I recently spoke at a Lunch and Learn to more than 150+ businesswomen about the power LinkedIn can have to their professional reputation. I mentioned the great opportunity in front of each of them to start new conversations, reconnect with past relationships that may be valuable to reignite, and how they can give back to their networks. The term “give back” must have struck a cord, as I received a question at the end of my talk that stood out and then other follow up questions after the event that day that all had a common theme: Can non-profits benefit from using LinkedIn?
It is often that we at Intero Advisory, your LinkedIn professors, unintentionally get too comfortable with the knowledge we carry about LinkedIn and forget to share it with you. Or, maybe we have mentioned a topic before, but it is worth revisiting.
So, can nonprofits benefit from using LinkedIn? Yes, absolutely.
My excitement with this subject far exceeds the appropriate length of this post, so I will do my best to keep it simple and concise.
Find Skilled Volunteers & Board Members
I have volunteered with many organizations over the years and one thing that never seems to change is the need for extra hands on deck. Volunteers for events are often the first type of help nonprofits think about, but what about skilled volunteers for specific aspects of your nonprofit? Often we rely on the current skills of board members; but have you needed help with graphic design and no one on your team fits the bill? Or what about a social media strategist to help promote your nonprofit’s cause and upcoming events? How about accounting help during tax season?
Sometimes nonprofits are challenged with identifying new leaders who want to participate at a board level. Why not use LinkedIn to identify people who are readily letting you know that they are open to joining an organization at a board-level?
LinkedIn is full of professionals. We all know that. Let me expand on that statement: LinkedIn is full of professionals who want to give back, volunteer, and positively impact their community. It takes on a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?
LinkedIn allows its members to now include in their Profile if they are looking for volunteer opportunities. Have you added this information to your Profile? If not, go to Edit Profile and, underneath your Profile picture, you can let your network know if you are looking to join a nonprofit board and/or offer skills-based volunteering to a nonprofit:
Now you want to source those professionals, right? Click “Advanced” next to the search bar at the top of your LinkedIn home page, select the type of Nonprofit Interests you are looking for and add keywords. Go ahead and check 1st Connections under the Relationship filter too. Why not start with the people you are already connected with, right?
Remember there are many different ways to search on LinkedIn. So, if you do not like the results LinkedIn returns to you, change your filters, and search again.
Before using LinkedIn to find staff, you want to make sure your nonprofit has a LinkedIn company page. This is equally important for finding volunteers and board members. Having a LinkedIn company page allows people who are interested in your organization to stay in touch with “the happenings” of your nonprofit through Company Page updates (i.e. events, press releases, trends, etc.).
Similar to for-profit companies on LinkedIn, nonprofits can also create job posts on LinkedIn at a significantly reduced cost.
Take action—Search for the board members and volunteers you know are out there. Build a LinkedIn company page. Post a job to find your next staff member.
Keep learning—There are many ways to tackle LinkedIn for your nonprofit. Here are just a few ways you can learn more and stay up-to-speed:
- LinkedIn has a dedicated website to helping your organization: LinkedIn for Good and building a Nonprofit Company Page
- Subscribe to our Intero Advisory Blog at the bottom of this post to continually learn new ways to navigate LinkedIn in the most proficient way
- I Google searched “nonprofits AND LinkedIn” and the search returned 10,200,000 results; it is definitely a hot topic!
There are more than 7.3 million Company Pages on LinkedIn and nonprofits contribute to a significant number of those pages. Make sure your organization can be found. It will not only give you more visibility, but it may be the key to finding more volunteers, more board members, more staff and even more donors.