Q&A: Blogging For Charities


A little while ago I received the following question…

I was wondering if you could explore the intricacies of blogging about charity….While blogging for charities can be seen as a way of giving back, where do we draw the line? Will asking for payment mean that we are too greedy? What about the fact that some do have allocated advertising budgets for traditional media? Where does that leave bloggers? Should we even dare ask for payment?       

I decided to ask a few bloggers who regularly deal with PR requests to share their thoughts with me. This is what they had to say…

 

Kellie, Three Lil’ Princesses and MUM PR

What’s your approach to blogging for charity?

If the charity is something close to my heart and one that fits with my blog, then I’m happy to post about it. If I’m unable to relate to it personally, then I find it difficult to write about. Instead, in this instance, I’ve offered to tweet and Facebook about the cause to help spread the word. I have never and would never ask for payment from a charity organisation, as it just doesn’t sit right with me. That’s just me though. 

Nikki, Styling You 

How do you respond to PR requests?

I read what the charity is about and consider whether it’s something that “speaks” to me and my readers.  Typically these are charities related – but not exclusive to – women’s health. There are some charities that are personally very close to my heart and it’s a no brainer whether I support them with blog space.  Sometimes there is a fashion and beauty tie-in (like Liptember, White Shirt Day, Jeans for Genes Day, Loud Shirt Day and Pink Ribbon month for October).  For me that’s a double win – charities that mean something to me personally as well as giving me direct ways which my readers can contribute and meaningful ways I can create a blog post.  Given that readers come to me for fashion and beauty advice the link makes sense.

I personally have never asked for payment for these posts – because I believe in giving back  in every part of my business.  Offline and online.

That’s not to say that if any of these charities approached me in a brand ambassador type role that I wouldn’t jump at the chance.  That’s when I would look at negotiating a fee.

Typically this would occur long before a press release is sent and would be incorporated into the marketing of the campaign.  Often this is up to 12 months out.  I think a blogger would have to have an incredible reach and influence for a charity to spend its precious dollars that way but, hey, you never know.  Also consider approaching a particular charity 12 months in advance with a proposal to be a part of the campaign.  This would have more chance of opening up a discussion around payment at a time when budgets were actually being worked out.

Where do you draw the line?

I think it’s important to set yourself some guidelines for which charities you will support in a given year – and how much support you will give.  This will help you to make quick decisions when the press release for the next campaign lands in your inbox.  You will be clear in your mind whether it’s a yes or no and be able to answer the PR representative by saying you allocate x amount of space each year on your blog to x number of charities.  You can say that allocation has already been made, please contact me in advance next year.  Or you can say, yes I’ll support you.

With any PR pitch it really comes back to whether its of relevance to you and your readers.  And remember you have to give to receive – it’s a great principle for business as well as blogging.

 Nikki recently wrote a blog post about this very topic: Blogging For A Cause

 

Mrs Woog, Woogsworld

How do you feel about blogging for charities?

I support the Shepherd Centre who helped me for 5 years to get my deaf son talking. This particular charity charged me no fees for World Class therapy every week. I will do and have done, anything I can to help them as they run off the smell of an oily rag and what they did was life changing for my son. I find the notion of bloggers asking for payment from a charity really stomach churning. But that is just me.

Choose a charity that resonates with you and work with them to spread their message. If I was offered payment,  I would ask them to donate that payment to the cause. But I would never in a million years ask for compensation.

 

Thanks ladies for sharing your views.

Would love to hear what you think in the comments…

9 Comments

  1. I get a lot of requests from charities to “just let my readers know about X” and I inevitably, never do. I always feel guilty about it, but honestly, I don’t have the energy to support every single charity that wants a post.

    Like, Jeans for Genes day is amazing and I usually donate, but I didn’t post about it this year because until someone starts to research genes that might help my family, I don’t have the time. Is that selfish of me? Probably. But honestly, it’s easier to donate a little money and wear a pin, rather than donating time and blog space. If they are just after a free ad space, I can usually swing that however.

    So, basically, my thoughts are conflicted and I want my posts to be about things that resonate deeply with me, not just regurgitated press releases about charity events.

    Post a Reply
  2. I tend to agree with what has already been said. I have once written a sponsored post for UNICEF – I’m not sure if they classify as a charity? I have to admit that I felt quite uncomfortable doing that, so to ease my guilt, I offered to donate a dollar for every comment received. In the end, I donated more, because there were not that many comments.

    Post a Reply
  3. I would only support charities that I personally feel connected to. If they offered payment I would accept it, as I would with any other sponsored post.
    I would support them, regardless of payment and help spread the word, it just depends on what the charity is after. (ie how much time it will take)

    Post a Reply
  4. I have written about charities without them even asking me.

    I would never ever take money from a charity to write a post, I can understand the charity ambassador may get paid, as discussed by Nikki, but that position would come with hours and hours (months and months ) of reponsibility.

    There are thousands of charities, all of them are for good causes, not all of them relate personally to me, and there are many proposals I receive that I don’t write about. But those that I do have a link with, I enjoy writing about, I enjoy telling people about. It makes me feel good, and it can give you a writing challenge about how to write something unique about them.

    For anyone who is writing to try and increase traffic to their blog, don’t discount the power of a cause. I recently read a post about charities at Nikki’s blog, someone left a comment saying they would love exposure for a charity they worked with, I replied that I would be happy to host that post.

    In two days it had more traffic than any other post and now sits as my most popular post ever.

    I did the post as I truly believed in the cause and what they were asking for, and clearly, so did lots of my readers.

    I also donate a lot of things that I receive as a blogger to a local family services charity. It isn’t much, but they are really excited to get the things I give them and I know it might just give someone who is having shitty luck, five minutes of smiling.

    As a reader I also enjoy reading about other people’s work within the community, be it volunteer work they do, Gala balls they organise or attend to raise money, auctions on facebook etc… To me, this all reminds me of the good in people, in the world, it inspires me and moves me.

    Bring on the charity posts!

    (apologies for leaving a blog post length comment, again!!)

    Post a Reply
  5. I think taking payment from a charity for a blog post is a bit off putting… considering how many bloggers post or tweet or FB about a big brand for nothing more than a sample that costs a few bucks. I feel it is time much better spent to blog about a charity you truly believe in. But then, I am a big believer in the ‘pay it forward’ type concept… so if I am able to do something good for someone else who does good then I am all for it.

    If I 100% believe in what a charity is doing and what it stands for them I won’t hesitate to support them if I can. But I don’t always feel my beliefs align 100% with some charities.

    I also have my limits… I don’t accept content from other sources at present (apart from the odd personal guest post) and I don’t want to fill my blog up with ads or charity content, so sometimes I have to say no for other reasons… but on the whole I think supporting charities is a good thing and I have seen the great things bloggers can do for a cause when they put their blogs to good use.

    Post a Reply
  6. Yep, I’m with all the others on this – you can’t support every charity, so you choose which ones fit well. And if you believe in a charity enough to help promote it, I don’t think you’d be asking them for compensation.

    Post a Reply
  7. I’ve blogged several times for charity in my blog’s short lifespan. I do it because the causes are dear to me and would not ask for, nor accept, compensation. The definition of charity is to voluntarily give our time, money or help those in need. To take payment that could otherwise assist those who need it most is surely uncharitable?

    Post a Reply
  8. We are a charity ourselves and have often wondered about whether we could “spread the word” by contacting bloggers. The difficulty is finding bloggers who are interested in what we do and for whom the cause is close to their hearts.

    What about adding a badge to your site, to show that you support a charity?

    Post a Reply
  9. It’s interesting … since I offered my opinions I’ve been thinking more and more about creating a strategy around how I support charities with my blog. Veggie Mama yesterday said she was now going to donate a portion of her sponsored post income to Foundation 18 – a charity set up by blogger Cate Bolt. I also support this charity – mostly because Cate is a blogger doing good.
    I also do work locally and am on a committee for an annual charity gala that raises money for children’s health needs.
    More and more I’m thinking that I’d like to align my blog with one charity – businesses do this all the time. This way I could add a badge to my site and regularly make a donation from the income earned off my blog. It would very much help in deciding which causes I supported editorially on my blog.

    Post a Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 5 things I learned while on a bloggie mini-break | Styling You - [...] asking for payment when requested to write about a charity or cause on my blog.  The post over at Brand…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

nineteen − 12 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.