LinkedIn Launches Volunteer Marketplace to Connect Users with Causes They Support

Today, LinkedIn launched a Volunteer Marketplace to help users find the perfect way to give back to a cause they support. This move is good news for both nonprofits and people looking to make a difference with their time and skills.

When you’re looking for a job – or a great job candidate – chances are, you turn to LinkedIn. The social network has become the go-to place for building both a rewarding career and a successful company. But, what about the billions of volunteer hours  given each year? Where do people go to find the perfect position for giving back to their community?

LinkedIn sees the potential in connecting these people with cash-strapped nonprofits that have lofty missions and more work than paid staff. The company’s co-founder and chairman, Reid Hoffman, had this to say in a blog post today:

“Talent is as critical to the nonprofit sector as it is to the for-profit sector. Estimates suggest that approximately two million board seats need to be filled each year and according to a Taproot Foundation study, 92% of nonprofits would like to use skilled volunteers to help them achieve their mission.”

Nonprofits aren’t the only ones with a proven interest in volunteer services. According to LinkedIn for Good, 82 percent of LinkedIn members say they want to volunteer their time and skills to causes they support. So far, more than 600,000 members have added Volunteer Experience & Causes to their LinkedIn profiles. Perhaps these numbers show a trend in employees wanting to do more than earn money with their time and skills. LinkedIn wants to help them do just that.

While the service is not free for nonprofits, it is offered at the discounted rate of 90 percent of LinkedIn’s standard rate for job postings. So, nonprofits will pay $19.50 for a 30-day volunteer posting. To get started, nonprofits simply need to have a LinkedIn Company page and then visit LinkedIn for Nonprofits to post opportunities.

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Written by:
Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup. She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, "Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership," which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.
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