We’ve assembled some great writers and thinkers, like Joel Widmer, Shannon Litton, and Daniel White as our regular contributors, with some great part-time writers and guest-posters as well. As we officially launch this NBB site, I like to make the guidelines and suggestions known for what we’re looking for and trying to accomplish for each blog.
Dear blogger: Here’s what you need to know when writing for NonBoardBoard (NBB)
1) It’s OK to mention Jesus in your post. Most of the focus of NBB is on the business side of running a non profit. However, that shouldn’t make us forget the ‘why’ of what we’re doing. Some guy 2,000 years ago worked hard to make sandals that helped the disciples walk farther and longer to reach more people with the gospel. Even though he didn’t have a glamorous job, he was still very important at helping the disciples do what they do better. The same goes for us. We share our ‘non-glamorous’ expertise in skills like social media, accounting, efficiency, strategic planning, networking, etc, so that these leaders and their nonprofits can go out and preach the gospel, serve the widows and the orphans, heal the sick, rescue the slaves, and make an impact on the world.
2) It’s OK to mention mistakes in your post. One of the driving goals of NBB is to remind leaders it’s OK for them not to know everything, and part of that is admitting mistakes. In the ‘about’ section, I admit one of my mistakes that almost stopped NonBoardBoard before it really got started. The important thing is that if you do make a mistake, you fix it, you improve, and you go on to make an even bigger impact.
3) Remember your core audience. Who are you writing for? In general, it’s someone leading a Christian start-up non profit (1-5 years) that operates internationally, although these tips are pretty universal and can help a wide variety of people. Your reader is a smart person with a big heart, who is good at some things, but not everything. Our job is to help make awesome nonprofit leaders awesomer. We do this through blogs, youtube videos, etc. I always like to have one specific person in mind when I write (I’ve picked Daniel for this blog, just because he’s asked me some of these questions). I’ve realized that if one person has a problem or issue, then chances are a lot of other people do as well. By writing down our advice for that person and putting it on a website (removing any personally sensitive info, of course), we can help a whole lot more people in the same predicament.
4) A shorter blog is better than longer blog. One tip I use I pulled from Robert Smith’s book “20,000 Days and Counting“. You take your phone, set your timer for 15 minutes, and write as much as you can (I’ve got 2:06 left as I write this). By giving yourself 15 minutes, you’re forced to write down only the most important things. You can go back and add in some context later, but usually what you put down in that 15 minutes is the best and most impactful information. If you do have a subject with a lot of great info, it’s better to have 3 shorter blogs than one gigantic blog.
5) Have fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously. You are awesome at what you do, otherwise I wouldn’t have asked you to write for NBB. Just enjoy the process and have fun with your writing and your audience. One last thing, which is the most important thing, is
OK, the timer went off. I’m done. Thanks for blogging for NBB!