sitemap

As I said, nothing is ever easy when it comes to technology, online marketing and ePhilanthropy. My best advice to non-techie people is to: 1) fight through the urge to give up and 2) hire employees and recruit volunteers who are techies to help you.

One final note . . . a few months ago a non-profit executive director friend of mine was contacted by a company claiming that her agency used a picture on their website that didn’t belong to them. Not only did it not belong to them, but there was no photo credit. This honest mistake by an employee cost the agency thousands of dollars in fines.

Does your non-profit organization make effective use of images on your website? Are you pulling people into your agency’s story? After capturing their attention, where are you taking them and how are you telling your story (e.g. YouTube video, article with more pictures, etc)? How are you using images on your website to enhance SEO? Where are you finding your images and ensuring you aren’t violating copyright laws?

Please use the comment box below to share your thoughts and experiences.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC!/eanderson847

Five ways your non-profit can participate in #GivingTuesday

Last week I provided a few ideas about how non-profits can benefit from creating a donor drive modeled after Black Friday sales. This week I want to highlight a campaign that is taking off for the first time tomorrow (the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving) by name of  Giving Tuesday.

After standing in lines on Black Friday, running around to leftover sales on the weekend, and grabbing the best deals online (aka Cyber Monday), many corporations and non-profits want to turn the nation’s attention to the spirit of giving.

Let’s take a look at five things your nonprofit can do to get involved tomorrow.

  1. Make it easy to donate – If people catch wind that there is a movement called “Giving Tuesday” and cannot make a donation on your agency’s website, then you’re going to miss the boat. As Erik stated in his post a few months ago about end of the year giving strategies, Giving Tuesday could be beneficial to your organization meeting its year-end fundraising goals. So, make sure there is clear and easy directions about how to make a donation on your website. You can add a Donate Now button easily through PayPal.  If you don’t have time to make major changes to your site, at least put up a blog post or update that tells people where they can send their money.
  2. Link it up – Link to your website on every social media platform where you have a presence. Make sure to mention “Giving Tuesday” in your updates. People don’t want to go searching for where to go. Also, don’t forget to also send an email to your donors.
  3. Provide reasons to give – On a variety of social media sites, share photos of what your organization does with the money it receives (e.g. services, items purchased, your clients, events, facilities, etc). If you are looking to reach a goal for a certain fund or project, then Giving Tuesday is the perfect time to highlight those needs. You also want to mention something simple such as what a $20 donation can provide. Remember, crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter have started a trend of microfunding and people are more apt to give to your organization if they can see results.
  4. Give updates – Throughout the day, give people updates on how things are going. There’s a reason why telethons go to the “total board” many times throughout the broadcast . . . it encourages people to give and creates a bandwagon effect.
  5. Thank people – Thank individuals who either “retweet” your tweets or “like” or “share” your photos on Facebook. Acknowledging those who participate in Giving Tuesday will only help the movement grow. So, even if all you do is spread the word tomorrow, next year your organizations could benefit even more.

I hope that these tips help and your organization gets involved in Giving Tuesday tomorrow.

Even if your organization hasn’t given any thought to Giving Tuesday until reading this post, getting involved by spreading the word can help lay the groundwork for next year. In all off your updates, make sure to include the hashtag #GivingTuesday. The organizers of the Giving Tuesday campaign are showing tweets with #GivingTuesday on their site in real-time. Think of the exposure your non-profit will receive.

What are your thoughts about Giving Tuesday? Is your organization planning on participating? If your agency does participate, please come back here and leave us a comment on how it went.

What to do When the Internet Breaks

Last week, Amazon Web Services, which many companies use for their web hosting service, was down for a day. This effected many major websites such as Reddit and Imgur. It reminded me that while living life in “the cloud” can be a good thing, it is also important to have a backup plan.

Furthermore, as you read this you have probably already read many updates about The East Coast and how they are preparing for Hurricane Sandy. With many businesses (including webhosts) based out of that part of the country, it is important to remember that things might not work as smoothly as you are used to for the next few days. Today, I thought we could spend some time to take a look at what you can do when part of the internet that your agency depends on, day in and day out, breaks.

When websites went down last week, it was easy to know what was happening because of alternate methods of communication. For example, I was able to see what was going on with Reddit because I saw a tweet from them explaining the situation. I even received an email from a company apologizing for any interruption in services due to the Amazon outage.

This highlighted the importance of communication to supporters when technology malfunctions. In order to make sure that people are aware of where to go when looking for news if some thing like your website crashes, it is important to have a strong following on various social networks. We live in an age of instant gratification where the instant is getting shorter and shorter. Making sure that you have a strong community on social networks and keeping communication active on these channels is important.

An overload of communications

Don’t forget about other methods of communication as well. Sending out an email to your mailing list is not a bad idea when your website is down. Also, don’t forget that some people actually still use the telephone, so it might be beneficial depending on the severity of the outage, to update your voicemail message with updates for people who might call.

You don’t want to risk loosing a donor, volunteer or supporter to your agency due to poor communication.

Have a Back Up Plan
Putting all of your eggs in the same basket isn’t always a good idea. Only having one copy of anything isn’t a good idea either. We talked about backing up data many times on DonorDreams before, but I felt it important to bring up again. If your web server ever goes down it is possible that you might not be able to recover your site. Having a local copy can make uploading it to an new server much easier. Always make sure you have things backed up.

Plan Ahead
Outages happen. Planning for them can make them easier to deal with. Sit down with your team and discuss what happens when technology fails. This conversation should go beyond just internet related things. Talk about what happens when the power goes out, the internet service goes down, or hardware breaks. After the meeting make sure that everyone is aware of the procedures discussed during the meeting and update them as things change. Ensuring that everyone is on the same page will minimize the stress if something goes wrong.

I hope today’s post has brought to light a few situations that people might not have thought about before. I hope that after reading this post, everyone has a better idea of what to do if part of the internet that their agency depends on doesn’t work. Have you experienced a technological failure that has impacted how your organization does business? How did you deal with it? Share your tips and tricks in the comments!

To all of our readers on the East Coast, stay safe out there! We’re thinking of you!


Creating secure passwords protects you, your non-profit and your donors

These days, it seems like every few months we are hearing of another password breach at a website. Just a few weeks ago one of the world’s largest online gaming companies, Blizzard, suffered a digital security breach and thousands of passwords were compromised. A month before that, the popular social networking site, LinkedIn was also hacked.

While there is not much that can be done when those things happen, you can take action to ensure your online identity and the identity of your agency remain secure. The first line of defense is coming up with a secure password.

Every site you sign onto will ask for a password. Furthermore, some people might need a password to sign into your computer. That can be a lot of passwords to try to remember. Here are a few tips on how to create memorable and secure passwords:

  • The longer the password, the better. While creating short but extremely random passwords might be a great strategy if you only have a few passwords to remember, chances are you have quite a few sites that require a password. This is why creating a long password is best. One idea is to think of a story you will never forget and put together a phrase with a few numbers based on that story. That phrase with a few numbers provides you with much better security.
  • Complex over simple. While you do not want a random collection of numbers and letters, you do want your password to have some complexity. This can be accomplished through the use of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. A general rule is to have  at least one of each in your password.
  • No personal information. Do not include things such as your address, phone number, birthdate, social security number, etc in your passwords. If for some reason a site that you are subscribed to is hacked, the hacker can use this information to link together other information on the web and find out who you are. In no time, your identity theft has your credit card numbers and other personal information.

It is best to have a different password for each site to which you are subscribed. If you are concerned about remembering a bunch of passwords, then there are password managers available to help you. Google Chrome and other browsers offer a password managers that save an encrypted version of your password for you, which will auto-complete the next visit that site. There are also independent password managers such as KeePass that also will save your passwords for you.

Your non-profit organization might already have a policy on creating passwords. So, before following any of the advice in this post, make sure you check with your IT Department and make sure your passwords are compliant. Also, remember to change your passwords often. A good rule of thumb is to change them every three months to keep accounts secure.

These best practices aren’t just necessary for your online activity. They also applies to internal software such as password protected donor databases.

Anyone else have some great password creation tips? What password manager do you use? Does your agency have a password creation policy? If so, would you be willing to share it with other readers? Let’s talk about all of this in the comment section!

What non-profits can learn from the Olympics: A lesson in social media

I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of the Olympics. It is a chance for me to see sports that I don’t normally have an opportunity to watch. For instance, have you seen handball?!!? That stuff is crazy!

Sports watching aside, the London 2012 Games have been a little different from the Olympiads before them. They are the most “social” games that we’ve ever experienced. I thought today, since we are smack dab in the middle of The Games, we could take a look at how social media has made an impact and what non-profits can take away from it.


Last week, reporter Guy Adam’s Twitter account, was taken down. This was shocking to hear because Twitter has been social media’s liberation network. Twitter is supportive of free speech . . . just look at their public positions on WikiLeaks and the Arab Spring movement. When reporter Guy Adams tweeted criticism of NBC’s coverage of the Opening Ceremonies, Twitter responded by shutting down his account. After media coverage of this censorship, Adams’ account was reactivated.

What can non-profits take away from this?

Just because social media is, in most cases, a free service and covered under the First Amendment, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Twitter, Facebook, et al, are still corporations. They can still regulate your account without your knowledge. As a result, I recommend that all non-profit organizations have their own websites and not solely rely on social media. After all, social media is only one tool that you should use to drive people to your website and share their message with the world.


People will talk. There’s no doubt about that.

However, there are times when people are not only representations of themselves, but they are also representing an organization and something larger than just themselves. So, when USA Women’s Soccer Team member, Hope Solo, tweeted her disdain for the commentary that was being given during her games, her coaches and captains called her in for a meeting. She wasn’t suspended, but since the meeting, her tweets have had a different tone to them.

Similarly, athletes have been suspended from participating in the The Olympic Games due to racist tweets they published.

What is the lesson in all of this for non-profit organizations? The need for a social media policy is stronger than ever.

What is the lesson in all of this for non-profit professionals? Employees and volunteers need to understand what restrictions might exist when it comes to sharing things on their personal accounts as it pertains to your organization.

Finally, this all begs one simple question: “How does your organization know who is saying what about you online?”

I believe that someone at your organization should be assigned the responsibility of monitoring what (if anything) is being said about your organization on the internet. Please don’t misunderstand . . . I’m not suggesting that you break any privacy laws here, but if an employee has a public twitter account, it can be seen by anyone.

One way to set up something without being as much of a stalker is to set up a Google Alert to notify you when the name of your organization or a key word attached your mission is mentioned on the internet.

Share Your Successes

The Olympics are all about results. Who ran the race the fastest? Which country has the most gold medals? Athletes, teams, and news networks constantly updating their feeds with success stories.

People like good news. Non-profit organizations should share their successes, big or small, with their online communities.

Did you recently make a purchase that will improve the work that you do? Tell people about it. Were you recently awarded a grant that will make an impact on furthering your mission? Scream it from the mountaintops of cyberspace.

People will “like” the good news on Facebook and retweet the news on Twitter. This can gain you new followers and supporters.

We still have about a week left of Olympic coverage, and new stories regarding social media are bound to pop up. I encourage you to keep your eyes open and see what happens. After all, in its most basic form, The Olympics are simply one big special event that is runs by an organization. Non-profits run special events, too. What social media stories have caught your eye recently? I’d love to talk about them in the comment section below!

Your website is the key to your non-profit social media strategy

Is your non-profit organization struggling with development of its social media strategy? Perhaps, you’re starting in the wrong place because having a functional, vibrant and active website is the start of any good social media strategy. Why? Because linking your social media communities to original website content is key to engagement. Of course, some days it is easier to come up with content than others, which is why I thought looking at five original content ideas for those difficult days might be helpful.

In no particular order:

1) News related to your mission.

Sharing the latest news with your audience does two things. First, you are demonstrating that you are an expert in your field because you are up to date on the latest news. Second, you are educating your audience on your mission and what is important to your organization. Having an educated audience will help supporters answer the question: “Why do I care about your agency?”

In resource development terms, sharing news related to your mission can have a cultivating effect on new prospective donors as well as a stewardship effect on existing ones.

Click here to see an example from One Campaign with regard to agricultural initiatives and famine.

2) Spotlights

People like to feel special. So, why not make more people feel special by featuring them on your website? Highlighting the volunteer/donor/employee/member of the week/month/year on your site is a simple way to generate content.

By featuring a photo and a short interview piece on your site, you are letting your audience know who makes up and supports your organization. The more personal your site is, the more familiar people will feel with your agency and the more apt they will be to volunteer or donate or work for you.

Click here to see an example from helpline center.

3) Financial News

Did you just get a large donation? Were you awarded a grant? Using your website to share information with your community demonstrates your agency’s commitment to transparency.

Additionally, if your organization’s financial management situation is publicly questioned, then posting a response on your website can help you control the message.

Click here for an example of how to demonstrate financial transparency on your website from Marklund.

4) Events

Do you have an event coming up? Tell people about it. Multiple times if possible. Did you just hold an event? Tell people how it went. Post photos of the good times had by all.

Are you currently holding an event? Consider liveblogging it. Depending on the event, it might be nice to update people on what is happening at the event as it happens.

Click here to see a good example from the Barrington Area Council on Aging.

5) Behind the Scenes

Share photos or stories about what happens in the office. Does your office participate in Office Olympics? Maybe post who won. Did you hold an organization picnic? Share photos from it. By sharing a little bit of the behind the scenes info with your website audience you are adding to the personality of your site, which can benefit you because people will feel as though they know who your organization is.

Here are just a few tips to keep in mind as your execute these five content strategies:

  • Posting original content to your website should represent your organization in the best light possible. While adding personality to your site is great, you still want to come off as professional at the same time.
  • Just like with your agency’s newsletter, make sure that you have a team of people looking at content before it goes up.
  • Don’t forget to link all of your great work to all of your connected social media sites.

I only mentioned five original content ideas, but there are a bunch of others. What are some of your favorite topics to talk about? Please use the comment box to share some of your ideas. Feel free to link to examples as well. If we all pitch in, then this post can be a resource for us when we’ve hit bloggers block. I am looking forward to see what we come up with!

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