Posted by: waynebreitbarth | December 12, 2010

The Top 10 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Grow Your Nonprofit

Hello, All:

I find that lots of people I teach each week forget the fact that LinkedIn can help us accomplish many other goals and objectives in addition to growing our businesses.  One of the more significant objectives many of us have is to help nonprofits that we care about.  So, I thought I would dedicate this tip to sharing with you the ways I have found that you can do just that. 

Some of these steps relate to you as an individual board member/volunteer/donor, and others are designed to be executed by individuals responsible for the administration of the organization.  However, since you may wear all of these hats for the organization or just one of them, I will list them all, and you can decide who is responsible to execute the step.  Feel free to forward this list on to the Executive Director of your favorite nonprofit.  He/she will thank you for it.

                                The Top 10 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Grow Your Nonprofit Organization

1.      Encourage board members/volunteers to include information about the organization in their individual profiles in order to help promote involvement, recruit volunteers/donors, explain the mission of the organization, or to facilitate any other public relations or communication effort.  The following are ways you can accomplish this:

•       In the Experience section of your profile, list as a current job your title and/or involvement along with the name of the organization.  You then have 2,000 characters to explain the organization’s mission, accomplishments and needs.  Once you do this, your organization will appear in the top box of your profile.
 
•       Use one of the three websites for a hotlink directly to the organization’s website.

•       In the Summary section, consider having a special section to describe why this organization is important to you as an individual. 

•       In the Specialties section, consider including the name of the organization or other keywords that describe the group.  You can then be found more easily if someone searches for people involved in your specific group or other groups with a similar mission or purpose.

•       Use SlideShare or Google Presentation to show a Power Point or video about the organization.

•       Use Blog Link or WordPress applications to connect your blog to your profile.

•       List the name of the organization in the Groups & Associations section.

2.      Use the advanced search function to find out who in your network knows people at the significant foundations and companies in your marketplace.  This is the #1 power of LinkedIn.  However, the problem you may run into is the people involved in your organization at the highest level (especially board members) have these large and deep networks that you would love to search into, but many will be reluctant to join and participate in LinkedIn.  If you can persuade these people to join LinkedIn, you will really have a goldmine to search from.  In order to assist the most networked people in your organization, consider hiring a social media intern who can help them to connect with people on LinkedIn.

3.      Use the Status Update Box on your home page or Discussions/News in groups you are in to:
•       Publicize an event
•       Recruit volunteers
•       Share results and accomplishments
•       Ask a question of the group or your network that will help you solve a problem
•       Look for employees, suppliers and/or vendors
•       Share articles and websites

4.      Search for and join groups that are in and out of your regional market that appear to be in the same space or have a similar mission as your organization.  Remember – you get 50 groups on LinkedIn, and this is a great way to keep track of what others are doing, saying, going to and sharing in your space.

5.      Start a LinkedIn group for the organization’s supporters, donors and/or volunteers.  You may want to have a subgroup in order to share information which is only pertinent to volunteers, for instance.  You may also wish to start a group for an event you are going to have in order to share information leading up to the event and wrap-up information after the event. 
 
6.      Start a LinkedIn group which focuses on the general mission and/or purpose of your organization.  In addition to my starting a group for Make a Difference Wisconsin, which helps educate high school students about financial literacy, I could have a more general group which is centered around improving financial literacy for youth.  This group could have a national or international audience.  This will establish you as the clearing house for information relating to this topic.

7.      Create a company page for the organization.  Also consider using the “Follow company” function in the Companies section of LinkedIn for those organizations that have a company page.

8.      Use the Events application to promote your upcoming events.  Also, use this function to find events you might want to attend for educational purposes and/or networking.

9.      Use the advanced search function and Jobs tab in Groups to find your next staff member.

10.     Use the Answers function to ask expertise questions in order to pick the minds of other experts.  There is a category for nonprofit questions. 

I am sure that if someone in your organization gets serious about following the above steps, you will surely be able to effectively use LinkedIn to leverage existing networks and communicate the purpose and goals of your organization.

Miscellaneous News and Notes–

 

Preorder my book “The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success: Kick-start your Business, Brand and Job Search” from Greenleaf Book Group at Amazon.com.

 

Download a free chapter at:  http://budurl.com/m4bm.

 

Some of the other resources I provide are:

•       Customized corporate training classes
•       Keynote and workshop presentations for conventions and association meetings
•       Corporate social media strategy consulting
•       For Sale:  LinkedIn training DVDs for beginners and intermediate users
•       For daily tips, follow me on Twitter at:  http://twitter.com/WayneBreitbarth

Here is my upcoming schedule for teaching/speaking so you can share with friends, relatives and business associates.  Follow link or paste into your browser for additional details and registration information.

 

Wednesday February 23, 2011      Wayne’s LinkedIn Power Formula Training for Beginners
                                                   M&M Office Interiors; 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM
                                                   http://budurl.com/akc2

 

 

 

  
Why not take some time this week to use your network and your expertise to help a nonprofit organization.  You will be making a difference.
           
Wayne

Wayne C. Breitbarth
President
M&M Office Interiors, Inc.
W233 N2833 Roundy Circle West Suite 100
Pewaukee, WI  53072

office 262-781-2600
cell 414-313-7785

http://www.mmoffice.com
http://www.Linkedin.com/in/waynebreitbarth
http://twitter.com/WayneBreitbarth

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