LinkedIn for Nonprofits

LinkedIn for nonprofits, charities, and NGOs

Is LinkedIn a useful tool for nonprofit organizations? It’s pretty much a “no-brainer” for self-employed professionals, job seekers, employers, and corporations seeking to engage with people who are actively seeking to expand their career growth networks. But what about non-profits and charities? Is there a place for them on LinkedIn too?

ABSOLUTELY!

LinkedIn represents a fabulous networking and engagement opportunity for nonprofit organisations of all kinds!

Whether your organization is interested in promoting and marketing its cause, looking for volunteers, seeking motivated employees, or simply looking to increase its visibility, LinkedIn can help.

It is also pretty easy to get started, and to maintain your organizational presence too. The first step is to create your personal account there. Join LinkedIn if you haven’t already. Before moving forward, you might want to familiarize yourself with the platform. Search out, and connect with some of your friends and colleagues that are also on LinkedIn.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Remember, LinkedIn is NOT Facebook! Unless your nonprofit is an animal rescue organization there is no room there for cat videos and puppy pictures.[/perfectpullquote]

OK. Feeling confident now? Let’s get to work for your organization. The quickest and easiest way to create a presence for your group on LinkedIn, is to actually just go ahead and “create a group“. Give it a name that reflects either the name or purpose of your organization, and invite all of the members of your organization to join the group.

GREAT!

You and your organization are now active on LinkedIn. Congratulations! But now what? Now it’s time to put the platform to work for your non-profit. The most important step is to integrate your new account with your existing Internet presence. Make sure that it becomes part of your entire communications ecosystem – both online and offline. Put a link to your LinkedIn group on your website and blog, and links to your website, blog, and other social media pages in your LinkedIn group.

Finally, like all social media, and like all communications of every type, the success of your LinkedIn group is tied directly to the amount of effort you put into maintaining it. This does not have to be a full time job. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be somebody’s part time job! But it does take a bit of time, and a lot of discipline. Just like Twitter, or Facebook, or your mailing list, your LinkedIn presence is unlikely to serve your organization if nothing ever appears in it. Set a time in your calendar, whether once or twice a day, or just once a week – but make that time as critical to you as you would a doctor’s appointment for your child.

  • Post some news
  • Start a conversation
  • Ask a question
  • Answer questions
  • Share an interesting article
  • Share your blog posts
  • Share someone else’s blog post
  • Post recruitment notices for volunteers and staff

There is ALWAYS something that you can communicate that will be of interest to your stakeholders. All you need to do is find it, and post it. In fact, I’ll be doing that a moment from now. You’ll find a link to this article on my own LinkedIn account – RIGHT HERE.

 

 

Facebook for Nonprofit Organizations

Facebook Sign - should your nonprofit, ngo, or charitable organization be using Facebook?

Should Your Nonprofit be on Facebook?

The answer to the Facebook question will be either yes, no, or maybe, and it will be determined by the type of organization you have and who your nonprofit servers. To better answer the question, we’ll answer the question in three parts:

  1. Yes. You are a charity or NGO that has a public face and depends on public support in some way.

    Facebook Pages (distinct from personal profiles) are public facing by default. With nearly 2 billion accounts (1.79 active users) it is highly likely that you have an audience on Facebook. That means that there are people there that want to know more about your organization, and that your nonprofit wants to reach. Facebook is a fantastic way to reach out to people to let them know what you do, what you are all about, and who you are trying to help. Equally, a Facebook Page for your NGO or charity, gives people an opportunity to communicate with you, and importantly to find ways to help your organization. People can share news about your good works with their friends, and they can more easily find ways to help your organization financially, if your nonprofit organization depends on public fundraising in some way.

    [perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Any organization that is dedicated to “doing good” out in the world, in any way whatsoever, will benefit immensely from a presence on Facebook.[/perfectpullquote]

    Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provides medical care where it is needed most in nearly 70 countries. They make excellent use of Facebook, as you can see for yourself.

  2. Maybe: Your Nonprofit organization is membership based, and serves primarily members of the organization

    Membership based nonprofits, such as professional associations, and clubs, may or may not benefit from a Facebook “Fan Page“. Business and organizational Fan Pages are meant to be public, and that is the key consideration.
    [perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Keeping in mind that Facebook Pages are public by default, whether your organization will benefit a lot, a little, or not at all, will depend largely on how important public outreach or input is to your organizational goals.[/perfectpullquote]
    For most professional associations a Facebook page should be an organizational priority. Especially if the members are part of a self-regulating profession. Self-regulating professions have obligations to the public, in addition to obligations to members of the profession. Anything that enables better communication, and enables increased transparency, will probably enhance the public perception of the profession.

    The OBA (Ontario Bar Association) uses a Facebook page. You can see immediately that they are reaching out to their members, but are also presenting a professional image to the public.

    Clubs can also benefit greatly from Facebook. However, in the case of private clubs, there is another option that should be considered. As with other organizations, a Facebook Page is a good idea if the club is reaching out to the public. If the club is more focused in serving club members than on public outreach, it should probably create a Facebook Group instead of a Facebook Fan Page. A Facebook group page serves as a home base for club members. It is a place on Facebook where members can share pictures, videos, and stories with each other. A place where members can meet each other online to communicate. Unlike a “page”, a “group” can be completely private so that only group members can participate in conversations or see each others posts.

    [perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]A Facebook Page is best for an organization that wants to inform its members, or the public, and seek input or kudos from members and/or the public. A Facebook Group is best for an organization that wants a place for members to meet online and share things with each other.[/perfectpullquote]

  3. No: Your nonprofit organization is private, it serves only a very specific community and purpose.

    There are indeed nonprofit organizations for which Facebook may not be a worthwhile investment of time, energy, and money. The one that springs most immediately to my mind is a Condominium Corporation. Some larger condominiums, or condos with board and committee members that are already very active on social media might want to set up a Facebook Group for owners and residents, but many condo corporations are already faced with overworked volunteers that are struggling to keep up with the day-to-day demands of keeping their particular nonprofit running smoothly. These smaller organizations are likely best off with the philosophy of, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

    Something for organizations in the “no” group to consider though, is that they may one day face demands for more transparency and/or better communications. [perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]A group may well be the answer to meeting demands for better communications. Unlike in the dating world, when it comes to social media for nonprofits “no” indeed might mean “maybe”.[/perfectpullquote]

     

When your nonprofit, NGO, or charity wants to talk about how to make Social Media work for it, get in touch. I’d love to help you out.

Nonprofits and Social Media

Should Social Media Play a Part in your Nonprofit?

With the proliferation of social media platforms, and their growing importance as marketing and communication tools for businesses and professionals, this question is being asked by the leadership of most nonprofits today.

So, what is the answer?

Let’s begin with the short answer: [perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”#049931″ class=”” size=””]Yes! Social media should be part of the working strategy of every nonprofit.[/perfectpullquote]

Now that the question has been answered, let’s talk a bit about why social media is important, and how some of these platforms can help your nonprofit succeed in its mission—whatever that mission might be. Below is a list of Ten Reasons that Social Media marketing platforms might be important to your non-profit. The list is not all-inclusive, and it’s entirely possible that some of the reasons might not align with the goals of your particular organization.

Some Reasons that Apply to Most Nonprofits

  1. Community building
  2. Stakeholder communication
  3. Public outreach
  4. Transparency
  5. Mission marketing
  6. Fundraising campaigns
  7. Membership drives
  8. Member retention
  9. Demonstrate leadership
  10. Distinguish your organization among its peers

Nonprofits are special. Social media strategy for nonprofits is special too.

In coming posts I’ll talk about social media for some specific kinds of nonprofit organizations. For example the most appropriate social media platforms and strategies will be different for a membership driven nonprofit than for a charitable organization. And some specialized organizations, such as condo boards, will have mandates that may preclude public outreach altogether, But even these organizations will find social media platforms that will significantly enhance their effectiveness.

Some nonprofits require the same type of marketing efforts as for-profit entities. Others may view traditional marketing efforts and strategies as anathema to their fundamental philosophy. Buzzyness.com understands that. As a specialist in the not for profit sector, Allan Revich works hard to tailor an appropriate strategy for each client. A strategy that first and foremost aligns perfectly with the mission of their organization.