Are you looking to use blogging to grow your non-profit? Do you want to learn strategies to help you fundraise?
In this interview, Mazarine Treyz from Wild Woman Fundraising shares tips on how to do so.
Along with each post, there's a detailed podcast episode. You should listen to it. Why? Because I think it's cool, and I think you should think so too. Oh wow. Look at that play button.
After losing her job as a fundraising officer in October 2009, Mazarine moved from Portland Oregon to Austin, TX.
She had heard that there were more jobs available there, but she was unsuccessful at landing one. At that time, she felt stuck.
But she had been learning about blogging and had a lot of knowledge to share about fundraising. So, she decided to start a blog about how to fundraise.
It worked out well because she had a lot of time on her hands and was on unemployment. As a writing/poetry major in college, she knew she wanted to write a book.
After reading the 4-hour workweek, she figured she could use her blog to promote her future book. The book was called a Wild Woman’s Guide to Fundraising.
Little did she know, her blog would become the main way she promoted products, events, classes and other books in the future.
Since her major was poetry, she was a fan of alliteration. Mazarine describes the word Wild as “speaking your truth even if your voice shakes”.
Her blog was a place for her to speak the truth of fundraising. She saw that fundraisers were used up and spit up by organizations. This wastes a lot of money and time.
Her blog was a place where she could be honest about what they were going through and to help approach fundraising better.
She started the blog started in October 2009. In 2010, after reading a bunch of books about blogging, she decided to post 5 days a week (yes, you read that correctly).
The focus of her content was covering the basics of fundraising. She also interviewed a few people and started doing presentations locally. Her blog served as a platform to promote those events.
She was writing all the time. Would take a break and wrote something fun on Friday. She wrote for approximately two hours a day.
When Mazarine started her blog, she knew she had to get people there. So she started doing a few things to drive traffic.
This was a strategy that was very popular in the early days of blogging. It worked for Mazarine. She’d find other blogs in her niche, comment on their posts and link back to her posts.
Mazarine did webinars for other people’s audiences on the topic of fundraising. At the end of the webinar, she would let the attendees know about her blog and the resources they can find there.
Using Yahoo Answers, Mazarine would find questions about fundraising. This resulted in additional exposure for her blog.
While Social media didn’t play a big part in her blog’s growth in the beginning, she did mention that she had some success in the early days using Twitter to promote her content.
Since there weren’t a lot of blogs on the topic of fundraising, her newsletter served as a great way to get traffic.
People subscribed to get resources related to fundraising. As a result, she was able to promote her content to her email list.
The blog grew from zero to over 50,000 monthly readers. Millions of people have read her blog. It has helped hundreds of thousands of people raise funds for their organizations.
Today, having sold so much through her blog, she remains grateful for the opportunities she has had.
As her audience started to grow. Mazarine started to monetize her blog, which was her plan from the beginning.
In her first year as a blogger, she focused on promoting her book. By year two, she started selling webinars and using her blog to get speaking engagements.
The principles for using blogs to grow your non-profit are similar to with other businesses. Your blog is a platform that can be used to grow an audience.
The key is to target the audience you are trying to attract. In the case of a non-profit, this can be donors, volunteers, companies etc.
Here are some of Mazarine’s best tips
Think of every single question your target audience has and try to speak to them at the most basic level.
A great example of this is the Livestrong Foundation. People come there because they (or a loved one) has cancer.
So they have a lot of content on what to do when you have cancer. They also provide resources to help people in their hour of need.
According to Mazarine, video goes a long way when it comes to non-profits. It’s a medium that works very well to tell stories, and that’s a great way to convince people to take action.
Share stories from the sponsors as well as the recipients of the benefits from the non-profit. These stories should highlight the kind of person you are trying to attract.
They can be stories about volunteers, companies, donors, etc. The more you share these kinds of stories, the more of those people you will attract.
Your content strategy is not about how much money you need. It’s about the stories that will have an impact on the people you are trying to reach.
Mazarine recommends running a campaign in the Spring and Fall to encourage people to donate. These campaigns consist of website content, blog posts, emails and clear calls to action with a sense of urgency. What is the consequence of not acting now?
You want your audience to feel like they need to do something immediately. Any media coverage you’re getting is great to include, as well as good for exposure.
Have a donate button on a page to encourage year-round donations. This donate button should be prominently displayed at the top of the page.
This was a great story of how Mazarine grew her blog, along with some great tips that you can use for your non-profit. If you want to know more about this topic, make sure to check out Wild Woman Fundraising. Also, check out Mazarine’s new book – Get the Job: Your Fundraising Career Empowerment Guide.
Are you involved in the non-profit sector? Have you been using blogging to raise funds or grow your organization? Let me know in the comments below.
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