Volunteers are stars in the nonprofit world. The nonprofit sector has been growing steadily, both in size and financial impact, for more than a decade. Between 2001 and 2011, the number of nonprofits increased 25 percent, and today there are more than 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States. The growth rate of the nonprofit sector has surpassed the rate of both the business and government sectors. Nonprofits always need new volunteers to bring new energy, connections, and skills. I see it over and over again — nonprofits go back to the proverbial well of sameness and wonder why people drop off. Volunteers are needed, sought out, and respected for their skills, energy, and passion. Often, though, nonprofits don’t have enough volunteers so they burn out the ones they have. There are many ways to bridge meet-ups between the nonprofit and the volunteer.
How do nonprofits find new volunteers? Let LinkedIn play a role.
Even with a basic membership on LinkedIn, you can do the following. (For those of you who want to be volunteers, skip over the next section and see how you can add your volunteer experience to you profile.) 1. Go to your network and share the volunteer opportunities you have available. Ask your network to help you. 2. Use your LinkedIn Company Page to post the available volunteer opportunities and ask your colleagues to share the volunteer description with their networks. Post (with their permission) shout-outs, videos, photos of your volunteers doing the great work of your organization. 3. Create a job description for your volunteer positions and create clarity so potential volunteers can see how they might fit and contribute. Often volunteers don’t know what you need, how they might best fit in, where the points of entry are. Make it easy for them. 4. Use LinkedIn’s Volunteer Marketplace to find volunteers, who, in fact, want to volunteer. In LinkedIn’s blog The LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace: Connecting Professionals to Nonprofit Volunteer Opportunities, LinkedIn shares some interesting stats:
- According to a Taproot Foundation study, 92 percent of nonprofits would like to use skilled volunteers to help them achieve their mission.
- To date, more than three million LinkedIn members have added the Volunteer and Causes section to their profile.
- Over the last six months alone, more than 600,000 have signaled they would like to serve on a board or do skill-based volunteering.(July-Dec 2013)
- In a recent survey on LinkedIn, 42 percent of hiring managers stated they consider volunteer work equivalent to full-time work experience. Twenty percent said they’d hired someone because of their volunteer experience.
To add volunteer experience and your interests in volunteering to your profile, do the following:
Go to Profile >> Edit Profile >> scroll down to Volunteer Experience and fill out the section.
Add your past volunteer experience and add in your potential interests. Remember to make sure your skills are also included so the nonprofits can find you when they search by keywords or skills.
To find volunteer opportunities, click here. As a nonprofit, use LinkedIn’s Volunteer Marketplace, be specific, and complete the posting as shown below.
Volunteering is good for everyone and the demand is greater than ever. It’s time to step up and create the right matches and experiences. Read how Yusef Aziz benefitted from LinkedIn’s Volunteer Marketplace. Looking for the right volunteers is easier than ever. Create your intention, be specific, and look into your various online LinkedIn networks (colleagues, executive team, Company Page, Groups and even Alumni). Don’t miss the opportunities that LinkedIn offers. Get started today and share your story with us. We’d love to hear from you. Image source