In part one of this three-part series, Laura Rhodes gave us an introduction to LinkedIn and why you should be there. In part two, she takes aim at nonprofit professionals. Laura is the founder of Third Sector Consulting, an agency specializing in prospect research and grant writing for nonprofits.
If you’re a nonprofit professional, this one’s for you.
Despite there being than 225 million members on LinkedIn, plenty of people have yet to join the world’s largest professional network. If you’re one of them, read part one of this three-part series for some of the basic benefits, then read on as we explore some of the specific reasons why nonprofit professionals should be on LinkedIn.
Isn’t LinkedIn for business people? I work for a nonprofit.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, and you are a nonprofit professional. So, yes. Absolutely! You should be on LinkedIn.
If you’re in the nonprofit sector, there are many ways you can benefit from using LinkedIn. Consider these possibilities:
- You need board members. Search your existing network for people with certain skills, or who work for a certain company or in a particular industry. Or try Board Member Connect and look beyond your network. It’s free.
- You want to connect with a potential donor. Use your network, especially if you’re connected with your board members, to get an introduction. No more cold calls!
- You’re recruiting new staff. Use LinkedIn Jobs to advertise your position, then use your network to learn more about those who apply.
- You need a contract employee or consultant. Search terms like “graphic designer” or “grant writer” to see who in your network has these skills listed in their profile.
- You want to build your organization’s brand. Encourage your volunteers to update their profile with their volunteer experience as a way to promote their good work and association with your organization. Don’t forget to connect with your board members, and encourage them to list your organization in their experience.
- You want to stay abreast of happenings in your sector. Find a LinkedIn Group (or LinkedIn will suggest one, based on your profile), then join the conversation! Groups are also a great place to ask questions and get answers in different fields of interest.
Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive. But it’s a start. And hopefully, you’re beginning to see why you, as a nonprofit professional, need to be on LinkedIn.
So, are you LinkedIn yet?
- If you’re new to LinkedIn, try this four-step plan to get started on LinkedIn.
- And if you’re already there, take a look at these 21 ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
Next time, we’ll look at some of the recent changes and why there has never been a better time to be on LinkedIn.
Laura Rhodes is the founder of Third Sector Consulting, a nonprofit grant consulting firm in Bozeman, Montana and is a Strategy Partner with CKSyme Media Group. Before her career in prospect research and grant writing, Laura was a program officer with the American Express corporate foundation. In that role, she was the company liaison to hundreds of regional nonprofits. Laura understands the value of making new connections and building lasting relationships. She also believes that every nonprofit should continually be thinking about ways to reach out and connect with its past, present and future supporters. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or invite her to connect on LinkedIn.