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LinkedIn's Hidden Potential for Nonprofits

In this day and age, having your nonprofit visible on social media is a must. But with so many different options, which one should you dedicate your time to? 

Have you thought about using LinkedIn for your nonprofit? With over 190 million active members in the U.S. and two profiles created per second, LinkedIn is the largest professional network worldwide. Tapping into this community could help your nonprofit manage its image and develop its professional network.

Let’s talk about: 

LinkedIn-for-nonprofits-professionalLinkedIn for Nonprofits: Is That Really a Thing?

LinkedIn is a social network for professionals, but it is also a place to interact, share your knowledge, and build a community.

In the midst of personal profiles and corporate company accounts on LinkedIn, nonprofit experience is highlighted and valued. For example, there is a “Volunteer Experience” section that features each person’s work or volunteer experience at nonprofits. 

LinkedIn-for-nonprofits-volunteer

Your nonprofit can gain a lot from LinkedIn, including:

Expanding Your Network

Behind each LinkedIn profile is a potential donor, member, volunteer, collaborator or sponsor. No one is out of your reach - you simply need to know how to get in touch with them! 

You can use LinkedIn’s search engine algorithms to quickly find profiles with similar interests and professional experience. 

LinkedIn-for-nonprofits-connect-suggestions

By "connecting" with people you know, you expand your network and increase your chances of being seen, known and recognized. Additionally, your network becomes a valuable source of news and information. If you don’t know someone yet, but they are interested in similar topics, feel free to send a “Connect” request! Just add a personalized note saying “hi,” and briefly explain why you’d like to be connected.

Go ahead and connect with everyone you know, so that your LinkedIn network begins to reflect your actual network!

Recruiting Employees and Volunteers

LinkedIn can help you find the perfect candidate. Just publish a job offer using the "Jobs" tool (in the menu at the top of the page), and all LinkedIn users can view your job description. The best part of all this? The tool is completely free!

LinkedIn-for-nonprofits-job-post

Your job posting will reach profiles that match your job description. LinkedIn will also notify anyone who has set alerts for job titles and keywords matching your post.

You can also post your nonprofit’s volunteering opportunities on LinkedIn, to reach anyone in your city interested in volunteering.

Increase Reach for Your Fundraising Campaigns

Your first donors are almost always the people closest to you. On LinkedIn, your staff, members, and volunteers can share information with their networks of potential major donors or institutions. 

One advantage of using social media for fundraising campaigns is that you can quickly reach a large network. When you publish a post online, it will appear in your followers’ newsfeed. If your followers “like” or share the post, their networks will also see your post. You could reach potential donors or volunteers hidden within this extended network!

LinkedIn-for-nonprofits-post-newsfeed

Additionally, you can advertise using LinkedIn’s “Sponsored Content” if you want to target certain profiles to see your post. 

Here is an example of an ad on LinkedIn:

LinkedIn-for-nonprofits-sponsored-content-ad

LinkedIn-for-nonprofits-marketing

Creating Your Nonprofit’s LinkedIn Page

Don't worry, creating your page is a simple process! Some of the steps need more care, so we will go over them in more detail below.

Sign in or Create Your Personal Account

If you don't have a personal LinkedIn account yet, it is time to create one. You need to have a personal account to manage your nonprofit’s page. 

Create Your Nonprofit’s LinkedIn Page

LinkedIn will guide you through the process, which includes filling in your nonprofit’s name, writing a short description, and adding a link to your website (definitely do this, to increase visitors to your website!).

To create your page, head over to the “Work” section in the top bar. At the bottom of that menu, click on “Create a Company Page.” (See example below)

LinkedIn-for-nonprofits-Company-Page

Next, you’ll need to select which option describes your nonprofit best:

LinkedIn-for-nonprofits-page

Now you can bring your nonprofit’s page to life by filling in the details. Start with the basics: the nonprofit’s name, website, which LinkedIn URL you want your page to be associated with, etc. Classify your industry type as a nonprofit to stand out from company pages.

LinkedIn-for-nonprofits-page-form

Remember to add a tagline! This is a short description of your nonprofit, which can attract users to find out more. It needs to be under 120 characters, so keep it short, simple, and clear! Feel free to get inspiration from other pages’ taglines, but definitely add your personal touch. 

When you’re ready, click “Create your page” and your page is officially online!

Add Your Logo and Cover Photo

First impressions are vital, which is why it’s important to boost your page’s visual appeal!

Upload your logo and a cover photo to show off what your nonprofit does. The cover photo is where you can showcase your favorite picture of your nonprofit in action.

LinkedIn-for-nonprofits-Feeding-America

Continue Building Your Page

Your page is now created - but there are a few more steps left. LinkedIn has a nifty tool called “Build Your Page” that keeps track of your progress. Do your best to complete all the steps in the checklist! 

LinkedIn-for-nonprofits-build

For example, you should provide a description to help visitors quickly understand your nonprofit’s mission, impact, and values

Another important section to personalize is the “Custom Button.” This feature allows you to create a call to action. For example, if you want people to visit your website, select the “Visit Website” option.

Assign Page Admins

If you’re not the only one managing your nonprofit’s LinkedIn, you can set up multiple page administrators on your nonprofit’s page.

On your nonprofit’s page, click on the "Admin tools" button in the top right corner. Then click on "Manage admins" in the drop-down menu. Add your team members to start your LinkedIn adventure together!

LinkedIn-for-nonprofits-admin

LinkedIn-for-nonprofits-engagement

Maximizing Your Page’s Impact

Set Achievable Goals

Just like getting ready for a marathon, you need to begin by warming up and setting simple and achievable goals.

These goals are generally defined in terms of how many people you want to reach and engage with. You will need to set goals that are best for your nonprofit. 

Here are some common goals:

  • Recruiting employees (and volunteers)
  • Launching a donation campaign
  • Generating more traffic on your website
  • Finding corporate sponsors

Managing your page takes time, but you can plan ahead and establish a timeline for posting content on LinkedIn. With a plan to maintain activity on your nonprofit’s LinkedIn page, you can build a habit of efficiently spending 30-60 minutes per week managing your LinkedIn activity.

LinkedIn-for-nonprofits-guideNina is ready to
dive into LinkedIn!

Post Content Regularly

LinkedIn suggests posting weekly to increase your page’s engagement with your followers. 

Here are some tips to attract quality traffic to your page:

  • We recommend that you always include a photo or video for your post. This will organically increase interest and engagement with your content. 
  • Adjust your content by varying your posts: ask a question to your followers, share an update, feature a staff member, etc. 
  • If your nonprofit has a blog, share your articles on LinkedIn. Your nonprofit has unique ideas, and your network should know more about it!

Increase Your Followers

Now that your nonprofit’s LinkedIn page is set up, and you’re publishing regular content, it’s time to increase your followers.

Start with the easiest method: encourage your staff, board members, and volunteers who have LinkedIn accounts to "Follow" your page

Next, send invitations to your “2nd degree connections” that align with your nonprofit’s mission and values. LinkedIn uses your current network to identify profiles closest to your cause or network. The LinkedIn algorithm will suggest profiles who would have an interest in your nonprofit, so pay attention to those suggestions.

Finally, if you are able to define your target audience, you should consider sponsoring your content to target users outside of your current network. (Note: If your target audience isn’t using LinkedIn, don’t spend $200 on advertising!)

You can explore this option by going to your nonprofit’s page, and click on “Admin tools” in the top right corner. Click on “Sponsor an update.” You would need to set up a “Campaign Manager” account, but after you’ve done that, you’ll see various options to increase your page’s audience. (See example below)

LinkedIn-for-nonprofits-Campaign-Manager

Analyze Your Posts

To help you see if you are meeting the objectives you set, LinkedIn can help you analyze statistics for your contents and page visitors. You can use the analytics to identify which type of content is the most popular with your followers. Then, you can adapt your next posts to increase the number of followers engaging with your nonprofit.

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect LinkedIn strategy. You may need to adjust your plan until you find the right content balance for your nonprofit to reach its goals and target audience. 

LinkedIn-for-nonprofits-communication

Matthew is happy with how the
nonprofit page looks!

LinkedIn-for-nonprofits-content3 Habits That Will Pay Off 

3 main points to remember from us:

  1. Publish regular content on your page. Be creative with photos, videos, updates, and stats!
  2. Ask your immediate network (e.g., staff, board members, volunteers) to follow your page.
  3. Encourage your staff to share and like each post, to increase your nonprofit’s reach on LinkedIn.

We hope you’ll have a blast creating awesome content for your nonprofit’s page on LinkedIn!

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