Beyond the job ad: Why non-profits need to be on LinkedIn

NCC LinkedIn cover image

NCC LinkedIn cover image

January 23, 2014 | by Nicole Senyi

One of the most common misconceptions among marketing and communications professionals is that LinkedIn is nothing more than a glorified job board. LinkedIn is just for talent recruitment, right?


In fact, of the more than 259 million people with LinkedIn accounts, 40 per cent of users check in daily and 50 per cent have a university degree. This is an engaged, educated and professional group of people who probably include your board members, corporate partners, CEOs and donors.

LinkedIn provides non-profits with a great opportunity to connect with these individuals, if you know how to leverage it.

The first thing you need to know is that LinkedIn is not Facebook. So put away those cat photos and sappy inspirational quotes. LinkedIn users are busy people who want high quality, value added content.

Some LinkedIn dos and don’ts:

DO start a company page for you non-profit. This is a great place to post that high quality content I mentioned.

DO start a group. Groups are places where your board, volunteers or even staff can share information and network. This is especially useful if you have a national or international organization, and your board may not meet regularly.

DO set up the Products and Services tab on your company page. Volunteer, peer-to-peer fundraising and symbolic giving programs are all great examples of services your organization might offer.

DO post great content regularly. News releases, volunteer, donor and board member profiles, corporate partner events and promotions, and staff achievements belong on your LinkedIn page. Yes, and jobs too.

DON’T post only about yourself. Seek out scholarly and professional articles about your field of work, post helpful articles about the non-profit industry (like this one!), and pose questions to your followers.

DON’T forget your logo. You would be surprised how many companies and organizations forget to upload their logo.

DON’T ignore the power of images. LinkedIn may not be Instagram or Pinterest, but you still need a photo to go along with your article link. Just no cats. Unless your organization saves homeless cats.

DON’T be afraid to try new things. Have a great new video, maybe an infographic? Try it out! Each organization’s group of followers will be different. Find out what THEY want to know more about.

LinkedIn is a powerful and interesting platform. Try it out for your non-profit!

Check out the Nature Conservancy of Canada's LinkedIn page here >

Nicole Senyi (Photo courtesy of Nicole Senyi)

About the Author

Nicole Senyi is the communications manager for NCC's Ontario region.

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