The Miratel guide to using LinkedIn for Nonprofits | Miratel Solutions

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The nonprofit guide to LinkedIn – part one

In the weeks and months ahead I will be writing a series of nonprofit fundraising posts that shine a spotlight on how the various social/online channels have added tools and features designed to help charities. The biggest concerns such as Facebook, Pinterest, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube have each incorporated special options that are exclusive to the nonprofit sector but may not always be fully known of. As with any opportunity to further your cause it’s worth investigating further and seeing how these features might help your organization.

Today’s focus is on LinkedIn who continue to develop their approach to nonprofit support which can only be a good thing for all of us. LinkedIn has been one of the most rapidly growing and frequently used social media channels particularly in the business-to-business field but that is gradually changing to become a great networking tool for all-comers. Although growth has slowed somewhat in 2014 I think it’s a matter of time until that too gets back on track. In total LinkedIn now boasts about 250 million members and worthy of consideration is that almost two-thirds of these are located outside of the United States, a figure that I found quite surprising. LinkedIn launched with no ceremony in 2002 but didn’t truly emerge as the front-runner for online business profiles until 2006/7 and the large upsurge in membership has taken place primarily from 2008 onward, the same year that the service went global. For context consider that LinkedIn had just under 90 million members at the end of 2010 and is close to tripling since.

LinkedIn now provides a portal of resources just for nonprofits which provides a detailed overview of the programs available. The portal provides enriching content via a series of slideshare presentations. There are dozens to choose from and all are excellent but some of the most valuable are as follows:

How nonprofits can use LinkedIn: A great introduction/overview of how to use and grow the presence of your nonprofit via LinkedIn. This 28 page presentation explains how to connect, focus and spotlight your cause to ultimately build relationships with people who can make a difference.

Building LinkedIn nonprofit company pages on LinkedIn: Company pages are at the heart of brand building on LinkedIn and this presentation explores how you can best focus on your mission, learn to develop a connected community and drive engagement.

LinkedIn Groups for Nonprofits:  LinkedIn groups are at the heart of the LinkedIn community and it’s partly via groups that you can accelerate your connections and engagement in a way that is almost impossible elsewhere. This one page guide explains how to set a tone, share relevant content and make it engaging, welcome new members and above all else manage the group to keep it active.

Volunteer Posting:  LinkedIn has mushroomed into a fantastic resource for equipped, enthusiastic and viable volunteers and has risen rapidly in the nonprofit sector as a go to starting point to match volunteers with organizations. More on some of the other related volunteer initiatives in the next post.

For me, the beauty of LinkedIn is the genuine and relevance of the networking potential via the platform. It’s not just a random lottery of people but one that helps you connect with individuals who can provide ideas, suggestions, support and donations from people in similar fields or a shared interest. The potential to create new opportunities on an ongoing basis is at the heart of using LinkedIn successfully and as such should be a large part of a nonprofit’s social media strategy.

In part two I’ll be looking at some of the partnerships LinkedIn have developed to provide additional resources to nonprofits along with a new and improved volunteer marketplace. What’s been your greatest success associated with using LinkedIn?

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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centreeBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including PCI compliant inbound telephone fundraisingoutbound telephone fundraisingonline fundraisinglottery fundraising servicesdonation processing and receipting and direct mail fundraising services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all our business decisions  and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.

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