The New Professional Norm: 10+ Million Professionals on LinkedIn Make Social Impact Part of Their Identity [INFOGRAPHIC]

February 10, 2015

Last month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Richard Branson and E&Y announced global research illustrating that corporate purpose goes beyond financial results.

There is no question that the role of corporations and even more specifically professionals has evolved considerably over the last few decades. A generation ago, most professionals did not begin to think about “making an impact” until the sunset of their careers. Now – at the sunrise of their careers and mostly driven by Millennials – young professionals are insisting that they integrate purpose into the workplace. They want to make an impact not just on weekends or once a year, but as an integral part of their work experience and identity.

A new professional norm

And our data reflects this. Just over three years ago, we added the “Volunteer and Causes” section to the LinkedIn profile. We know that volunteer experience is tightly entwined with one’s professional identity – in fact, this had been one of the most requested product features from LinkedIn members. So it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that there are now over 10 million professionals who have added the Volunteer Experience and Causes section to their LinkedIn profiles – sharing the incredible work they’ve done and highlighting the causes and organizations they care most about. That’s up from three million just a year ago. To put that in perspective, 4.5 million of these professionals are in the U.S. where there are approximately 1.5 million nonprofits – meaning there are 3 professionals who want to help to every single nonprofit.

In addition, more than 4 million members have gone a step further in making a meaningful difference by signaling that they are interested in skilled volunteer work or joining a nonprofit board.

The volunteer gap

The truth is that there’s no shortage of talented people in this world willing to help. The biggest challenge is bridging the gap between the number of professionals who want to help and the discoverable skilled volunteer opportunities available to them.

Last year we launched the Volunteer Marketplace on LinkedIn to make it easier for nonprofits and members who want to give their time and talent to find one another on LinkedIn. Just a few days ago, we announced the start of the Volunteer Marketplace in the UK, with more countries to come.

Despite a number of extraordinary organizations such as VolunteerMatch, Catchafire and Taproot working with us to close the volunteer gap, there’s still a chasm between the needs of nonprofits and good deeds of professionals in the world. LinkedIn remains focused on making it easier to connect professional talent with nonprofit opportunities to make a massive and unprecedented impact on the world.

How can you help make an impact?

You can join the more than 10 million professionals who’ve added the Volunteer section to their LinkedIn profiles. Not only will it incorporate social impact into your professional identity, it will also help drive awareness for the causes you care about.

So who are the other 10 million professionals using their LinkedIn profiles to show not only who they are, but what they care about? Basically – if the data were a person: they’d be a 29-year-old Danish professional who studied at a Canadian university and is now working at PwC. Check out what else our data scientists uncovered.

Let us know how you’re making an impact in your communities - give us a shout at @Linkedin4Good.