Monthly Archives June 2013

How to be on LinkedIn for Organizations

By ginaschmeling   /     Jun 07, 2013  /     Nonprofits, Social Media Series  /     0 Comment

If you are questioning a LinkedIn profile for your organization, please read and take to heart Beth Kanter and Allison Fine‘s  “The Network Nonprofit.”

Non-profits use LinkedIn as individuals do.  The initial frame is the same:  establish a profile, upload a photo or logo, connect with your people.

There is a virtuous connect:  Your organization proudly highlights committed individuals (staff, board, donors).  In return, those individuals publicly share their bond with you.  The networks of both organization and individual benefit.  A double good.

Simple Steps

  • Create an organization profile
  • Ensure a staffer (or a few) to maintain and refresh your profile
  • Publish news stories, images and video regularly
  • Create an “editorial” schedule for LinkedIn updates
  • Tell your board about your organization’s profile; invite them to connect to the organization from their individual profile (Volunteer Experience and Causes)
  • Don’t hold back on great, big, or interesting news
  • As with all social media, curate, edit and manage your content

Your organization’s profile is a digital cornerstone.  Founding date, number of employees, web site, mission and location are displayed.

Currently, non-profits must choose company type: non-profit in their profile.

As more non-profits professionals and organizations turn to LinkedIn, I’m optimistic there will be a more accurate way to identify the profile as something other than a company.

Features for Non-Profits

One offering on LinkedIn is Board Connect.  This matches prospective board members with skills needed by organizations.  Being clear about your goals, mission and needs, and strengthening your network of employees, donors and board members sets a solid foundation for Board Connect. I look forward to experimenting with this.  See

LinkedIn has a dedicated area for non-profits:  Linked in for Good.  Follow them on twitter, @linkedin4good, and on the LinkedIn Blog.  Follow Meg Garlinghouse, Head of LinkedIn for Good.

The LinkedIn for Good blog shares stories of success.  If you have used LinkedIn for an organizational purpose, tell your story.  Not to game the system, but keep in mind how LinkedIn could benefit your activities.  Then see if that effort results in something blog-worthy.

There’s a balance between under posting and overdoing it. Presently, I think non-profits are timid on LinkedIn.  Take advantage of the immense strength in networks.  They are growing, and all data points to the power of people, or “human capital.”

Groups and Influencers

LinkedIn spotlights non-profit thought leaders, and offers groups for discussion.  Look at those recommended for your organization, take some chances, and see how entering a group or following an Influencer works for you.  Are you learning and engaging?  Edit this list as well.

I recommend these Influencers:

  • Beth Kanter
  • Katya Anderson
  • Aaron Hurst
  • Charles Best

Try following them on LinkedIn and Twitter (and Facebook) to see how they present across media.  You might get some great ideas you can use. I find I’m more likely to follow one person’s tweets and another’s LinkedIn posts.  Voice and mission may be more authentic on one platform than another.

Share with your staff how you are using this information, and encourage them to create profiles and use LinkedIn.  Strength in numbers!

Getting recognition and being poised for successful campaigns, collaborative efforts, and shared findings are some perks of being connected.  There is real street cred for organizations with heart, purpose and reach.  LinkedIn offers a way for non-profits to step into the conversation.  And lead it.

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How to be on LinkedIn for Individuals

By ginaschmeling   /     Jun 07, 2013  /     Nonprofits, Social Media Series  /     0 Comment

LinkedIn “connects talent with opportunity.”  It is becoming the digital space for professionals to actively network and share.

I encourage EDs, non-profit leaders, board members and social media staff to be on LinkedIn.  Follow, join, and comment on conversations that are meaningful to you.  Non-profit culture is actively utilizing the power of networks to spread the word.  LinkedIn is ideal for this.

There is a virtuous connect with your non-profit on LinkedIn:  You lift your non-profit’s brand by connecting to them.  In turn, they highlight you as a staffer, board member, donor.  A double good.

Some Rules

The primary rule of LinkedIn is only connect with people you know well.  I shirk this when I go to conferences or meet new people in professional contexts.  If I exchange cards or emails with someone, I usually invite them to connect.  You can break connections any time.

If your organization has a LinkedIn policy, read it and make sure you understand it.  If you have questions or if the policy seems out of whack with your personality, discuss it with your organization.

You will find your LinkedIn presence a way to sculpt and develop your “brand.”  Which messages are important to you?  What causes do you support?  How can you bring your personal interests to a professional forum?

EDs and Lead Staff

Curate your profile.  Photo should be up to date.  Your job title and description should be accurate and resonant with your personality as well as your organization’s identity.

Maintain your network.  Reach out to your people, and accept invitations from those you know.  Connect with Board Members, key donors and community leaders. Break connections that are inactive or no longer make sense.

If your social media staffer maintains your profile, work with them.  Sit down together and keep information current.  Take initiative to share good news or information even if some one else is pushing the button to make the post.

If you blog or write often, try posting to Twitter and LinkedIn at the same time.

Board Members

Connect with your ED, and with each other.  See how your organization’s internal frame meshes with your personal network.  Introduce people you think would benefit from connecting.

Add your organization to the Volunteer Experience and Causes area of your profile.  This is where you can let your personal passion shine.  Share important moments in your non-profit’s story.  When you add non-profits here, it is like “a like” on Facebook.  Don’t underestimate the power of sharing this information.

How I am on LinkedIn

Currently, I use LinkedIn to:

  • Keep my resume active
  • Stay abreast with ideas, conferences and clients relating to my field
  • Find alumni connections
  • Stay in touch with former colleagues
  • Follow group discussions
  • Connect with professionals from conferences or offline meetings (when a Facebook “friendship” is not appropriate)

I’m using it more to:

  • Post Blog pieces
  • Find news and resources for non-profits
  • Add insight to and share articles or links
  • Send InMail to prospective clients or develop projects
  • Refer other professionals
  • Post in concert with Twitter
  • Follow Influencers
  • Check the health of my network with the InMap feature; I’m brokering holes among my people.  On or off LinkedIn, I try to get everyone into the tent.
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How to Be

By ginaschmeling   /     Jun 04, 2013  /     Nonprofits, Social Media Series  /     0 Comment

With a nod Sheila Heti, I’m creating a Social Media series.

Not precisely a manual, but a mix of editorial and practical advice.  Clients and fellow board members have asked me “how to be” on social platforms.   I think being in a social sense is more than knowing the rules.  You gain knowledge by experimenting and knowing who you in each sphere.

Non-profits have a unique stake.  Success in fundraising often relies on active networking.  I see a virtuous connect in social media.  For you and your organization.

How a Person Should Be blurs expected categories. I think being a socially engaged individual or organization does, too.  Each platform has a code.  Hacking the rules gently means being daring and deft.  I am still handling the curve, and encourage more non-profit leaders to step in.

Here are the first two installments.  How to Be on LinkedIn: For individuals with non-profit involvement. And,  How to be on LinkedIn for non-profit organizations.  These will evolve.  Facebook is next, then Twitter.  Let me know if these help you find a way on.

How to be on LinkedIn for Non-Profit Individuals

How to Be on LinkedIn for Non-Profit Organizations




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