I admit it. I’m a LinkedIn fanboy (is that possible at 52 years old?) and a regular on the platform. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and its mission is to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” I joined this network in the beginning, and I’ve made some valuable connections over the years, including Angel Oak Creative’s founder, Caitlin Clinard. I can’t measure the value I’ve received following some very smart people and organizations. Lately, I’ve been exploring ways nonprofits can leverage the vast network of individuals, companies and not-for-profit entities that live on LinkedIn.
Here’s how your nonprofit can leverage LinkedIn…
Build a Platform for Thought Leadership
Most nonprofits and their founders / leaders hold a strong position on a particular issue. Homelessness, drug addiction, developmental disabilities, and affordable housing are all hot-button topics with a large base of people and organizations. LinkedIn provides a robust platform for building a reputation as a thought leader on timely, relevant issues such as these. Developing a LinkedIn content strategy that includes regularly posting relevant articles that reflect your belief, mission and vision and provide insights, resources and solutions will go a long way. Especially with positioning your directors and organization as respected thought leaders on important issues. One of our clients, Vibrant Faith, has been taking this strategy to heart as they use LinkedIn to build their thought leadership position regarding helping churches transform the way they engage their congregations.
Engage Current and Prospective Board Members
What better place to identify, engage and recruit qualified board members for your nonprofit than a network of more than 575,000 users? While you certainly want quality over quantity, the odds of identifying and attracting desirable board members are certainly in your favor on LinkedIn. And according to LinkedIn, 78% of users surveyed want to join a nonprofit board. So not only are the numbers in your favor, but the vast majority of users are actually seeking opportunities to serve. You can use your personal and organization’s LinkedIn posts to share your board needs, and you can use LinkedIn for good to advertise your open board positions at no cost.
Connect with Like-minded Organizations and Individuals
Donors, board members and grantors love it when organizations collaborate to increase their collective impact. While some of these partnerships may be obvious, LinkedIn offers the chance to explore and find unexpected opportunities. By following similar organizations and relevant groups, you can identify other nonprofits and their leaders who may make strong partners and collaborators. You can search by keywords, hashtags or for a specific person to find potential partners. I recommend taking the time to do this every few months as new people and new groups are constantly being added to the platform. Check out the hashtags and organizations Angel Oak Creative follows.
LinkedIn isn’t just for businesses. Your nonprofit can take advantage of its vast network of people, companies and not-for-profit organizations to build its position as a thought leader, grow your board and increase your collective impact for little or no financial investment. If your organization isn’t tapping into this potent resource, today is a great day to get started.
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– David Chatham, Senior Marketing Consultant