Nonprofits that use their websites to promote their causes and reach new potential donors can benefit from hosting an official blog. A blog, like social media accounts, is a useful tool for promoting an organization’s brand, publicizing achievements, and so on. Properly drafted, a blog can also improve a website’s results on search engines, potentially steering new traffic to the organization’s site. A nonprofit that wants to run a blog should take care to ensure that the blog does not create unwanted problems.
- Manage content with care. It’s important for a nonprofit’s blog to be consistent with the organization’s mission. An organization should not delegate responsibility for its blog to anyone without providing a procedure for managers, or in some cases the board, to review and approve blogs before they are made public. The person responsible for reviewing the blog should be guided by a formal policy that regulates the organization’s communications.
- Link with care. A blog can often benefit from links to another organization’s website. Links can serve as a kind of citation for the information provided on a site. But links need to be handled with care. Linking to a website that takes positions that are contrary to the organization’s mission can do more harm than good.
- Pay attention to third-party linking policies. Many websites welcome links from third party sites. But others have strict policies that require prior approval or impose other obligations on sites that link to them. Casually linking to websites that prefer to be consulted or ask for attribution can erode an organization’s reputation and even lead to requests that the offending post be removed.
- Respect copyright. An important corollary to paying attention to others sites’ linking policies is ensuring that the content of a blog is original work. The efficiency of search engines makes it easy to discover plagiarism. An organization should be sure that the content of its blogs—both the writing and the images—are original works or are posted with the permission of the copyright owner.
The Church Law Center of California counsels religious and secular nonprofits on governance and risk management. We are happy to answer your organization’s questions about how to manage risks associated with operating a blog. Call us today at (949) 689-0437 or reach out to us through our contact page.