Posted by Lisa Thompson

You’ve probably heard the term “thought leader” thrown around but haven’t given it much thought. That’s okay—to be honest, it’s somewhat overused, especially in the marketing world. But the credibility attached to being a thought leader in your field of expertise is important for your nonprofit.

Basically, a thought leader is someone who becomes recognized as the go-to individual (or organization) for expertise in a specific area. Take it a step further, and it could also refer to someone who charts the course of the future for others to follow. What does this have to do with your website? Everything.

Your website is your mouthpiece. It’s the perfect platform for sharing information about your nonprofit, your mission and the issues you’re passionate about. Here are five easy ways to use your site to establish yourself as an expert:

  1. Share valuable content and research that will help visitors cope with a particular problem they’re facing. Depending upon your area of expertise, an example could be “How to Understand Your Parent with Alzheimer’s” or “Three Ways to Identify a Family Suffering From Addiction.
  2. Look for ways to ways to tie your nonprofit in with current events or legislative issues that are facing your community or the people you serve.
  3. On your donation page, connect donors with the people you serve through storytelling. Tell engaging stories that evoke emotions and tug on heartstrings to illustrate how your organization’s work is both personal and effective.
  4. Offer guidance and resources, perhaps linking people to the right government agencies, health facilities or other organizations.
  5. Offer your expertise and educate people on a particular subject or issue through a blog that you update on a regular basis.

That last point is particularly important in at least a couple of ways. First, to establish yourself as an expert, it’s important to have an opinion and a point of view on issues related to your cause. Don’t be offensive when sharing your opinion, but take a strong stance on an issue in a way that doesn’t scare off opponents. Offer an opinion and own your point of view with professionalism and respect.