Social Media for Nonprofits Conference: Leveraging LinkedIn for Good


You’re probably aware of how LinkedIn can help you advance professionally, but did you know the social network platform can advance your philanthropic efforts as well?

And for nonprofit organizations, LinkedIn can become an invaluable tool to find skilled volunteers, board members, and resources.

That was the message of Meg Garlinghouse, head of Employment, Branding & Community for LinkedIn, at last week’s Social Media for Nonprofits Conference in Mountain View. All this week I’ve been highlighting speakers from the conference, including Libby Leffler of Facebook, and Dawn Andreas of Eventbrite.

Garlinghouse leads LinkedIn for Good, which has as its mission to “connect the talent and passion of professionals with opportunities to use their skills to make a positive impact in the world.”

Here are some notes from her talk:

  • LinkedIn wants more nonprofits to get on its platform.
  • There are 160 million professionals on LinkedIn and they are “at your fingertips,  and they want to help you; that’s the extraordinary thing, you just have to reach out and ask,” Garlinghouse said.
  • By popular request, last fall LinkedIn added a “Volunteer Experience and Causes” feature to profiles; when you add organizations you support and volunteer for, that information gets pushed out to the network.
  • Nonprofits can create a presence using Company Pages, which are similar to Facebook Pages; “It’s a fantastic way for you to push out the message of your organization to a professional community.”
  • It’s possible to target messages to specific followers, and you can see who opens and reads your messages.
  • Using the Advanced Search tab, nonprofits can find talented volunteers, board members, and others for free.
  • If you’re looking for specific resources from companies, you can find connections and ask for introductions.
  • Join LinkedIn Groups that relate to your interests.
  • LinkedIn now curates news based on what you’re interested in reading under “LinkedIn Today”.
  • Make sure your board members and volunteers are on LinkedIn to expand the number of networks the organization is connected to.