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How Nonprofits Can Benefit from LinkedIn

Sure, it’s nice to be on LinkedIn. You have connections. Your picture looks good. But maybe you are wondering, how can I use LinkedIn in my work?

LinkedIn is a great way for a nonprofit organization to gather information. It can help your organization keep current on what is happening with others (major donors, other organizations, etc.) and strategize how they might use that information to cultivate donors, engage the public, be aware of “competitor” activity, etc. Here are a few specific things you can do with just the basic, free functionality:

LinkedIn provides easy ways to recognize the unique talents and skills of your board members, donors and volunteers, since of course you have taken the opportunity to “connect” with them. A little endorsing can go a long way in making someone feel valued and appreciated for what they do well. Recommendations are even better.

When you’d like to approach a new potential donor, review your connections’ connections to see if anyone knows your target and might be willing go on a call with you or at least introduce you.

Along the same line, look at other nonprofit organizations with a mission similar to yours. Who are they connected with? And who are those people connected with? Are you getting any ideas?

Finally, if you are looking for volunteers or new board members, LinkedIn’s advanced search function can be helpful. Simply make sure to check the boxes for 1st connections, 2nd connections, groups and those for nonprofit interests, board service and skilled volunteering. Your search will reveal individuals seeking to serve on a board or volunteer, and may also indicate what types of organizations they are interested in helping.

These are just a few ways nonprofits can use LinkedIn to their advantage. Do you have additional tips? Please send them to me at kari@pjstraw.com and I will share your pointers in a future article.