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It's that time of year here in the U.S. when many of us give thanks for the important people in our lives. For me, it's also a good time to reflect on how I can continue to help my favorite nonprofit organizations.

I have taught LinkedIn seminars that are specifically designed for the board members of nonprofit organizations. I show them how they can help their organization by leveraging their existing network and experiences. But I also use my personal LinkedIn account throughout the year to bring attention to specific nonprofits and promote the great work they're doing.
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8 Strategies to Help Your Favorite Nonprofit

Here are eight strategies you, too, can use to help the organizations you care about.

1.  As a board member/volunteer, be sure to include information about the organization in your individual profile in order to help promote involvement, recruit volunteers/donors, explain the mission of the organization, or to facilitate any other public relations or communication effort. The following are ways you can accomplish this:
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  • Add the special profile section Volunteer Experience, and include not only the detail about your group but promote the general cause as well.
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  • 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.
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  • Use one of the three websites in the Contact Info section of your profile for a hyperlink directly to the organization’s website.
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  • In your Summary section, consider having a special section to describe why this organization is important to you.
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  • Use the Add Media feature to show a PowerPoint or video about the organization.
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  • Use the Add Media feature to connect your organization’s blog or other web pages to your profile.
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  • List the name of the organization in the Organizations subsection of the Accomplishments section.

2.  Use the Advanced People Search function to find out who in your network knows people at the significant foundations and companies in your marketplace that could make contributions or encourage additional volunteers.

3.  Use the Share an Update feature on your homepage or Conversations in groups you are in to:
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  • Publicize an event
  • Recruit volunteers
  • Share results and accomplishments
  • Ask a question of the group or your network that will help you solve a problem
  • Look for employees, suppliers, and/or vendors
  • Share articles and websites

4.  Search for and join groups that are in and out of your regional market that appear to be in the same space or have a similar mission as your organization. Remember–you can belong to 100 groups on LinkedIn, and this is a great way to keep track of what others are doing, saying, going to, and sharing in your space.

5.  Consider starting a LinkedIn group for the organization’s supporters, donors, and/or volunteers. You may also wish to start a group for an event you are going to have in order to share information leading up to the event and wrap-up information after the event.

6.  Consider starting a LinkedIn group that focuses on the general mission and/or purpose of your organization. In addition to my starting a group for SecureFutures, which helps educate high school students about financial literacy, I could have a more general group which is centered around improving financial literacy for youth. This group could have a national or international audience. This will establish you as the clearinghouse for information relating to this topic.

7.  Consider using the Follow company function in the Companies section of LinkedIn for those similar or related organizations that have a company page.

8.  Add a longform published post on your profile to promote an upcoming event, campaign, appeal, or to educate your audience about the nonprofit’s mission or focus.

You're now equipped to help your favorite nonprofit organization in a new way, and I'm sure they'll be grateful for your assistance.

Happy Thanksgiving!