Note from Becky: I had the pleasure of meeting Sherman Mohr while working with a client in Nashville, TN recently. Sherman shared some of his thoughts about using LinkedIn to support non profit endeavors, so I invited him to write a short blog series on this topic. Enjoy the second of two posts from Sherman!
In our last discussion we learned of three important ways that LinkedIn is providing utility to non-profits. Those resources or tools allow non-profits to recruit volunteers, employees, and board members. Some of the services are offered at deep discounts and others are offered as part of the tool set on LinkedIn. One example is Advanced Search. This tool would instantly feed up those connections who are possibly open to non-profit board appointments. For example, I have 254 first degree connections with a history of non-profit board involvement. They are the ones I would seek or approach first with my discussion around non-profit involvement.
Quick tip! Approach the individual this way in most cases. “Dear Ms. Johnson, I see you have a history in non-profit board membership. I serve as the local Executive Director for the XYZ Non Profit. Would you happen to have a connection or colleague that may have interest in learning more about our mission and perhaps learning more about our Board’s composition?”
Moving on to the topic of this post: additional LinkedIn resources for non-profits.
Let’s start with this graphic. The link is found here. https://nonprofit.linkedin.com/nonprofit-resources .
This page allows you to access approximately 16 articles on recruiting volunteers, board members, and more. The second tab you see above surrounds community building tips and the next shares actual templates that keep you from having to invent posting scripts.
As you become more familiar with the search functions and the utility of LinkedIn, you want to be sure your non-profit’s online presence is polished. One of the key ways to do so is to be sure you have a company page on LinkedIn. The company page is your corporate presence on the platform.
Look at this example.
You see how the logo is integrated? The banner photo is applicable to the season. The content is relevant to the current campaign. The information on contacts, website, and other pertinent information make the LinkedIn presence useful. Below the fold, or below the section represented by the image above, is a section afforded to their recent posts and sharing. When people visit your company page, they want to see an engaged entity.
So what does this mean? It means that the topics covered in post number one on LinkedIn and your non-profit have to be addressed. What is your mission, vision and narrative? Are these transferred to an actionable strategy so your team knows what to say on a website, on a post, and on a LinkedIn company page?
You want to follow this link to learn more about setting up a company page. https://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1594
A few interesting points. You don’t want to hand this off to an inexperienced intern. Permission to launch a company page requires an All Star status on a Personal Profile on LinkedIn. If you do hire it out to someone, then require they utilize and get approval on an email address associated with the non-profit. Do not allow someone to launch a Company page associated with their profile and their own email address. You may never actually control your non-profit’s LinkedIn page is that is the case.
Here is a link to the FAQ for building company pages on LinkedIn. https://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1561/related/1
This is an important first step in establishing team members to power your company page build out. This link provides content explaining how to authorize managers for your company page. https://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/17481
In summary, consider the use of a company page to enhance your non-profit’s LinkedIn presence. View the LinkedIn Company Page as a net in the ocean. When fishing, you always have to put something in the water. You first venture out in the boat or stand by the shore. You’re fishing but haven’t thrown anything in the water. When you launch your LinkedIn Company Page, you’ve thrown a net in the water. Your posts become the bait, or current, steering the fish into the net. So go out now and cast your nets into the vast sea of LinkedIn volunteers, board members, and employees all begging to take part in your cause.
Sherman Mohr is a Nashville entrepreneur and serves as Enterprise Worldwide Relationship Manager for The Rainmaker Companies. His passions include social technology, growth consulting, and building companies.