6 Places Your Nonprofit Can Find Blog Ideas

Photo by Paulien Ossen
08.23.2012By

Photo by Paulien Ossen

Editor’s Note: Happy to have Ken Mueller on the blog again today! Read his past posts here.

One of the most important things you can do online for your organization is to blog.

But just thought of having to create and maintain a blog on a regular basis can be rather daunting. I’ve seen clients almost freeze up when I suggest they start blogging, as they think about the time commitment, as well as the potential financial and manpower costs.

Let’s face it, not everyone is a comfortable writing, or even just thinking up content ideas.

But chances are, you already have a blog and don’t even know it. In other words, the content already exists, and you just have to find a way to take that offline content and put it online.

Take a look around your office. You might realize that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You merely need to repurpose.

Here are a few offline types of content that can easily be converted into blog posts (or even culled for Facebook and Twitter content):

Brochures

I recently visited a nonprofit that had racks full of informational brochures, all dealing with various issues related to their organizational mission. Each of those brochures is probably enough content for at least one blog post. In some cases it might work word for word, while some you might have to modify or excerpt. An added bonus here is that you might be able to cut back on printing costs and start pointing people to the appropriate blog post. Oh, and it’s green, which everyone will love.

Newsletters and Letters

If you have a printed newsletter, or mail out fundraising letters, odds are they are filled with facts, figures, articles, and stories, all of which are prime fodder for blog and social media content. Any other print materials that you write and produce, including fact sheets, are great sources for online content.

Magazines and Trade Journals

Whatever your nonprofit’s mission, you most likely subscribe to a number of publications that are specific to your sector. Those publications are filled with potential content. You won’t want to lift it directly, but you can certainly excerpt with proper attribution, and add your own thoughts on what the articles mean to you and your community, and perhaps give a local angle.

Your Receptionist

This is a favorite of mine: go to the person in your organization who answers the phone, opens the mail, receives the general email, and ask them what kinds of questions people are asking. Other than hours of operation and location, the questions that are being asked most often are probably perfect topics for blog posts or Facebook updates. These also would be good for your website’s FAQ section.

The People Who Walk Through Your Doors

Every client, every family member, and every volunteer is someone with a story. Each of these stories can be told online, either in a written post or a video.

Your Archive

If you have any sort of organizational archive, you probably have photos, old articles, publications and letters. Even if the information isn’t current, you can use these materials to tell your organizational history and story. Sometimes the juxtaposition of the past with the present offers great insight into who you are and how far you’ve come.

Suddenly finding content for your blog doesn’t seem so difficult, does it? What other offline resources do you have that you can turn into online content?