LinkedIn provides new ways to connect skilled volunteers with nonprofits

January 31, 2014

LinkedIn provides new ways to connect skilled volunteers with nonprofits

Social media platforms continue to offer new solutions to help nonprofits keep their operations running. Facebook has included a donate button that processes contributions from users free of charge, and now LinkedIn is offering ways for organizations to increase their volunteer pool.

The LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace offers members the ability to search a number of volunteer opportunities that local nonprofits need filled, according to Business News Daily. The tool also provides volunteer leads for organizations that need people to donate their time.

Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn's co-founder, told Business News Daily that the platform is designed to connect talent to opportunities and more than 600,000 members have expressed an interest in serving on a board or performing skill-based volunteering. A recent survey by Deloitte reported that experience gained while volunteering would be taken into account 81 percent of the time when reviewing a job application. The same percent of HR executives also reported that skills-based volunteering makes a college grad more desirable.

Skilled volunteers provide big benefits for nonprofits
While the experience looks good for candidates, there is no question that skill-based volunteers provide new opportunities for nonprofits. They have a much greater value than those that are performing menial tasks. Time is money and a volunteer providing services worth $20 an hour is saving a nonprofit more money than those who work for a nominal fee.

However, skilled volunteers can be hard to find, especially if those willing to donate their time are not aware that their services are needed. The Volunteer Marketplace is a great way for nonprofits to find talent they can use in places they never would have expected. Likewise, individuals may not have realized there was a need for their services.

Retirees are also valuable volunteers
As the economy levels out, many baby boomers are finally deciding to retire. While they may have stopped working, some are interested in staying active and involved. The boomers looking for volunteer opportunities are skilled in a trade or worked in fields that required a higher education. As they look for ways to donate time, helping out in a capacity related to their former career could be enticing. They could also be interested in serving on a board. If they have prior executive management experience, they could be a real asset to the organization.

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