Interested in writing for the Women’s Foundation of California blog? Below you’ll find our editorial guidelines as well as instructions for submitting your proposal (pitch).
The Foundation’s blog plays a key role in communicating our mission—to advance the economic security of women and families in California. We use our blog to build public awareness around issues that are affecting low-income women, to express our opinions and share our expertise, to spark and engage in conversation around issues affecting women’s economic wellbeing and to inspire action on behalf of public policies that benefit women and their families.
Our blog aims to present interesting, original and timely ideas and information and, as such, we value conversational tone and a writing style that has heart, emotion, urgency and personality. The goal is not to preach, but to educate, engage and inspire.
Too often, when topics like economic security, workforce development, public policy and philanthropy are written about, the result is writing that’s at best stilted and at worst wonky and dull. Our blog aims to upend that model and make the work we do and the causes for which we fight approachable, interesting and simple to understand and participate in. As much as possible, we seek to demystify complicated laws, issues and stereotypes in order to make our advocacy and activism accessible to all.
What topics do we cover?
- Public Policy: Blog posts about public policies, laws and practices that strengthen the economic security of women, girls and families.
- Workforce development: Blog posts about employment and workforce development strategies, practices and case studies that have low-income women in mind.
- Women’s leadership development: Blog posts about women’s leadership development, especially as it relates to public policy and advocacy.
- Philanthropy: Blog posts about women’s philanthropy and philanthropic education, reflection and inspiration.
- Commentary: Blog posts as commentary on current issues related to women’s economic security, poverty, employment and philanthropy.
Who reads our blog?
Our readers are socially conscious women and men passionate about women’s rights, equity, empowerment and economic security. More often than not, they’re engaged in social justice work, as advocates, activists, nonprofit professionals or donors. We group our readers into three large groups:
- Partners in our work, including grant partners, advocates, donors, allied nonprofits, foundations and corporations that support our work.
- Members of the public interested in learning about and advocating for women’s economic security; these individuals are often interested in philanthropy and investing in women.
- Journalists, bloggers and social media activists who are covering issues/topics related to our mission.
What kind of blog posts are we looking for?
We seek to publish blog posts that educate our readers on issues related to our work, share an interesting idea or way of looking at an issue, educate and empower our readers to make informed decisions and take action on behalf of women, such as voting, advocating for a law or a proposition or donating to an important cause.
In evaluating a blog post or a blog post topic, our editors ask themselves:
- Is this blog post directly related to the Foundation’s work and the above five topics?
- Does this article explain the issue at hand in a clear, simple and engaging way?
- Is this blog post written in a conversational way, making the author and the subject matter approachable and accessible?
- Does this blog post educate the reader on a topic related to the Foundation’s work, offer a unique perspective about the Foundation’s work and/or inspire the reader to engage in economic justice work on behalf of women and families?
- Does the author support her ideas with real-world, compelling examples?
- Does the author back up her claims with links to reliable sources?
- Would this blog post interest most of the Foundation’s readers, or is the topic so narrow that it would interest only a small segment of our readership?
What is the tone and style of our blog?
Inclusive and Respectful: We believe in diversity. We want to include the voices and perspectives of women and girls from across California, men, grant partners, our nonprofit allies, Foundation staff, donors, experts in philanthropy and women’s issues as well as news and media professionals. We seek a diverse pool of opinion and commentary on our blog and encourage a thriving, energetic conversation among readers through comments. While everyone doesn’t have to agree with our contributors’ perspectives, we want our readers to remain respectful. As a result, we will not post disrespectful or spammy comments.
Relevant: We seek timely, relevant posts featuring thoughts and perspectives on current events, trends and realities related to women, economic security and philanthropy. While we do not endorse political candidates, we will publish thoughtful perspectives and reflections about public figures whose actions and comments have affected or are affecting women and families.
Conversational: We need your voice to come through. We encourage our authors to write in a conversational style that shows why they care about the issue they’re writing about. We want to talk about issues that are facing women in California in real, human terms. While writing, we encourage our authors to ask themselves, “Why would someone care to read this blog post?” and anticipate a reader asking, “So what?”
Who can write for our blog?
We especially encourage and welcome submissions by people who are experiencing first hand or working on the ground on the above blog topics. Before you start writing, please send us a short pitch (150 words or less) telling us about your idea, what your approach will be and why you wish to write about it.
What are our blog’s basic style guidelines?
- We use the Associated Press style (no serial commas).
- Individual posts should run between 600 and 1,000 words.
- Post should be written in a clear, engaging and accessible first-person style that avoids jargon and buzz words.
- Authors should fact check their posts and be prepared to provide references for little known facts.
- Where possible, please send photos to accompany your post. Images should be at least 800×800 px or larger and at least 72dpi in resolution. Please make sure that you have the right to use the image you send to us; if it’s a creative commons image, please tell us whom to credit for the image.
- Keep in mind our audience (see above).
- Make sure you have one central argument and that you stick to it, supporting it with data, illustrative examples and quotations.
- Whenever possible, include a news hook (something that’s happening in the news, a trend, an anniversary).
- If your post is accepted, you’ll need to provide a high resolution headshot and a 2 sentence bio; please include your Twitter handle and any other social media presences in the bio.
- Feel free to recommend headlines, excerpts and images; however, our editors have the final say on what headline or image is used.
- Please use hyperlinks (hot links) whenever referencing a fact; we believe in social proof.
- The most successful blog posts express a strong opinion or pose a question that sparks debate.
- We will not accept posts that advertise a product or a book, or endorse a candidate.
Please send your pitch to Sanja Alajbegovic, email@example.com. We’ll get back to you within seven days.
Will the Foundation edit my blog post?
Yes, we edit to ensure that all blog posts meet our style guidelines. In some cases, we will also edit for structure, flow, language or length. If we make substantive changes to your post, we will send it to you for approval before it is posted. We will not post blogs or comments that do not fit within the scope or the values of fairness and respect that the Foundation adheres to.
For questions, contact Sanja Alajbegovic at firstname.lastname@example.org.