Saturday, August 30, 2008

Telling Story Using Blogs - Connecting Strategies

How many small non profit organizations are in cities like Chicago, doing wonderful things to help youth and families, but struggling to find consistent funding, new volunteers, and public attention to support their good work?

How many have a web site, but not much traffic? In the retail business world, that's like having a great store, with fantastic products or services, but no customers, because no one knows you exist.

Most businesses overcome this by buying advertising exposure, or hiring public relations firms to generate public attention. Most small non profits barley have money for rent and service, with few dollars for consistent advertising.

Thus we need different strategies. One is to use blogs to tell your story.

I've been hosting a blog since 2005, as my own way of sharing my ideas and attracting public attention to Cabrini Connections, the Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference and to other tutor/mentor programs in Chicago. I encourage volunteers and other staff at Cabrini Connections to also use blogs to tell of our work from their different job perspectives, attracting visitors from their different college and family networks.

I've participated with the Non-Profit Blog exchange for the past couple of years because it expands the network of bloggers who I learn from, and who work with me during certain time frames to increase attention for all of us, not just one of us.

This month I'm exchanging blog messages with the Brandywine Counseling Blog. They are Delaware's largest non-profit addiction treatment agency. I think the way they use their blog to introduce the people in their organization is a powerful form of story telling.

If you are a leader of a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program, in Chicago, or in any other part of the world, I encourage you to review the way this blog personalizes their organization and uses the blog to share daily information, attract donors, and build understanding of what they do.

I also encourage you to look at blogs like this which demonstrates a powerful use of visualization to help draw people together around common goals.

On the left in the links section I have tags to previous articles I've written on strategy, and to articles I've written using geographic maps, and concept maps. I also have links to sections on the Tutor/Mentor Connection web site where I aggregate links to blogs that talk about tutoring/mentoring, or some of the issues we're dealing with.

In the Presidential campaign to elect a new US president, we're hearing a lot about change, and many uses of the word GOD. We are hearing people say that in America, anyone should be able to reach his or her dreams, if they just work hard enough.

Maybe this means, GOD helps those who help themselves.

If you lead a small non profit, a blog is a free, low-cost way to help yourself get attention from those who need to help you reach your dreams. If you're already incorporating a blog strategy, please share it.

If you are working with volunteers in tutoring and/or mentoring programs, I hope you'll link to us in your blogs, and add your link to our library of blogs. Good luck to all of you as you move into the 2008-09 school year.


Matt said...

Daniel, thanks for your kind words about our blog, and also for the link to the BrightSpot blog – I will check it out.

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

I've met quite a few new friends and potential partners through blog exchanges. It's an effective part of any networking strategy.