Whether you call them NGO, nonprofit, not-for-profit, NFP, profit-for-purpose or a charity doesn’t matter. They are organisations that are set up to help others without enriching shareholders.
When I meet people who lead these organisations they want to know if it could also work for their organisation as well as for a commercial, profit-driven business.
In a word – absolutely!
The question is: What are your goals and strategy for using LinkedIn for your Nonprofit?
It’s important to tailor your approach to the size of your organisation and the current strength of its brand. It’s similar the way your approach would vary depending on whether you were promoting a large, well known corporation or a niche, family owned business.
For example, if you were promoting the International Red Cross you’d take a rather different approach compared with a small social enterprise based in Brisbane, Australia.
For the IRC you’d focus more on the Company Page as the main vehicle. Share thought leadership, make sure all the employees have profiles and follow and promote the page.
LinkedIn has published an Action Plan for Nonprofits. I agree with a lot of what they suggest but it’s geared mainly for those large ‘household name’ charities and foundations. If you want to download it you can request a copy from LinkedIn here.
I’m focusing on the smaller organisations that are still working on growing a brand presence.
For that small social enterprise or startup charity, you’d do better to build the presence of the key leader as an authority in their field. You could then cross promote to the company page as that person’s following and engagement gathers momentum.
So the principles for building presence will be very similar to those you’d need to apply if you were building trust and engagement for a ‘for-profit’ enterprise.
These are the Top 10 key ingredients you’d need:
1. A strong personal profile page for the CEO. All Star rating as a bare minimum. Don’t make these basic mistakes
2. A strong personal profile page for each employee or at least the leadership team
3. Make sure all Board Members include their board role on their personal profiles
4. Make sure the banner image reflects your logo and what problems your NFP solves
5. The CEO should post regular, quality content that would engage the target stakeholder audience. Someone else can write the content as long as it reflects the CEO’s ‘voice’
6. Set up a Company Page that explains what your organisation does and how it operates. Put a Follow button on your website that points back to the LinkedIn company page
7. A strategy for growing the CEO’s first level connection network without spamming
8. Post the CEO’s thought leadership content on the company page a few weeks after it appears on their personal page. You’ll need to do a little editing to reflect the organisation’s ‘voice’. In most cases that will be a very simple adjustment
9. Make sure that every comment on posts gets a response. That’s a huge driver of engagement and building trust
10. Consider investing in a LinkedIn Sales Navigator account. Its main use is for generating business leads and it can be a great tool for building connections with potential sponsors and funding partners.
There’s quite a lot more to cover and even this list is a lot of work. If you find that a bit daunting, never fear, help is near.
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