Would you rather keep your Facebook profile private? So would most people.
How about Twitter …not your bag? No big deal! Not a fan of photography? (Yours or other people’s?) Then Instagram probably isn’t the place for you.
But if you’re a gift officer, work in alumni relations, have contact with grateful patients, or have any other role in fundraising that involves connecting with donors, then you must have a personal LinkedIn profile. If not, you’re short changing your organization and missing out on significant and impactful connection opportunities with supporters. Seriously, it’s the equivalent of not having a telephone (and we all know telephones are still crucially important).
So what do you do with your LinkedIn profile? First, update it. Make sure you have:
- A recent and professional profile picture.
- A succinct summary that speaks clearly about your role in your organization.
- An updated work history (at least the relevant stuff to your current role).
- Your volunteer work listed (especially that related to your org, because it will help prospective donors find you in their searches).
Next, post information that matters to your community. It could be networking opportunities, fundraising events, big gift news …really, whatever matters to your donors.
Use LinkedIn to find new donors and learn more about current donors. Where they work, if they just got promoted, what volunteer work they’ve completed, which additional social networks are they active on …all of this is information you can find on most people’s public LinkedIn profiles. It’s a treasure trove, it’s free, and it’s as simple as a Google search.
Finally, use LinkedIn to connect with your supporters and donors. In a lot of cases, LinkedIn’s message system will connect you with a donor more effectively than the email address you have on file.
Our donors are more segmented than ever before when it comes to the communication channels they use. For some, the phone is still king. For others, print matters most. For many, face to face interaction is the necessary ingredient to seal the deal. But online is now just as crucial as all those aforementioned channels (with the possible exception of face to face). Don’t believe me? Did you know that 74 percent of ALL consumers now use social media to make purchase decisions? (Klout, 2014 Study) How about that 71 percent of American adults are on Facebook? (Pew, 2014 study) Social media is too ubiquitous in our daily lives to be ignored and LinkedIn is the professional network where many people expect other accomplished professionals to be active. Don’t disappoint this segment of your supporters. Beef up your LinkedIn presence today.
Justin Ware is the author of this post and Director of Interactive Communication at BWF_social. To learn more about Justin’s work, click here.
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