LinkedIn Board Connect: Helping Nonprofits Find Board Members on LinkedIn [VIDEO]

September 17, 2012

At LinkedIn, we believe connecting the right talent with the right opportunity has the potential to change the world. In many ways, this is at the heart of what we do as a business. Since the beginning, it has been part of our culture to identify ways we can leverage what we do as a business and apply it to the social sector. Today, we are proud to announce LinkedIn Board Connect, a program that helps nonprofit leaders find high quality professionals to join their boards.

Nonprofit Landscape in the United States
Over the last two decades, the nonprofit marketplace has exploded. There are nearly 1.6 million nonprofits in the U.S. with nearly two million board seats that need to be filled annually. The good news is that professionals want to join these boards. According to the Taproot Foundation, an estimated 87% of human resources professionals and 92% of marketing professionals are interested in board service but far fewer actually serve on boards.

Introducing LinkedIn Board Connect
With the launch of LinkedIn Board Connect, we are giving nonprofit leaders the tools to help them leverage their own networks and their board members’ networks to find the right skilled professionals to join their boards. The Board Connect program includes free access to Talent Finder (one of our premium accounts focused on finding top candidates on LinkedIn), access to an exclusive educational webcast and an invitation to join the Board Connect Group on LinkedIn. To participate, you must be a registered U.S. nonprofit. We are launching in limited release to give us a chance to learn from our initial participants.

To learn more and sign up for the program, please visit our brand new LinkedIn for Nonprofits resource page.

Leading up to the launch of Board Connect, we identified several nonprofit organizations in key verticals - social entrepreneurs and education leadership - and invited them to test drive the program and partner with us for launch. We believe these verticals are well positioned to leverage Board Connect successfully and we’re honored to have them join us as launch partners: Teach for America, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, New Schools Venture Fund and Charter Board Partners.

It is our hope that Board Connect will enable nonprofit leaders to find professionals with the right skills, experience and social capital to help them be successful.

Benefits of Serving on a Nonprofit Board
On a personal note, I currently serve on the boards of Network for Good and VolunteerMatch where I’ve gained valuable perspective and made business contacts that help me every day in my position as Head of Social Impact at LinkedIn.  There is no question that board service has had a positive impact on both my career trajectory and my personal development.

For professionals who want to use their skills and passion to make an impact on a nonprofit organization, there are fantastic benefits to serving on a board:

  • Builds your skill set: Hone the skills you currently possess while serving on a board whether you work in marketing, human resources or finance, and learn new skills that you can add to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Grows your network: Meet and collaborate with other passionate and talented professionals while serving on a board and make key contacts for the future.
  • Builds your brand and the nonprofit’s brand: Not only will your professional brand get a boost from serving as a board member, but you can build awareness and endorsements for that nonprofit through your participation.
  • Makes you feel good for doing good: Building social capital will give you that burst of professional and personal inspiration you may be looking for, and there is nothing better than the feeling that you can put your skills to good use.

If you are interested in joining a nonprofit board, be sure to add the Volunteer Experience & Causes section to your LinkedIn profile. Expressing the causes you care about and the organizations you support will enable your network to connect you with the right opportunity.