I hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend as much as I did. You can never have enough of long weekends, family time, great food (it is the official start to what we refer to in Wisconsin as "meatball season") meatballsand another Packer and Badger victory.  

Amongst all that, I did spend some time preparing for my upcoming talks this week, which include my last beginner LinkedIn class of 2011 on the evening of Tuesday, November 29 as well as a special nonprofit social media event I will be a part of on Tuesday morning, November 29 sponsored by the Milwaukee Business Journal. At this event I will be sharing the stage with Christina Steder from Clear Verve Marketing. She will be sharing the results of her latest survey on social media habits of nonprofits. This will be a great event for those of you who are interested in knowing how nonprofits are using social media. You can register here.  

Because we are in the season of giving, this week's tip will outline for you the LinkedIn features/applications you can take advantage of to help your favorite nonprofit.


1) Include information about the organization in your individual profile in the following ways:

  • Add the profile section "Volunteer Experience & Causes," and include not only the detail about your group but promote the general cause as well. My past blog post on this profile section, which includes an instructional video, will help you set this up.
  • In the Experience section of your profile, list as a current job your title and/or involvement along with the name of the organization. You then have 2,000 characters to explain the organization's mission, accomplishments, and needs. Once you do this, the organization will appear in the top box of your profile.
  • You can list three websites on your profile. Use one of the three websites for a hyperlink directly to the organization's website. 
  • In your Summary section, consider having a special section to describe why this organization is important to you.
  • Include in your Specialties section the name of the organization or other keywords that describe the group. You can then be found more easily if someone searches for people involved in your specific group or other groups with a similar mission or purpose.
  • Use SlideShare or Google Presentation to share a Power Point or video about the organization.
  • Use Blog Link or WordPress applications to connect the organization's blog to your profile.
  • List the name of the organization in your Groups & Associations section. 

2) Use the Status Update Box on your home page or Discussions in groups you are in to: 

  • Publicize an event
  • Recruit volunteers
  • Share results and accomplishments
  • Ask a question of the group or your network that will help solve a problem
  • Find employees, suppliers, and/or vendors for the organization

3) Use the LinkedIn Advanced Search function to find out who in your network knows people at the significant foundations and companies in your marketplace. Then facilitate an introduction to the staff of the nonprofit organization.


4) Search for and join groups in and out of your regional market that appear to be in the same space or have a similar mission as your organization. This is a great way to keep track of what others are doing, saying, going to, and sharing.


5) Start a LinkedIn group for the organization's supporters, donors, and/or volunteers. A subgroup can be created to share information that is only pertinent to volunteers, for instance. Starting a group for an event you are planning can help you share information leading up to the event and wrap-up information after the event.


6) Use the Events application to promote the organization's upcoming events. Check out this blog post on all the LinkedIn features that can help you increase attendence at your upcoming event.


Follow these six simple but highly effective steps -- all of which can be done without leaving the comfort of your home or office -- and then don't be surprised when the phone rings with an invitation to join the board of your favorite nonprofit!