Has Your Generosity LinkedIn?

In the battle of the social networks, LinkedIn is now the second-most popular online social network in the U.S. in terms of Web traffic. Facebook remains number one. This milestone comes after LinkedIn reached 100 million members in March 2011 helping it go public in May 2011. Now, LinkedIn adds about a million more members a week.

BONUS: LinkedIn 100 Million Members Infographic

Why Is LinkedIn Seeing Such Success?

Not only is LinkedIn mobile–having an app available on the Blackberry, iPhone, Android and Symbian operating systems–but it also seems to have a culture of continued innovation.

Just last week LinkedIn announced expanded profiles designed for students. On June 30, LinkedIn also announced its Flipboard iPad app as well. They are continually working to understand their members, their members’ needs and where their members (and potential members) hang out. Does your organization adopt a culture of innovation? How well do you know your stakeholders?

BONUS: LinkedIn’s Nonprofit Learning Center

How Can LinkedIn Help You Inspire Generosity?

LinkedIn members are often working people–or people looking for work–which is how LinkedIn earned its nickname as “the professional network.” As of June 2008, the average age of a LinkedIn member was 41 with an average household income above $100k–with 24% having a portfolio value of over $250k. The 2011 stats fluctuate a little–but for the most part have similar trends–and also show that 57% of LinkedIn’s members are online everyday.

It’s simple: LinkedIn’s members represent a viable pool of potential supporters and donors to your cause. LinkedIn offers a few ways to help you promote generosity. Here’s a sampling:

  • –Profile Updates: People can post status updates about your cause on their profile.
  • –Company Profile: Create a company profile, sync your blog and Twitter updates and people can follow your organization on LinkedIn.
  • –LinkedIn Groups: Create an area for professional stakeholders to collaborate.
  • –LinkedIn Ads: Reach a professional network with online ads.
  • –Connect with Experts: Ask questions and find answers on topics related to fundraising, online advocacy and more. Afterall, LinkedIn is a social network.
  • –LinkedIn Sharing: See the button to the top left of this post? This enables people to share this post to the LinkedIn network. How can this help you?

What’s missing is a cohesive corporate level cause initiative or a social good component integrated into LinkedIn’s functionality. This seems to be “in the works” as we should watch with anticipation the development of a revised “LinkedIn for Good” program. As another observation, where are the 3rd party off-shoots? When you compare the ways developers have created 3rd party applications on Facebook and Twitter–development with LinkedIn seems to be lacking. If I’m wrong–please let me know in the comments!

BONUS: Know a developer? Get them started.

Do You Use LinkedIn Groups?

Something worth mentioning twice is LinkedIn’s groups functionality. LinkedIn overhauled their groups in 2010–and it’s a huge improvement (though a decently priced analytics package would also be appreciated). LinkedIn groups allow for multiple group managers, community moderators and subgroups. You can also send email to group members, sync up Twitter and blog posts and share job announcements. Plus–groups can be open or public. I could go on, but here’s the point: If you’re looking for an easy-on-the-budget collaboration tool for professional audiences, consider LinkedIn groups.

BONUS: How the Humane Society of America Views LinkedIn

Have you used LinkedIn to inspire generosity? Share your experience with others.