• David Downs

How Does a Content Writer Blog for a Charity?

The world of business and enterprise has changed dramatically over the past couple of years. There is a wide range of reasons why this has happened, not least due to the Covid pandemic.

Volunteer Packing Charity Food Boxes

There have been numerous changes to the welfare state, social care and the whole economy of support. Charities and non-profit organisations are in more need than ever, and there are now more charities than ever.

Being a content writer in the charity sector has a whole range of challenges specific to this sector. As more charities focus on online communications, there is a greater need for new technologies.

This involves research, training, and even moving out of date methods onto modern digital systems. The world of social media, blogging, web content is constantly growing and changing, with charities risk falling behind in some of these specialities due to lack of funding.

So here is how a charity content writer can fit right in the niche.

Why Should Charities Focus On Digital Content?

So with more charities all scrabbling for a piece of a reducing pie, it is all the more important that they have a more substantial digital marketing plan and programmes in place to get their needs heard.

A 2021 report by Digital Charity (https://report.skillsplatform.org/charity-digital-report-2021/) shows that 67% of charities see digital marketing as a key factor and are putting an infrastructure in place to support this. This is a considerable increase from 2019, when more than half of non-profit organisations did not have a programme in place.

Within the Third Sector, there was a lack of relevant skills and training in place to support decent programmes. Vast amounts of money and resources have been channelled in, including the provision of free online training. Organisations like Google have been spearheading a lot of this with a wide range of suites and mentoring. I can vouch for this, having received some excellent mentoring from Google.

Within digital marketing for the charity sector, good quality content writers and copywriters have been emerging, flexing their creative wings to drive charities forward in new and emerging ways.

See What is the Difference Between a Content Writer and Copywriter Here

How to Blog For Charity

There is a broad scope of the purpose of a blog post for charity. It might be to raise awareness of either the charity itself, the services they provide. It could be the plight of their end-users, a need for sustainable villages in India to reduce child labour, a drug rehab unit in South London, HIV projects in Surrey, and Children’s Hospitals needing research into increasing childhood illnesses.

OK, these are all charities I have personally been involved with and worked with.

Here are my key tips:

1 Know why you are writing

Vary your content to suit the wider reading audience. Are you writing to volunteers? Get them excited about being on a muddy riverbank at 6 AM, picking up old wet wipes and plastic. If writing to fundraisers, let them know their events are the lifeblood of the organisation.

2 Do your research

What if you are writing about a breakthrough in science? With so much debate about facts or misinformation today, it is vital to speak with authority. AND DO YOUR RESEARCH!

3 Post regularly

Getting your charity’s name out in the digital space takes a lot of work. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the magic that gets your ranking high on Google, Bing and other search engines. Blogging and posting on social media is not just a tick box exercise. It gains traction, gets you noticed in all sorts of places and builds your authority in your sector.

4 Be Specific

There are so many stories to tell; it is tempting to put several into your blog. Resist the temptation. There are a few reasons to hold back on spilling everything in a post.

You might want to hit a target of one thousand words, but don’t fill it with meandering words.

If your blog post is about fundraising, keep that post to fundraising. If it is about a new head of learning at your favourite children’s hospital, stick to the announcement.

In most posts, you’ll want to end with a call to action, especially if requesting funding. A news brief might not seem so appropriate. This reflects back to point 1 in understanding the purpose of each post.

5 Use images and video

If you are writing a lot of text, it is a good idea to break it up with well placed and appropriate pictures. It can help with reducing your chances of waffling, too, since a picture is worth a thousand words. A good picture can show the villagers in your charity’s village getting their lives together. It can help reach out to the emotional centre of your readers.

Don’t forget to add in ‘ALT Text.’ This relates to SEO and helps get you found in Google searches. Add in a short sentence describing what is in the picture. It helps with accessibility for those who cannot see the picture but rely on spoken software.

Video can be a great way to show small interviews with your service users. Often, their stories can tell more than any of us content writers. It also increases read time on your post, which can again help with ranking, depending on certain platforms that you post on.

How can we serve our charities better?

There are many mentors out there who encourage finding clients that pay massive amounts for content writers.

Cleaning rubbish on River bank for charity
Yes, I am in there picking up rubbish from the Thames shorefront at silly o'clock

This blog post is not promising you an income that will allow you to holiday in the Maldives each quarter. Charities have to count and justify every penny spent, so they don’t always have the money to afford a top-flight content writer. But with the right digital strategy, there is no reason why working with charities cannot be a lucrative venture for both the charity and the writer.

That is the benefit of hiring a freelance writer. You only pay by the project. Many decent writers build packages for longer-term campaigns. They might offer a weekly blog for a three-month period with a bulk reduction. You do not have the additional expense worries of keeping someone employed, their salary and on-costs. You can rest easy, knowing this writer is dedicated to you on each project. They won’t be a jack of all trades milling from day to day just to look busy.

See my blog about the skills of a content writer: Here

Are you In Need of a Charity Content Writer?

Are you a charity or non-profit organisation looking to increase your digital presence? If any of the above points stand out for you, and maybe some of them fill you with dread of learning new methods, get in touch with me. I am a freelance content writer and copywriter.

Marshalling at CRUK's Race for Life
My chance to attend CRUK's Race for Life - marshall Downs!

I have worked with a wide range of charities over the past thirty years and would love to see how I can help you with your content. I offer a free consultation to see how we can work on a project to get your charity some excellent and engaging content out there.

Contact Me HERE