I am a huge fan of LinkedIn and have used it with each nonprofit that I have worked with. It has taken a little bit of time to build my network and understand that systems but once I learned how to do it I have found it extremely valuable to development work. Here are a few examples of what LinkedIn can do for you.
- Stay in Touch- We all lose touch now and again with people that are connected to our organization. But if you connect with them on LinkedIn they can update their employer and you will always have a way of connecting with them.
- Leverage the Network of your Volunteers- I often use LinkedIn as a way of figuring out who my organizations key volunteers know. Once you are connected you can see the people that they know and this can help you understand who their network is and if they have friends that can give.
- Build an Online Community- LinkedIn Groups are a huge asset to any organization. Recently they upgraded their “groups” area and you can discuss ideas and issues. This is a great way to foster networking and community with your volunteers or donors.
- Find Success Stories- I have found past alumni or clients of my organizations and connected with them. This has resulted in great testimonials in support of the organization.
- Up-to-date with your Contacts- If your contacts change jobs, start working on a new board, are thinking about a specific issue, they may include it in their profiles. This is a great way to keep up-to-date with your contacts and send them a note or call them if anything major happens.
- Prospect Research- I will sometimes use LinkedIn as a way to do a little research on potential or existing donors. You can see their past employers, they talk about things that are important to them this is a great resource in learning about your donors.
Do you use LinkedIn as a development professional? Leave a comment with your story or join the new A Small Change group on LinkedIn. If you have any questions or want help with LinkedIn let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction.