Influencer Outreach for Non-Profits


Video Transcription

Hi there. I’m Mattie Grant and my presentation for you today is “How Smart Non-profits Do Blogger Outreach Right.” Thanks for joining me today, whether you’re from a non-profit association or just interested in this topic. So, who am I? The most important thing you need to know about me is that I’m a blogger. Here is my full bio on the slide, if you can read it. You will get the reason why I put this up here in just a minute.

I’m lead editor for, which is a large association and non-profit industry social media blog. At Socialfish, we have about 30 bloggers who write about all kinds of social media related topics, including things like how to use particular social media tools, case studies and data about associations and non-profits using social media well, opinion pieces about social business and digital culture, all kinds of things, but targeted to a specific non-profit and association audience.

Here is why all of that is important. If you’re a non-profit with a campaign of some kind, it’s very possible that I am your target. I could be described as an influencer by virtue of the fact that I run this very large with a wide audience of people interested in what non-profits are doing online. I’m not necessarily a topical influencer. I’m pretty agnostic when it comes to what causes or what industry verticals we talk about on the blog.

If you’re running a quit smoking campaign or a save the whales campaign, for example, I’m not particularly interested in healthcare specifically or marine animals specifically. I am interested in all kinds of non-profits and how they use social, including healthcare associations and other animal cruelty related non-profits.

I could be a useful influencer for reaching organizations that can help you spread the word about your particular cause.

How would you actually know that about me? Assuming you found me through an online search for relevant keywords or through a social media monitoring system, or blogger outreach platform like Group High. You would land on my homepage at From here, there are four simple ways to see what we write about.

The first way is obvious. A quick glance at the posts on the homepage will tell you a lot. In this particular screenshot, which I know is pretty small, you can see posts about Pinterest, about content marketing, a case study about why non-profits should spend money on Facebook advertising, an association video that when viral, and a post about community management fundamentals. Along with a bunch of links to related content.

The second way is by looking at our books that are prominent on the top right sidebar. Just by looking at the titles, you can see what we care about the most. The top one, the red one is called Humanize, How People Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World, and the bottom one is called Open Community: A Little Book of Big Ideas Navigating the Social Web.

The third way to see what we write about is through the about us page. It’s the next tab over from where the books are. It spells out, right there in black and white, what we write about on Socialfish. “We are authors and speakers on social media strategy and our Socialfish blog is the biggest industry social media blog for associations and non-profits.

We have a whole team of regular guest bloggers writing for us on social strategy, social media, and community management and implementation. Social theory, social business, and lots of other topics that interest us and push our industry forward.

Finally, just in case you hadn’t figured it out yet and wanted more specifics, you could look at the categories we write about. Obviously, clicking on any of these categories will bring you to a list of all the posts in each category. Plenty of content to give you a good idea of what we’re all about.

Ultimately though, the best way to reach me is to build a relationship with me. I’m on Twitter, of course, and I would think every blogger you might want to reach is. I’m easy to find and I’d like nothing more than to chat with you there. It only takes a couple of tweets to start getting to know each other, especially if you start with something like “I like what you wrote about in this particular post”.

Here is a secret. All bloggers respond well to flattery, in my opinion. As long as the flattery shows that you actually read our stuff. Bearing that in mind, I thought I’d show you some examples of non-profit pitches that did make it onto my blog.

As you can imagine, I get a ton of these pitches and only a select few get chosen. The reasons they get chosen are pretty simple. Here is the first one. The Blue Key Campaign. This is a campaign by USA for UNHCR asking people to buy a blue key to show support for work helping refugees. For this one, the ask came from a PR person I already knew. We’re both from Washington D.C. and she had reached out and introduced herself at an event. We had already met on Twitter. She was representing a trusted organization.

When I get a lot of pitches, I will tend to pay more attention to those that seem legitimate and trusted over those from organizations I’ve never heard of or people emailing me from Yahoo or Hotmail emails. Sorry, I know that sounds snobbish, but I’m being honest. They also provided lots of blogger resources, including visuals, videos, testimonials, and this cool virtual book with first hand stories from refugees. These are all things I could use and point to in my blog post.

Finally, they had a very simple call to action. Buy a blue key for five dollars, which was something I knew I could invite my audience to participate in without asking for too much. Next example is Give 2 the Max Day. This was a one day event. A giving day where a bunch of non-profits could ban together to fundraise. A bunch of local non-profits. What interested me about this one was that it was a collective effort. I as a blogger who reaches out to non-profits, who has an audience of non-[profits, I could potentially use this post to help a bunch of non-profits at once. Also, it was a local effort. All about raising money for non-profits in Washington D.C. where I’m based. That made it even more relevant to me.

Finally, the once again provided a ton of blogger resources, including this media toolkit with logos and widgets and badges on the right. Here is an interesting thing. They listed us bloggers on their main website and named us activators. Meaning that in exchange for our help in advising on the direction of the campaign, and in helping to promote the campaign, they gave us not only a real role, but also recognition. Even more than that, they used social proof. In other words, if we were part of a team helping to make this happen, then we weren’t about to let the rest of the team down by not doing our part. That’s a pretty genius move.

Next example is the Do Gooder Video Awards. This one, actually like all of them, had a strict time factor involved. First, asking for non-profits to submit videos to be judged, then for people to vote on the submissions, then for the actual awards announcement. For me, the value factor was to be able to reach many non-profits at once. Like with Give 2 the Max Day and potentially help non-profits reap the rewards for participating in the awards, like lots of views on their videos. Then, for the winner to be on the home page of You Tube and potentially get millions of views.

This was topically interesting from a social media perspective as well as just simply from helping non-profits perspective. And, of course, obviously a non-profit video award campaign had a ton of videos I could post.

I’m assuming that by this point, you’re kind of sensing a theme. The more visual stuff I can use as a blogger, the better. For my final example, the NTEN 50,000 campaign. This one is actually still running. This appealed to me because I happen to be a member of NTEN, the Non-profit Technology Network, which is an association for non-profit technology people.

We’re celebrating 50,000 members this year and are trying to raise $50,000 so we can help many more non-profits. For this one, I was asked to participate in a Crowdrise campaign. Personally be part of the team that pledged to help raise money. This, as you can probably tell, goes way beyond just posting a blog post. However, it’s also obvious that as someone who has a platform for spreading the word about things like this, it’s inextricably linked to my ability to bring in a large audience.

In particular, this happens to be an association that I love very much and I’m deeply involved with. There is definitely a what’s in it for me factor. I want to show that I’m doing my part as a member. The lesson here would be define those champions who are already in your community. Already in your online universe. People who already care about what you’re doing. They’ll be influencers in that group of people.

Here is my conclusion. I could have added a bunch of slides about bad pitches or what not to do. I think it all boils down to this: Do you homework. Don’t pitch me blind. Know what I care about as a blogger and most importantly, figure out what would help me bring value to my readers. Ultimately, that’s the only thing that matters to bloggers. That’s it. Thank you.