I was blown away last month when my published post, Can Nonprofits Benefit from Using LinkedIn?, received nearly two hundred views within one day of publishing on LinkedIn. This immediately told me that the topic resonated with many of you. I suppose I am not surprised, as so many professionals are involved in their communities through nonprofits.
The question for volunteers then becomes: Are you letting your LinkedIn network know about your nonprofit involvement and/or your interest in serving?
…And the question for nonprofit organizations: Is your nonprofit represented on LinkedIn to increase your visibility, attract volunteers, recruit staff, and retain engagement?
In this post, I will:
- Put context around the volunteer gap with statistics
- Tell you where nonprofits and volunteers meet on LinkedIn
- Share with you the emails you do not want to miss in your inbox if you are a nonprofit organization or a [potential] volunteer
Proof in Numbers
More than three years ago, LinkedIn added the Volunteer and Causes section to the Profile. In just one year, the number of professionals including this information in their profile increased from 3 million to 10 million.
“To put that in perspective, 4.5 million of these professionals are in the U.S. where there are approximately 1.5 million nonprofits – meaning there are 3 professionals who want to help to every single nonprofit.”
Who makes up this population of professionals?
Where do these professionals work?
“The truth is that there’s no shortage of talented people in this world willing to help. The biggest challenge is bridging the gap between the number of professionals who want to help and the discoverable skilled volunteer opportunities available to them.”
If you fall into the 29% non-Millennial group or if your city is not one of the top ten listed above, then commit to moving the needle. Update your LinkedIn profile to reflect the volunteer work you have done in the past, volunteer work you currently do, causes you care about, and the type of volunteering you are interested in.
In 2014, LinkedIn launched its Volunteer Marketplace. It serves as a search hub within LinkedIn to pull up nonprofit organizations looking for volunteers.
Businesspeople who are looking to volunteer and/or apply their professional skills can use the LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace as the meeting spot to connect with nonprofits.
Today, there are more than 40,000 opportunities on the Volunteer Marketplace. I was able to easily narrow that down to under 100 results when I used the Location filter on the left side of the search.
Our Intero Advisory team loves talking about how students can tap into LinkedIn as they begin their careers. Do you know a student who is looking to give back to his community this summer? Why not use LinkedIn as a source to find a volunteer opportunity?
Since we are on the topic, another resource worth noting is VolunteerMatch. It is an online portal for nonprofits to recruit and engage volunteers. It is also a hotspot for volunteers to find organizations in need. Being LinkedIn professors, what is most exciting to us is the fact that when a nonprofit posts skilled volunteer opportunities, VolunteerMatch gets automatically posted to LinkedIn’s Volunteer Marketplace. Two birds with one stone? Yes, please.
Do Not Ignore or Delete These Emails
We are all inundated with emails every day. So, let me share with you the emails you should keep your eyes peeled for in your inbox from LinkedIn.
If you work at a nonprofit organization
If you are the LinkedIn company page administrator for your nonprofit organization, you will receive an email from LinkedIn suggesting you try to find skilled volunteers. In addition to this email being a great reminder of the potential extra hands who might be interested in offering their time to your nonprofit, it also feeds up potential candidates in your area. In the screen shot below, there are four professionals with the same skill who are also interested in volunteering. Connect, start conversations, build relationships.
If you are currently (or want to be) a volunteer
LinkedIn will also feed up volunteer opportunities in your location based on the information in your LinkedIn profile. To get even more targeted volunteer needs in your community, be sure to tell your network (via your LinkedIn profile) that you are interested in serving on a board and/or that you are interested in applying your professional skills, pro-bono, to a nonprofit.
There are many points of entry with nonprofits and volunteers, but you have to know where to look. From LinkedIn’s Volunteer Marketplace, to VolunteerMatch, to your email inbox—it is all at your fingertips.
How have you used these resources?
Have you increased your donor-base through LinkedIn? Have you found a new place to volunteer through LinkedIn? Let everyone know. We would love to hear from you.