LinkedIn for Nonprofits: Not Just for Business Networking

You understand why your nonprofit should use Facebook, and even Twitter. So you set up the pages and continue to make regular posts. But really, why on earth would you need to have a LinkedIn profile? You aren’t looking for a job. And truth be told, it’s not a necessity for your nonprofit. But LinkedIn CAN help you with tons of tasks that you didn’t even know were possible.

Allow me to elaborate. Here are just a few ways LinkedIn for nonprofits can help your organization.

1. Board Member Connect

You have a solid lineup of board members right now, but don’t get too comfortable. Eventually somebody will become too busy, somebody will retire from their position or your nonprofit will head in a new direction and will need new board members.

Normally, a panicked rush would ensue as you scramble to think of all the people you might know who would be interested in the job. So that leaves you with, what, about five options?

And since your board members are an integral part to the success of your organization, you don’t just need any person, you need the right person. With LinkedIn’s Board Member Connect, you can reach out to people that you don’t know, but who could be a much better fit for the job. Just decide who you’re looking for and what qualifications they should have. Then use LinkedIn’s advanced search option through Board Member Connect. The people are there just waiting to be found. And they don’t know it yet.

2. Nonprofit Networking Galore

Keep your friends close, and your donors and volunteers closer. Ok, ok—so that may not be the actual saying. But in the LinkedIn world it works. The best function of the LinkedIn social media platform is that it gives you the opportunity to reach more people than just your immediate friends and acquaintances. On Facebook, you’ve only got friends. You know them, or you don’t.

But on LinkedIn, you can expand your horizons. Find those volunteers that you’re connected with, and there are probably 20 more like-minded individuals that they’re friends with. And you already have that initial connection with your current volunteers. So use that to find new people. Or, use searching capabilities to reach out to people who might not even know you exist.

3. Sell Your Organization

You don’t really think about selling your organization. You’re a nonprofit after all. The very definition screams that you don’t need to do any “selling.” But “selling” your organization is exactly the type of thing you need to be doing—and LinkedIn can help.

By selling your organization, you’re also securing fundraising by building your credibility. When people see your organization posting updates about the progress of your mission, they see the work that your nonprofit is doing. The more people know about your mission, the more likely they’ll be to donate or volunteer to help you achieve it. So keep posting and finding new people to network with.

These are just a few examples of the many ways that your nonprofit could use LinkedIn beyond the basics. We want to know—how has your nonprofit organization used LinkedIn to succeed?


Lyndsey Hrabik

Lyndsey is a former editor for Nonprofit Hub and Nonprofit Hub Magazine. She now serves as a guest contributor, writing on topics such as social media, technology, marketing and starting a nonprofit.

July 16, 2013

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