Just like adding a current or past job, LinkedIn members can now add a current or past volunteer experience. The information for each listing includes the name of the organization, volunteer role, cause area (like human rights or children), dates and description.
Here's an example from my personal profile.
Right now, LinkedIn helps members by suggesting oganizations as you type but doesn’t connect it back to the organization’s LinkedIn page.* I anticipate that changing in the near future. (It just makes sense if you ask me.) And if I’m right about that change then you are going to want to spruce up your org’s LinkedIn company page in advance.
In addition to a volunteer experience, members can also add broad causes they are interested in. While I don’t see any search functionality related to these causes at the moment, I’m curious to if we’ll see that in the future. Imagine if you could search for people who care about “arts and culture” in “Indianapolis” or who care about "poverty alleviation" in "Portland" to find potential volunteers, donors and even employees.
It’s a new and growing feature on LinkedIn and I see great value add potential for nonprofits. However where the value really is at this moment is for your volunteers. You and your volunteer coordinator probably know and discuss the professional benefits of volunteerism on a regular basis. Volunteering with your organization provides your constituents with the opportunities to build skills they might not be able to nurture in the workplace. Fundraising, fiscal oversight, record keeping and public speaking are just a few of the many that come to mind.
Now LinkedIn is giving them the perfect place to add those skills and experiences to their online resume. In the current economy, and really at any time, volunteer experiences can add a differentiator to a job hunter’s resume. In fact according to the LinkedIn blog “new research from LinkedIn shows that one out of every five hiring managers in the U.S. agree they have hired a candidate because of their volunteer work experience.” It’s good for the volunteer and good for your organization and volunteer retention.
OK - we’ve covered the basics and now I have four action items for you and your organization.
What other action items or insights should we add?
*Update 9/16/11: When I first wrote this post it did not appear that the organization's name was connected to the organization's LinkedIn page. This blog post I read today said that they did so I investigated. I now have three volunteer experiences listed and here's what I found. 1) The very small org that lacks a LinkedIn page doesn't link back to anything. No surprise. 2) The small org that has a LinkedIn page but that may or may not be claimed by the org doesn't link back. 3) The national organization with a robust LinkedIn page is linked back to. All that said, I'm not exactly sure what the criteria is to link back to organizations' pages but it does appear to happen for at least some.
I'd like to keep it simple today and encourage you to do a little exercise in motivation inspired by a couple of recent Seth Godin blog posts, particularly one from today. While I had plans to post on a case study, this morning while thumbing through my emails I came across a call to action from Seth to do something very specific on End Malaria Day, today. It made me stop to think more about why we are all here at this particular web address and why do we want to read about online fundraising. In short, I think the readers and contributors of this blog in some way want to do something great to change the world for the better. Well, today is your day to start or to perhaps reevaluate how you are making that happen.
Seth urges his readers to do three things that will spread the word and help support funding for nets. Simply put, he said:"What would happen if you did that? What would happen if you stepped up and spent a few dollars? Here's what would happen: someone wouldn't die."
Today, I'd like you to take out a post-it note. Write this on it: Today is my day. Each day is your day to do a little more, to make a little more progress.
Take that with you everywhere you go. Post it up on your monitor, on your bathroom mirror, on your car steering wheel. Put it simply, like Seth. If people take action - simple action - for the cause you are passionate then about what will happen? Will a life be saved, will a child learn how to read, will a hungry man be fed?
Be clear with your constituents and keep it simple. Remind them that today is their day as well.
Are you attending Convio's 2011 Summit? If so, we hope you'll find your way over to the Customer Care Center table in between sessions and take advantage of the resources and support being provided. We hope you'll at least come by and say "hi" and meet the faces behind those Convio voices and emails that you know. This information will be shared in the 2011 Summit guide but I wanted to give you a peek at what everyone involved with your Convio Client Care team is preparing specifically for this year's attendees:
Monday, Oct. 3, 2011
Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011
Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011
I know I'm excited about the Convio 2011 Summit and I'm definitely looking forward to meeting, and helping, all of Convio's amazing clients! See you in four weeks!
The vast majority of donor acquisition spend today is on direct mail. But just about every report you read shows that the results are not what they once were. Our Next Generation of American Giving report also reinforced that – Mature donors first reported that they learned about the charities they support through direct mail (35% of them). While mail was part of the mix for Boomers (19%) and Gen X (16%) mail was non-existent with Gen Y. But there is really good news: there is a channel that is effective in reaching people for the first time across all age groups – one that is often over-looked – mainstream media.
That’s right the news at 6 and 10, the local newspaper, radio news and other mainstream media matter. As a media relations fan and practitioner at heart, that is great news. If you don’t have a solid media relations plan then you are missing a significant opportunity. (And for another post on another day, the power of mainstream media also means that you need an issue management or crisis communication plan to help protect your organization should you need it.)
For Gen Y, Gen X and Boomers mainstream media is the #1 they first hear about charities they support (Gen Y 27%, Gen X 24%, Boomers 28%). Even 24% of Matures report mainstream media as their first source of information on the charities they support, second only to mail. I don’t know about you but with a nose for news, I smell opportunity.
Hopefully you are already doing a great job of media relations, but if not it’s never too late to start.
I polled some friends in the media relations world and came up with some ideas that might help – one that might even be a tad controversial:
You may not always get coverage, but you are consistently building a presence with the local press and staying top of mind – which can help you stay top of mind with supporters AND attract new supporters.
One of the great pleasures of my job is working with Convio clients who are true innovators in nonprofit marketing and fundraising to define how we can collectively move the state of their art forward.
It was just such a conversation with our client advisory board two years ago that focused us on the need for a more holistic approach to constituent engagement, which we’ve come to formally define as “the sum of all activities, across all channels, and across all facets of the nonprofit, that allows it to engage next-generation constituents, manage lifetime relationships with them, and optimize their support for the organization.”
We’ve invested a tremendous amount since then to expand our products and services to help our clients achieve this vision, culminating with the release of our new Convio Luminate™ solution.
But why, exactly, is achieving constituent engagement so important? We asked our advisory board to paint a picture of what it would mean to their organizations and constituents, and this is what they shared:
What would successful constituent engagement mean to your organization and constituents? Share your thoughts with us and we’re happy to keep evolving this as we work together to make it a reality.
Subscribe to receive posts via email:
Get answers to product questions, join "Birds of a Feather" discussions and more. Join the Online Community
Alltop - Nonprofit
A Small Change
Bob Ottenhoff's Blog
Donor Power Blog
Future Leaders in Philanthropy
Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog
Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog
Nonprofit Law Prof
Pamela’s Grant Blog
Sea Change Strategies
Zen and the Art of Nonprofit Technology