We all love a good story. Why does your blog leave one out?

by Carol Buckheit on September 28, 2011

Many nonprofits host a blog, but few really nail storytelling  like the Connecticut Food Bank did last week.
Literary Cat

Their blog featured a daily series of posts by Governor Malloy’s liaison to Connecticut’s nonprofit community, Deb Heinrich, on taking the “SNAP Challenge.”   SNAP is Connecticut’s dressed-up name for food stamps, and Heinrich attempted to live on a food budget of $4/day, which just happens to be the average allotment for food for an individual on food stamps in this state. Why? To experience the reality of living on food stamps, as 380,000 Connecticut citizens do every day.

Here’s how Heinrich led off her post on Day 6 of the challenge:

“I am sitting here, staring at the computer with a raging headache, trying to concentrate on what it is I might want to write in today’s journal entry. I’ve had this headache on and off for two days. I’m on the sixth day of the Challenge. I am finding that even when I eat enough so that I don’t feel hungry, I am still not feeling well….”

After reading this series of personal posts, you’ll get it:  being hungry and unable to afford decent food exacts a pretty harsh physical and emotional toll, after just a few days. (The press, by the way, picked up the story, too.)

Why blog? For starters, nonprofits can show expertise on issues (and thus shape public opinion), drive traffic to a website,  inspire potential donors to give, ensure fresh website content, draw media coverage,  enable conversations with supporters, and more.

The most effective blogs draw attention to a cause by packing an emotional punch.  It’s that simple. Stories deliver.

Need ideas? Weave these kinds of stories into your blog posts (I’ve included examples from nonprofit orgs):

If you have the staffing capacity and a blog is consistent with your goals, try it. And don’t forget to measure the results. To get started, download Rosetta Thurman’s free Complete Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Blog.

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Photo by Suzi Duke: “Literary Cat”, January 17, 2005, Flikr Creative Commons License Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

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