I was reading Beth’s Blog and I came across the article “5 Ways to Make LinkedIn Board Connect Work for Your Nonprofit” by Geri Stengel. Boards are crucial to the success of a nonprofit. The people on the board influence the nonprofit in a big way, The success or failure often depends on the decisions of the board. LinkedIn is a wonderful way to connect with other professionals. LinkedIn has created a new tool called Board Connect. This tool helps connect nonprofits with potential new board members. Geri Stengel has provided five ways to best utilize this tool for nonprofits.
1. Knowing what you’re looking for
Nonprofits need to look for board members that have the same values that they have. For instance Geri was looking for board members for his nonprofit that works with homeless people with HIV/AIDS. So they needed people who had a passion for the homeless or people who were sick with HIV/AIDS.
2. Build your network before you need it
To be successful when looking for board members nonprofits may need to look through a lot of people to find the perfect match for their organization. The more people they are connected with on LinkedIn the more likely it is that they will find people who fit with their organization.
3.Experiment with your search
When searching for new board members you may have to change the way you search sometimes. For instance when searching Geri used key words such as “volunteering” and “homelessness”. Sometimes this limits the search too much so the key words should be taken out to expand the search.
4.Email directly or use InMail
When a nonprofit has connected with someone they are interested in getting to know better it is best to contact them through email. It is only possible to email people on LinkedIn if you are directly friends. If you find someone you do not know personally you will need to use InMail to contact him or her. InMail is a service LinkedIn offers to connect you with others you may not know.
5. Build relationships
Once a nonprofit has established contact with a potential board member it is a good idea to form a relationship with them to get to know them better and to find out if they would work well in the organization.
I believe this tool could help nonprofits in a big way. This new technology makes it easier to connect nonprofits with others and it is just another way to get involved in social media and create more awareness about your nonprofit. LinkedIn is a more professional social media network. Because of this it is more likely that you will connect with people who will work well in your organization rather than sending out a tweet or posting on Facebook.