Build your Nonprofit Profile on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is one of the best places to find potential volunteers, employees, board members, and donors, but many of us have not considered all the ways in which we can use the professional networking tool to build our organizational capacity.
Marc W. Halpert, LinkedIn Trainer and Evangelist with Connect2Collaborate recently hosted a NonprofitReady.org webinar entitled “Nonprofit Organizations on LinkedIn: Beyond the Personal Profile” which covered the best ways get attention and reinforce nonprofit brand image on LinkedIn. Halpert detailed 3 ways in which Nonprofits should use LinkedIn to bolster their organization:
1. Pump Up Company and Personal Profiles
Most nonprofits have a LinkedIn company page with basic information about the organization. Because nonprofits compete with each other for attention, volunteers, employees and donors, it is imperative to stand out from the crowd. To do this, you need to make your profile unique, informative and easy to navigate. Halpert recommends you:
- Highlight your company logo. Put your organization logo near the top of the profile page, and make it clickable to your nonprofit website.
- Use the description field. Write a succinct description of your organization that would be informative to a wide range of audiences. Include your top SEO keywords to improve your organization’s ranking in relevant searches.
- Make a splash. Incorporate bold graphics and videos to engage new visitors.
- Post updates often. Include news, human interest stories, your organization’s successes, information for the public, and blogs. Be sure to include images to increase engagement.
- Be helpful. Use updates to connect readers to other sites.
- Spread the word. Include social media buttons on events pages, and encourage likes and shares.
2. Join Groups for Collaboration
LinkedIn groups allow you to connect with like-minded people you can then collaborate with to accomplish goals. You can find groups to join or create your own groups. Search for a narrowly focused group of people, such as accounting professionals, or go even deeper to segment these audiences by geography, educational background, or interests outside of work.
When you request to join a group, the moderator chooses whether or not to let you join; the same works to your advantage when you create your own group. Use the gear icon to find out details about a group you are thinking of joining. It will tell you how many members, how much conversation is going on, and give a growth chart for the group. Once in a group, you can make closer connections and perhaps make a subgroup to discuss issues more privately.
3. Search Efficiently for Team Members and Donors
Once you boost your connections on LinkedIn, you have a powerful tool for reaching out to prospective members and donors for your organization. Skip the standard search box and go immediately to advanced search for industries, specialties and locations. You can also place LinkedIn ads to find the type of person your organization needs with a very small budget. Even a 1% clickthrough rate on your ad shows that you are reaching the right audience for your organization.
A big thank you to Mark Halpert for sharing his LinkedIn expertise with the NonprofitReady community. To get more timely advice on using LinkedIn for your nonprofit organization, sign up to watch the entire webinar on NonprofitReady.org. For a wealth of other resources on LinkedIn, be sure to check out Connect2Collaborate.
Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net