Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Blankin' Blog

As Director of Charity Review, I am supposed to share the responsibility of writing blog content with my colleague, Aaron Reese.  I was informed about this before I got the job in April but didn’t anticipate developing a debilitating case of writer’s block.  I thought the words would flow easily, but every time I came up with a subject, the page just seemed to stay blank.  The blankin’ blog soon became the last priority on my list of to-do’s.  Everything else about my new job, fill in the blank, was much less intimidating.

The folks here at the Better Business Bureau are very cool, I really enjoy my job and want to keep it, so I figured I'd better get rolling.   It was not for lack of ideas that the blogs didn’t materialize, but lack of ideas that I thought would be engaging and appropriate.  I wasn’t sure about the approach, how much personal opinion, how much business, or how long.  So, I thought it best to take a step back, do some reading and clearly identify the purpose of the blog in my own mind.
There was of course no lack of information and opinions about what to do in the blogosphere, but I ended up with some basics to get me going and confirmation to promote our charity review program. Promote the charity review program as Director of Charity Review? Duh! Seems like an obvious goal, but  based on my reading, a blog could take quite a few different directions.  I'm sticking with the obvious.

It is important that the public know the BBB evaluates charities against a set of highly respected standards and they can contact us about charities as well as about roofers and plumbers, etc.  It’s important for charities to know that in addition to reporting on scams, we are working to serve as a resource for the K.C. nonprofit community and that BBB charity accreditation is valuable for their fundraising and marketing efforts.   So, finding unique ways to share the work of charities and their impact in Kansas City, with some BBB perspective included here and there will be the goal.

On December 18th, the BBB staff sponsored and served a meal at the Family Center of City Union Mission.  City Union Mission is one of our accredited charities.  We learned some things and truly enjoyed our time there.  The picture posted on our Facebook page got quite a few hits.  Sharing more about the experience will create some good content, so that will be the topic of the February post.

Sprinkling a little personal touch around will help keep it interesting.  For example, my trip to Thailand in July was surely a source of inspiration.  Between the tuk tuks, architecture and night market there should be no blanking out when it comes time to put words to paper (or on the screen).   Passion for music and the arts was inspiration for the one blog I did write that also spoke to the work of KCVLAA, a charity providing access to legal and accounting services to artists.  Songwriting and recording, a current personal project for a charity, will be covered in April.

Beginning in 2013, there will be regular posts from the charity review side of the BBB.  Now that I have topics lined up and a plan in place, I’m prepared, looking forward to being a regular contributor and to having plenty of content to fill in the blankin’ blog!