The other night, I had a dream about the VM blog in which I wrote the most amazing blog post I have ever written. Unfortunately, I woke up with absolutely no recollection of what I had written about in my dream. Although I had hopes that the next night would enlighten me with further blog post dreams, it was not to be. Instead, I dreamt of a post-apocalyptic societal breakdown—fleeing from a corrupt law system, looting abandoned homes for food, stealing cars to remain untraceable, gigantic, mutant sheep—wait, what?!? But I digress. Writing a blog is not an easy process. Every week—granted, I’ve only been doing this for about a month—I come up against the wall of “what to write this week?” I usually end up finding something to write about, be it humorous, inspiring, or just plain ridiculous (mutant sheep??).
Writing a blog is much like running a nonprofit in that you need a vision to be effective. You need to know who your readers are, what you want them to take away from reading your blog (or in the case of a nonprofit, what change you want to see in your clients upon receiving your services), and the most effective way to deliver your message or services. Lacking vision, you can hardly move forward. Your readers will quickly become bored with your inconsistent ramblings or your clients, volunteers, and funders will realize that your disjointed efforts are not leading to an end goal and will drift away to a nonprofit that can provide more cohesive services, more fulfilling volunteer opportunities, or more impact for their money.
Crafting a vision or mission is by no means easy and having a vision or mission statement doesn’t necessarily mean that you know the best way to go about fulfilling that vision. After all, I know that the Volunteer Maryland blog is meant to show some of what it’s like to be an AmeriCorps member with VM and, hopefully, help generate interest from potential VMCs, VISTAs, and sites; but I don’t always know what to write about to achieve that goal. Similarly, you may have a vision for your organization but not know what services to provide your clients in order to fulfill it most effectively. So how do you find out? Talk to your clients, the members of the community you serve, your volunteers, and funders. Find out what they want to see from your organization, what services they need most, and how they think you could best provide those services. Ask for feedback continuously and make changes to meet the changing needs of your clients and community.
That being said, dear readers, what would you like to see from the VM blog? What do you want to learn about? What can we share with you to keep you better informed? Any and all suggestions are appreciated, as I can only write about mutant sheep for so long!