5 Elements to Include in Your Charity Blog Style Guide to Grow Your Reach and Donations
For charities, blogs provide an important public face for the organization and offer another outlet to tell your story, grow your reach, and solicit donations. Whether you blog for charity as a volunteer or as part of a paid position, a blog style guide can ensure that the organization’s blog posts are mission-driven, effective, and fun.
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What should be included in a blog style guide?
Your blog style guide should be a “quick start” guide to help any charity member craft a blog post. As such, it should cover:
1. Acceptable topics: What type of content do you want to create for the blog? Do you want to blog about current news in your field, showcase success stories, broadcast news of grant funding, or do all of the above? This should also cover whether volunteers, clients, and others in the community will be mentioned via pseudonym or under their real name.
2. Post length: Consistency is key. Short, 200-word posts can work just as well as longer 1,000-word missives. The key question is: What works for you?
3. Post tone: Your mission, goals, and audience may guide you to use either a formal or casual tone. For example, a youth outreach charity would benefit from a casual tone of voice while a domestic violence nonprofit may find that a more formal tone serves the mission better. It’s up to you whether you want to use the first or third person in posts.
4. Image guidelines: Images help tell the story. To ensure that images complement the blog post, a style guide can mandate image resolution, size, and sourcing. See these sites for examples.
5. Social media promotion methods: If a staff member will promote the post on social media, the style guide should denote how it must be promoted and what hashtags should be used.
These blog style guide suggestions can help you formulate what works for your charity, and ensure that everyone who blogs feels comfortable doing so. If you are a nonprofit with a blog style guide, what other elements did you find important to highlight in your blogging style guide?