How to Use LinkedIn for Your NonProfit
LinkedIn is integral to telling your nonprofit organization’s ‘professional’ story. With over 400 million professional users, LinkedIn is a great resource for potential donors and potential partner corporations.
Think of LinkedIn as a constant, virtual networking event at your disposal. You want to be on your A-game so you can:
- Share your organization’s elevator pitch with the professional world
- Share important information and updates about your cause
- Research the qualifications of new hires
- Network with potential donors and corporate partners
- Your nonprofit can and should be taking full advantage of the “world’s largest professional network.”
Get The Most Out of Your Company Page
After your website, LinkedIn is the next place people go to learn more about your nonprofit. They want to get an idea of your professionalism as a potential sponsor partner and see who is already involved. If you google your nonprofit’s name plus ‘LinkedIn’ then do the same for other nonprofits in your field, what do you find? Potential corporate sponsors want to know that you are as dedicated to promotion as they are so they know that if you partner with them, you will also be in a position to promote the partnership to a sizable professional audience. To create a LinkedIn Company Page, move your cursor over “Interests” at the top of your homepage, select “Companies,” and click the yellow “Create” button. Make sure you meet LinkedIn’s requirements for adding a company page.
Provide your address, basic information, link to your website, and links to your other social media accounts. Upload your nonprofit’s logo as the profile photo (200 x 200 pixels) and use a relevant cover photo for the banner image (1400 x 425 pixels) (There are great free stock photos available for this here and here.
Get Your Team On Board Online
Whenever anyone searches for your nonprofit’s name in the search bar, they’ll also see your company page and those who have listed you as their employer (volunteers and employees). Make sure your team is linking themselves to the official page and representing your organization in a respectful manner.
Share All of the Updates
Posting organic updates is hugely important for keeping your readers up to date on what’s going on in your organization, and also showing what your nonprofit is up to. You should also consider setting a small budget for “Sponsored Updates.” Organic posts only reach those who already follow your company page. This may be a large audience for some, but for the rest of you, sponsored updates allow you to push your content to new audiences and gain new followers that may not have heard of you before.
Get really specific with who can see which of your updates. LinkedIn’s targeting is really well-executed and allows you to select audiences by skills, job title, industry, fields of study, and more. This way, you can make sure that the right people see your message every time.
Your nonprofit is not just your passion – it is your brand and your story. But it’s also equally, if not more importantly, a type of business. It’s not enough to rely on presenting your audiences a passionate backstory or compelling impact photos. While this type of storytelling is essential, it doesn’t effectively cover the full narrative of your non-profit organization. The people who need more are your potential sponsors, partners and donors, and they need to see more than the stories that tug at the heart strings. This is why your external story to the public also must present your legitimacy as a well-run professional operation, which can compel people to invest their time and money in your cause.