HOW TO: Set Goals For Your Nonprofit Blog

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If you don’t have goals for a blog, you won’t use your time and resources effectively. It would be like taking driving lessons and buying a car only to drive around and around in circles instead of heading to California. In this sense, setting goals for your blog should be like planning a trip with California as your ultimate destination.

Why More Website Traffic is a Bad Goal

The ultimate goal for trip across the United States isn’t to see how many miles you can drive. It isn’t to see how much gas you can buy. And it isn’t to see how many punch buggies you can count. It’s about getting to California.

Similarly, page views or visitors per month won’t be effective goals for your blog. Your goal should be something specific that’s tied to a business objective. For example you might want to have a goal of increasing e-mail subscribers, or online donations, or new volunteers.

Setting Smart Goals for Your Blog

Once you’ve decided on the goals for your blog you need to define them in a way that makes them smart (useful).

  • Specific. “Creating more awareness” is way too vague. You’ll never be able to determine if you’ve met that goal.
  • Measurable. If your goal is not measurable you won’t know how far you are away from achieving it. This is especially important if you are conducting an online fundraising campaign.
  • Achievable. If you currently get 50 online donations per month, don’t set yourself up for failure by setting a goal of 500 online donations per month. It’s better to shoot low and hit the target than to be discouraged and give up.
  • Relevant. Goals should make sense to all involved. And if they can elicit a sense of personal ownership within staffers and fundraisers, you’ll get a smiley face.
  • Timely. You should break up your goal into small chunks that you can measure monthly. For example 100 new social fundraisers per month.

Goals that would make sense would be to “Get fifty new peer-to-peer fundraisers in sixty days,” or “Increase the average donations per fundraiser by 10% over the next eight weeks.”

8 thoughts on “HOW TO: Set Goals For Your Nonprofit Blog”

  1. Avatar

    John, I really appreciate this post as I both serve as a board member for and work with many np’s and often hear vague goals like “drive more traffic to our X” or “increase visibility” (with whom? where? why? to achieve what?). Are there any metrics tools you are particularly liking these days to help measure defined goals?

    1. Avatar

      Amy – Good old Google Analytics. You can create custom reports based on your goals, and create custom dashboards too. I also like Hootsuite reports for use with executive folks who like to see “the big picture” in pie charts and graphs. 

  2. Avatar

    John, I really appreciate this post as I both serve as a board member for and work with many np’s and often hear vague goals like “drive more traffic to our X” or “increase visibility” (with whom? where? why? to achieve what?). Are there any metrics tools you are particularly liking these days to help measure defined goals?

    1. Avatar

      Amy – Good old Google Analytics. You can create custom reports based on your goals, and create custom dashboards too. I also like Hootsuite reports for use with executive folks who like to see “the big picture” in pie charts and graphs.u00a0

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