Why your Nonprofit should have a LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn is a professional social networking site intended for networking by professionals. The site, begun exactly 10 years ago, now has 225 million users worldwide. Membership grows by approximately two new members every second.

To become a truly worldwide networking site, LinkedIn has made the site available in 19 different languages. LinkedIn is somewhat different from other networking sites which facilitate the making of friendships as the purpose is to build powerful business relationships. All LinkedIn members are expected to behave professionally on LinkedIn.

Some facts about za.LinkedIn.com
  • South African users of LinkedIn increased from 0,6 million in 2010 to 2 million in 2013
  • The age of users ranges from 18 years to over 55
  • The largest group of users is aged between 25 and 34 years
  • Approximately 10% of users are business owners and CEOs
  • It is the 8th most popular website in SA

Here are ten reasons your nonprofit should become a member of LinkedIn:

Build your brand

Build your brand as a non-profit by using LinkedIn to inform professionals locally and internationally about your cause, your mission, the work that you do and who works or volunteers for your non-profit. Marketers agree that brand awareness is an essential base from which any organisation can conduct their business, be it sales or fundraising. When your staff, volunteers, and supporters add the Volunteer and Causes section to their profile and connect to your profile, you will drive awareness of your brand and strengthen your online community. The stronger your organization's network, the better equipped you will be to attract members, secure funding, and find passionate volunteers.

Digitally me

A LinkedIn account tells the world that your non-profit is a professional organisation that does not lag behind in an understanding of digital media and is at the forefront of technology and business efficiency.

Exude expertise

LinkedIn provides an environment where you and your nonprofit can establish yourselves as experts within your field, thereby improving your standing from just another non-profit in your field. Starting or participating in LinkedIn groups, posting presentations and promoting webinars and speaking engagements boosts your and your organisation's reputation.

Weave a web of connections

Connections can be made with businesses, other nonprofits, and even donors within your industry. You are able to search for individuals associated with particular nonprofits, foundations, or businesses. You can then determine whether anyone can make introductions on your behalf, which is one of the key purposes of the website.

Publicise positions

Publicise job opportunities or volunteer opportunities in your nonprofit amongst professionals and CEOs. There are many instances where a company has seen a need and decided to provide support, even if only in the form of volunteer work by their staff.

Link up your supporters

Provide an easily accessible platform to connect with your staff, supporters and partners, and enable volunteers and would-be volunteers to network more easily with one another in an efficient and simple way. Enable would-be volunteers to make informed decisions about signing up with your non-profit.

Find experts that can help solve problems

There are times when a little advice from an expert in your field can really help to solve a tricky problem. On LinkedIn you can find out exactly who would understand the issue before approaching him or her for advice. 

Stay abreast with LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn groups allow you to stay abreast of the latest information on the nonprofit sector in an effective and well-organized manner. When you join appropriate groups, the groups will provide insight and information from non-profit workers on the front lines, as well as consultants and funders.