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LinkedIn For Nonprofits: Reach Your Networking Goals (+45 Groups to Join)

Author: Tatiana Morand
February 24, 2023
🕑 15 min read

Already on LinkedIn? Maybe you’re using this social network for your professional life and have connected with plenty of other nonprofit pros to trade best practices, make connections or find opportunities.

Or maybe you made an account a few years ago when you were looking for a new position, and then promptly forgot about it. After all, how can it help your nonprofit?

More than 217,000 nonprofits have pages on LinkedIn. That’s why it’s the place to establish your nonprofit as an impactful organization, your executive staff as thought leaders in your industry, and enlist high-quality members, board, volunteers and staff.

And we’re here to help you get set up and maximize the benefits of using LinkedIn for your nonprofit. Let’s get started!

How To Create A LinkedIn Page For A Nonprofit 

Creating a LinkedIn page for your nonprofit can be done in about 20 minutes! Here’s how:

  • Start by signing up 
  • Create a company page
  • Choose “Nonprofit” as the page type
  • Fill out details including contact info, location, industry and size
  • Add a profile image, logo and banner
  • Write a compelling tagline
  • Add a description of your nonprofit
  • Publish your page!

That said, take time to fill out your LinkedIn profile completely. Pages with complete information get 30% more weekly views. So, even if you breeze through setup, it’s worth looking over your nonprofit’s profile regularly to make sure everything looks right!

A screenshot of a nonprofit LinkedIn profile

Bonus Tips: How To Really Make Your Nonprofit LinkedIn Profile Shine

Here are a few more details to add to your LinkedIn profile, to make sure you’ve really checked all the boxes on your way to completing your page.

  • Add hashtags. These will help people find your organization and know what topics you’re associated with.
  • Showcase LinkedIn Groups. You’ll get tons more visibility and strengthen your partnerships.
  • Add staff, board members and volunteers. The key to networking success is your people. Make sure they’re connected to your nonprofit.
  • Select languages spoken at your organization. Let a broad audience know you can support them in multiple languages.
  • Use the same banner image across all social media. Convey a consistent brand so that people can easily find and identify you on any social media platform. It builds trust!

Dimensions for LinkedIn images, banners and logos

Not sure what image size to use for your nonprofit’s logo on LinkedIn? Here’s what you need to know so your logo and banner look neat and professional:

  • The recommended logo image size for a LinkedIn profile is 300 by 300 pixels
  • The recommended size for a nonprofit page cover image size is 1536 pixels wide by 768 pixels tall

What LinkedIn for Nonprofits Can Help You Achieve

This platform provides a TON of benefits for nonprofits and their staff. To better support nonprofits, the social network even created LinkedIn For Nonprofits—a resource that helps nonprofits fully leverage the professional platform.

They offer resources and tips in four key areas specifically for nonprofits: 

  1. Recruiting and hiring quality talent
  2. Fundraising to the right prospects
  3. Marketing to new audiences
  4. Online learning to help your staff and volunteers develop their professional skills

LinkedIn for Nonprofits even connects you to a Nonprofit Specialist trained to help you get the most out of LinkedIn. You can chat with a specialist about general questions or more info on how to best use LinkedIn for your nonprofit. 

7 Ways You Can Get the Most Out of LinkedIn for Your Nonprofit

Now, it’s time for the fun part! Let’s dig into how your nonprofit can really get the most out of LinkedIn.

Just like all social media platforms, LinkedIn has a purpose and best practices that will help you get the most reach out of your network. LinkedIn is a professional networking platform where users go to engage with leaders and colleagues in their industry and causes they care about.

One caveat, though: If your goal is to reach a demographic that’s not on LinkedIn, such as teenagers or retirees, it may not be worth it. But if you’re trying to reach executives or business professionals, LinkedIn is a great place to start.

A visual representation of the number of nonprofit professionals on LinkedIn, 630 million professionals

If that audience aligns with the people your nonprofit is trying to target, here are the top seven ways you can get the most out of LinkedIn for your nonprofit.

1. Outreach

LinkedIn is the place to go for professional opportunities. If your goal on LinkedIn is recruitment, you’ll find plenty of qualified and eager new members, board, volunteers and staff.

According to Nick DeSarno, Director of Digital and Policy Communications at the Public Affairs Council, LinkedIn is a must-have for your association engagement strategy. 

“It’s where your members are. Gone are the days when your members come to you,” he says. “Your association needs to be active where your members are spending time and consuming content. Plus, since many of the users provide extensive amounts of professional information in their profiles, LinkedIn has unmatched professional user data.”

So, how do you find new members, volunteers and staff on LinkedIn? Its robust search function will allow you to search by industry, company affiliation, interests, degrees or certifications and job titles.

LinkedIn also has a specific Volunteer Marketplace, which can help you find board members and volunteers (and help them find you!). They’ve partnered with VolunteerMatch to give organizations looking for skilled volunteers direct, easy access to LinkedIn’s network. This means that when you post your board member and volunteer opportunities on VolunteerMatch, they are automatically added to LinkedIn within 24 hours.

While you can post job opportunities organically on your LinkedIn feed, consider taking advantage of the job posting feature if you have a little more budget. It includes personalized targeting, screening questions and smart matching algorithms. 

2. Keep Your Followers In The Loop

As your following on LinkedIn grows, you can keep your audience updated on activities, successes and news relevant to your industry. 

How often should your nonprofit post on LinkedIn? Pages that share content weekly double engagement on their page, and companies that post weekly see a 2X lift in engagement with their content. 

Try to include media with every post, whether that is an image, video or link. Posts with images have twice the engagement rate, and posts with multiple photos perform even better.

“LinkedIn used to not be a high driver for us, but we are gaining traction, that’s for sure,” said Angela Roeber, Director of Communications at Project Harmony. “The posts that seem to do the best are agency event posts and job posts along with posts recognizing and celebrating community partners.”

If you get stuck on what kind of content to post on your LinkedIn page, the platform has a nifty content suggestion feature to help you discover trending topics and articles to post that are specific to your audience’s interests.

“After building up our Facebook and Twitter pages, we decided to shift our focus to our LinkedIn page which was lacking in content and followers. We decided to appeal to specific topics of safety that would directly interest business professionals,” said Brianne Deerwester, Communications Coordinator for Electrical Safety Foundation International.

3. Build Your Brand Through Thought Leadership

If thought leadership is a part of your marketing strategy, encourage your CEO and other executive staff to frequently post long-form articles directly to their personal LinkedIn pages (then you can share those posts on your nonprofit’s page). This can be done by clicking “Write an article link” under the “Start a post” section on their feed.

Need more inspiration? Here are five nonprofit leaders making a name for themselves on LinkedIn. Take a look!

  1. Jim Yong Kim, Former World Bank President (2,000,000+ followers)
  2. Winnie Byanyima, UNAIDS Executive Director (800,000+ followers)
  3. Nishika Bajaj, Financial Communications, Impact Investing, and Fundraising Specialist (500,000+ followers)
  4. Sarah Menker, Founder and CEO at Gro Intelligence (250,000+ followers)
  5. Adam Garone, Starlight Children’s Foundation CEO (10,000+ followers)

4. Get Your Staff Involved

When a member lists your organization as an employer in their profile, they automatically become a follower. As their networks grow, your organization’s network grows too!

To really build networking momentum, ask your employees, volunteers, alumni and board members to keep their LinkedIn profiles up-to-date, and have your organization listed as an employer (they will be able to indicate their role on their profile).

Get executive staff excited about this opportunity! They represent your organization at the highest level and are most likely to be found when someone searches for your brand. Work with these staff members to complete their profile, add a description of their role and a high-quality profile image.

Want to take your nonprofit’s LinkedIn brand to the next level? Try creating branded LinkedIn copy and background photos for all of your staff like provides their staff with branded LinkedIn profiles for a cohesive look

At a glance it’s CLEAR that they all work for the same organization! This kind of branding makes it super easy for potential partners or donors to know who to reach out to. Plus—it helps build trust in your brand and the real people behind it. 

5. Pay to Play

Just like Facebook and Twitter, organic posts on LinkedIn will only reach your current audience. That’s when you can give them a BOOST! By boosting posts, you’ll reach new people outside of your network. LinkedIn allows you to target audiences by member skills, job title, company industry, fields of study and more!

Sponsored content is especially useful if you want to reach new people to attend community or fundraising events who have a professional interest in your work.

6. Build New Relationships

LinkedIn may not be the ideal platform for cold appeals, but it’s a fantastic platform to form new individual and corporate donor relationships. The LinkedIn Sales Navigator feature is perfect for doing just that. It maps out your organization’s network so you can make introductions, and it will provide you with updates on key prospects and donors.

With this in mind, make sure your current network (staff, volunteers, alumni and board) are linked to your organization and have up-to-date profiles, as we mentioned earlier in this post. Plus, it’s a natural spot for people to share information about your organization with their professional network.

“Donors may not have opportunities to sit down in-person to talk with ten of their colleagues about why they support a particular cause, why they feel they are making a difference in their community or share information about an upcoming event that their colleagues could become involved with,” said Nicole German, previous Global Head of Enterprise Marketing at LinkedIn.

You can also focus on using it to build better partnerships with corporations. Here’s what that could look like using the Search feature or Sales Navigator:

  • Identify corporations you want to partner with
  • Look within their organization for the CSR team or corporate partnerships team members
  • Once you know who they are, reach out for event sponsorships, in-kind donations or ongoing donations
  • Check out who your current connections are connected to so you can build your network further

“For example, if your development person asks the board for introductions to law firm partners, that’s too vague and makes the person think or look in their database,” said Beth Granger of Beth Granger Consulting. “If, instead, they search using LinkedIn to see who the board knows and make a very specific ask: I see you know (whoever), please make an introduction, it’s likely to be more successful.”

Read More: Social Media Fundraising: 6 Tips to Make It Work for You

7. Fundraise

We know soliciting donations is an ongoing challenge for many nonprofits. While LinkedIn’s primary purpose is for networking, you can also use it for a little fundraising.

On your nonprofit’s LinkedIn page, you can add crucial details about how followers can donate to your organization. And there’s a couple of ways you can do that.

You can:

  1.  Create a post on your page with a link to your donation form (this is great when sharing specific fundraising campaigns!).
  2. Create a fundraising video soliciting donations and add it under the “Videos” tab on your nonprofit’s page.

What You Need to Know About LinkedIn Grants

Aligning with its commitment to social impact, LinkedIn provides grants to numerous like-minded organizations with a track record of supporting job seekers facing economic barriers.

Qualifying organizations work with populations with limited professional networks, possibly due to low-income backgrounds, like youth, veterans, refugees, or those who were formerly incarcerated. 

Previous grantees include: 

If this sounds like your organization’s mission and work, head over to Nonprofit Partnerships, LinkedIn Social Impact to apply.

Joining Nonprofit-Focused LinkedIn Groups

Every day, thousands of nonprofit professionals freely share their challenges, resources, career advice and job opportunities in LinkedIn Groups. It’s easy to start a discussion with anyone and even add them to your personal network.

Here are five great ways to use LinkedIn Groups to network with other nonprofit organizations and members:

    1. Ask questions and talk about your challenges. Group members are ready and willing to share their advice and experiences to help you succeed.
    2. Post resources and articles that you’ve found helpful. Chances are that others will find them helpful too.
    3. Leave smart, insightful comments on posts. Every comment is an opportunity to impress your peers and connect with others. As Social Media Examiner suggests, commenting on “popular” discussions will give you the most visibility.
    4. Find peers interested in the same topics as you and connect with them. Tag group members in your posts by typing their names into your comments.

45 Must-Join LinkedIn Groups for Nonprofit Professionals

Now that you understand the potential value of networking in LinkedIn Groups, here are some great options if you’re looking to join.

9 Generic Nonprofit Groups

If you’re looking for general discussion on nonprofit topics, here are nine great groups for you.

1) GuideStar — The Nonprofit Conversation

16,000 members

A group for discussion about nonprofit topics as well as topics about GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information.

2) LinkedIn Nonprofit Solutions

19,400 members

A group dedicated to sharing tips on how nonprofits can use LinkedIn to succeed.

3) Non Profit Network

343,385 members

A group to discuss generic nonprofit topics.

4) Non-Profit and Charity Network

28,392 members

A group for those involved in charity work.

5) Nonprofit Board Forum

17,566 members

A group for nonprofit board members, executive directors, consultants and other nonprofit professionals to discuss the challenges facing boards of directors.

6) Nonprofit Professionals Forum

21,809 members

A group to discuss generic nonprofit topics.

7) The Chronicle of Philanthropy

138,768 members

A group to learn about the latest nonprofit events and job openings.

8) The NonProfit Times

22,114 members

A group focusing on nonprofit news and current issues.

9) Young Nonprofit Professionals Network

26,177 members

Run by the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, this group is dedicated to sharing resources, networking, and professional development discussions.

8 Nonprofit Fundraising Groups

If you’re looking to discuss fundraising best practices and ideas, here are eight LinkedIn Groups perfect for you.

1) Development and Fundraising Professionals

51,987 members

A group to network, discuss ideas, and receive the latest news about nonprofit fundraising.

2) Finding Grants, Fundraising, and Writing Grant Proposals

14,495 members

A group dedicated to discussions around proposal writing, development programs, and fundraising.

3) Fundraising and Grantmaking

29,162 members

A generic group for nonprofit fundraising and grant professionals.

4) Institute of Fundraising

26,992 members

A group for fundraising professionals primarily in the UK to receive fundraising advice, share expertise and discuss industry related news.

5) Non-Profit Accounting & Grant Management

22,943 members

A generic group for nonprofit accounting and grant professionals.

6) Online Fundraising for Nonprofit Organizations

22,548 members

A group focusing on online fundraising tools such as “Donate Now” buttons, e-newsletters, websites, peer-to-peer fundraising, widgets, apps, and social media.

7) Professional Nonprofit Fundraising

5,331 members

A group for nonprofit fundraising, marketing, and communications professionals.

8) Professional Speakers on Fundraising & Philanthropy

6,747 members

A group for professional philanthropy, fundraising, and conference planning speakers and those seeking speakers on these topics for their events.

6 Nonprofit Event Management Groups

While many of these groups focus on generic event management, they are still useful for any nonprofit professional seeking advice for their next event or conference.

1) Career Advice for Event Planning & Management

23,373 members

A group dedicated to career advice for event planners and managers.

2) Event Managers

167,148 members

A group for those who are involved in the event management field, including exhibits & conferences, meetings and special events.

3) Event Planning & Event Management

416,737 members

A generic group dedicated to event professionals to discuss event management.

4) Event Planning & Management Association

85,835 members

A group started by the Event Planning and Management Association, which distributes the Certified Event Management Expert certification. This group is dedicated to the discussion of event management best practices.

5) Event Planning Professionals

89,929 members

A generic group dedicated to event planning professionals.

6) Social Media and Event Technology for Event Planners and Meeting Planners

24,026 members

A group dedicated to discussing social media and event technology tools, methods, and applications for event planners.

5 Nonprofit Social Media and Marketing Groups

While many of these groups are for generic social media strategies, they are still great for any nonprofit professional seeking advice for their campaign.

1) Digital Marketing: Social Media, Search, Mobile & more

1,116,943 members

This group is helpful for those developing any sort of digital marketing or social media strategy.

2) Non-Profit Marketing

102,464 members

A group about anything and everything related to nonprofit marketing.

3) Nonprofit Social Media & Multimedia Marketing

5,040 members

This group discusses every type of nonprofit marketing including social media, newspaper, television, and direct sales.

4) Social Media for Nonprofit Organizations

136,708 members

This group is for anyone interested in how nonprofit organizations are utilizing social media.

5) Social Media Marketing

2,195,173 members

This is the largest, most active group on LinkedIn dedicated to everything social media. It is not nonprofit specific, but still very helpful for anyone in the industry.

5 Nonprofit Volunteer Management Groups

If you’re looking for tips on how to find, manage, and engage volunteers, here are five groups perfect for you.

1) Corporate Volunteering Network (CVN)

543 members

This group is for individuals working at charities responsible for managing/organizing employee volunteering opportunities with their corporate partners.

2) Volunteer Coordinators

25,543 members

A network of volunteer coordinators and managers to exchange ideas as well as best practices.

3) Volunteering & Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

2,217 members

A group dedicated to the collaboration, professional development, and networking around volunteering and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

4) Volunteer Management Best Practices network

14,106 members

A network of administrators in the field of volunteer management to share resources, discuss best practices, ask questions and post interesting articles.

5) VolunteerMatch

23,777 members

This is the national LinkedIn community for VolunteerMatch, the largest volunteer engagement network. The group discusses everything to do with volunteers.

7 Nonprofit Leadership and Board Governance Groups

If you’re looking for a boost in your nonprofit career, joining one of these seven groups and making connections can really benefit you.

1) Alliance for Nonprofit Management

19,997 members

A group for nonprofit leaders dedicated to increasing the capacity, effectiveness and impact of social change.

2) Bridgespan Nonprofit CEO/Executive Director Network

10,366 members

You must be a nonprofit executive director (or similar role such as CEO or President) to join this group. Please be sure your profile indicates your level and nonprofit organization.

A group created by The Bridgespan Group for nonprofit executive directors, CEO’s, and presidents for the purposes of networking, idea sharing, and connecting with colleagues.

3) Non-profit Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Network

12,457 members

A group for nonprofit CEO’s and other executives to expand their network of people and ideas.

4) Non-Profit Executive Directors

20,648 members

A group of nonprofit professionals to provide mentoring and networking services to their peers.

5) Non-Profit Management Professionals

36,164 members

A group of nonprofit professionals, NGO executives, founders, sponsors, fundraisers and managers.

6) Nonprofit Governance

40,362 members

This group is hosted by BoardSource, a national organization working to strengthen nonprofit board leadership. The group is used as a discussion forum for nonprofit leaders to seek advice from their peers.

7) Nonprofit Leadership Center

1,757 members

NLC believes strongly that an educated and connected nonprofit workforce and leadership is the best avenue of success for a strong nonprofit. 

5 Nonprofit Groups That Post Job Opportunities

Here are five groups that can help you find new opportunities in the nonprofit industry.

1) Nonprofit & Philanthropy Jobs, Powered by ImpactFlow

108,098 members

This group offers a community for nonprofit and philanthropic job seekers and recruiters to connect, network, and share ideas and employment opportunities.

2) Nonprofit Controller’s Network

10,208 members

This group is for nonprofit controllers, and financial and accounting leaders to network, discuss corporate issues, and find accounting and controller jobs.

3) Nonprofit Jobs & Career Advice Network

948 members

This group is used as a forum for individuals seeking work in the nonprofit sector to ask questions, and for employers to post new positions.

4) Nonprofit Jobs, Non Profit Management Jobs

1,254 members

This group offers monitoring and reporting of nonprofit jobs through its active and growing research into all employers throughout the world.

5) Volunteer Jobs, Volunteer Coordinator & Director Jobs

3,187 members

This group is dedicated to monitoring and reporting volunteer jobs.

Make Your Nonprofit A Superstar on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a unique social network that can situate your organization and staff as thought leaders in their field, strengthen your brand as a quality organization, and reach new professional audiences — a significant asset for member-based associations.

If that sounds like it aligns with your social media marketing goals, then why not give it a try?

While you’re at it, follow WildApricot on LinkedIn! WildApricot posts daily tips to help you manage your nonprofit, grow your membership and engage your members. 

Ready to take your nonprofit marketing to the next level in other ways? Make event management, email marketing, and website building easier with Wild Apricot. Try it free for 60 days.

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