LinkedIn for Nonprofits

LinkedIn for Nonprofits: A New Way to Find Volunteers

“The challenge is that nonprofits and professionals don’t know how to easily find each other.” — Reid Hoffman

How does your nonprofit find and recruit volunteers? One of the most powerful tools is LinkedIn for nonprofits. In partnership with the Taproot Foundation, Catchafire and BoardSource, LinkedIn recently launched a new initiative called Volunteer Marketplace. This new tool is aimed at changing the way your nonprofit finds skilled volunteers.

Why use LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace for your Nonprofit?

According to the Independent Sector, the value of a volunteer’s time is an estimated $22.14 per hour. This makes it all the more important to find, and retain, talented volunteers.

The need for volunteers has not changed, but the way volunteers want to get involved is starting to shift. In the last six months alone, 600,000 LinkedIn members have signaled an interest in board service or skills-based volunteering in the “Volunteer and Causes” section of their profile. In addition, 82% of surveyed LinkedIn members want to volunteer their time and skills.

With the growing number of members who want to use LinkedIn for nonprofits, the new Volunteer Marketplace represents an incredible opportunity for your nonprofit.

How to Get Started on the LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace

  1. Talk to Your Staff — As an AmeriCorps Alum, I can attest to the impact skills-based volunteers have on nonprofits. What are the needs of your organization? What projects would you love to tackle? A targeted, unique and challenging assignment will not only be rewarding for the volunteer, but also beneficial for you.

  2. Start a Company Page — You’ll need a company page before posting a volunteer opportunity. If you want a nonprofit to model, check out the American Red Cross and Catchafire for inspiration.

    LinkedIn for Nonprofits

  3. Build Awareness — Now that your nonprofit is making an effort to recruit volunteers on LinkedIn, encourage your supporters to add the “Volunteers and Causes” feature to their profile. You can highlight your work using stories, and showcase your supporters and partner agencies. In addition, consider starting a branded LinkedIn for nonprofits group.

  4. Fill Out a Volunteer Posting — In your posting, answer a few basic questions.

    1. What is your mission?

    2. What is the volunteer opportunity?

    3. What skills do you need?

    4. How does the volunteer position fulfill a need for your organization?

    5. How will this role be supporting your overall mission?

    6. What impact will it have? You should site numbers if you have them available.

A small caveat –  this service is not free. In the United States a 30-day posting will cost you $39.50. However, LinkedIn’s Volunteer Marketplace makes the challenge of finding passionate, skilled volunteers easier. You can now target the exact skills you need, and post it where you know people are looking to volunteer.

Author Bio: Ryan Wilcox is an AmeriCorps alum and nonprofit communications professional. He graduated from TCU and currently lives in Fort Worth, TX. You can find him on Twitter @RyanAWilcox.

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