Your donor’s gift may arrive at an event, on the phone, over lunch, or online, but there’s a lot of strategic planning behind “The Ask”. Social media is most likely part of that strategy—especially mainstream staples such as Facebook and Twitter. But what about LinkedIn? Most of your donors—as well as volunteers, employees and prospective hires—are already there. Does your nonprofit have an effective LinkedIn presence?
LinkedIn can be one of the most effective channels to drive engagement with your organization. Keeping your fundraising pump primed means more that than having a LinkedIn company page. An integrated LinkedIn strategy includes your company page, professionally branded profiles for your staff, the consistent creation of original blog content, and content sharing by public facing staff members.
Your organization has multiple employees who have public and often, donor facing roles. Each one of them should have a well-crafted LinkedIn profile. Their profile should consist of a professional picture, a headline that is skill-based, a profile URL that has been customized for sharing, a summary section that thoroughly communicates their background and passion, and a current experience section that describes their role inside your organization. Why is all this necessary? Employees should be part of your social media strategy—they are your Brand Ambassadors.
The Company Page
Your LinkedIn company page is your opportunity to share with your donors, volunteers, and other stakeholders how your organization is making an impact. Frequent posts, photos and original content is a great way to cultivate influencers and grow your list of followers. Every time your origination posts a blog or article, a notification goes out to everyone who is following your organization. Your Brand Ambassadors should in-turn share the update with their own connections, and invite them to follow your organization.
Create Original Content or Share Important Publicly Available Content
Every time your organization posts a LinkedIn update, you are driving engagement among your donors, volunteers, and community. Creating original content such as a blog, sharing presentations, white papers, conference notes, or commenting on relevant community news is essential for building name awareness. Many nonprofits use temp or contract staffing experienced in social media to help with planning and executing social media strategies. The payoff is certainly worth it. When it comes time for “The Ask”, your donors will already know what role your organization plays in the community, and understand how they can make a difference. Now you are ready to make “The Ask”.
Howard Fox is an Executive and Leadership Coach. His coaching method is knowledge-based and leverages the tools that have roots in psychology, adult development, communication, and leadership. Howard received his coach training from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA, and a certified DiSC, MBTI, and Leadership Challenge facilitator and coach. His favorite local coffee shop in Chicago is Overflow Coffee Bar.