4 ways nonprofits can use LinkedIn

I'm just as guilty as the next guy of occasionally ignoring LinkedIn as a social outreach tool. It just feels less "social" than Facebook or Twitter. In fact, most of my friends only pay attention to LinkedIn when they're job hunting. So is it worth your time to dive in? Actually, yes!

Here's what LinkedIn has to offer your nonprofit:

NWF on LinkedIn

NWF on LinkedIn

1. Find top donors

According to our social data research, your members who have a presence on LinkedIn are more likely to donate more money to your cause. And by reaching out to them on LinkedIn, you minimize (if not eliminate) the risk of having your message compete with game requests, baby pictures, and the other stuff their friends post on Facebook.

(Want to find out which of your members are on LinkedIn? Contact us - we'd be happy to help!)

2. Find board members

LinkedIn's new Board Member Connect, an exclusive offering for nonprofits, gives you free access to their Talent Finder search tool and other perks, helping you find the right people with the right skills to lend their efforts to your organization.

3. Find new staff and volunteers

With LinkedIn's advanced search feature and its Groups feature (which allows you to create and join groups related to your cause), you can find people in your area with particular skill sets for your staff or volunteer pool, i.e. graphic designers, accountants, and strategy consultants.

Volunteer experience on LinkedIn

Volunteer experience on LinkedIn

4. Raise awareness

Encourage your existing staff, volunteers and donors to display their affiliation on their profiles. LinkedIn profiles now offer a place where you can list your volunteer experience and "Organizations You Support," where they can directly link to your cause's LinkedIn page, thereby raising awareness for your cause.

To learn more about how your nonprofit can use LinkedIn, check out LinkedIn for Nonprofits and Mashable's article "Why Your Non-Profit Needs to Stop Ignoring LinkedIn."

Which nonprofits are rocking LinkedIn? If you know of some, post them in the comments, and they may get a shout-out in a future blog post.