LinkedIn’s $18.6 Million In-Kind Gift to Help Nonprofits Attract Skilled Volunteers

LinkedIn for Good LinkedIn renews commitment to social sector and the promise of skilled volunteering

In June of 2014, VolunteerMatch announced a game-changing partnership with LinkedIn For Good that automatically reposts every skilled volunteer opportunity created on VolunteerMatch to LinkedIn’s Volunteer Marketplace — and with it the potential to reach LinkedIn’s 400 million members.

This is the promise of the nonprofit sector partnering with the tech sector to take social change to scale.

Everyday VolunteerMatch is now republishing nearly 40,000 skilled volunteer opportunities from tens of thousands of local causes across the country looking for passionate and talented volunteers.

LinkedIn announced the Volunteer Marketplace in 2014 and described it as an extension of LinkedIn doing what it does best — “connecting talent with opportunity at massive scale.” For VolunteerMatch, it has been a high-leverage opportunity to expand the market for skilled volunteering and better serve the 100,000+ nonprofits already using VolunteerMatch to find the volunteers they need.

And the impact goes beyond VolunteerMatch’s nonprofit members. LinkedIn’s Volunteer Marketplace is also working with other exceptional organizations challenging the status quo like Taproot, BoardSource and Catchafire.

Since launch, LinkedIn has become VolunteerMatch’s #1 network partner, engaging nearly a million new volunteers and giving tens of thousands of nonprofits unprecedented access to the volunteer skills they need to advance their mission. It’s matched a wide range of talented professionals with ways to use their experience and skills to help their communities. And it’s brought well-deserved attention to the concept of skills-based volunteering and broadened the concept to include not only consulting and technical skills, but also talent and experience in education and the arts.

How does it work? Let’s look at just one example we recently profiled.

Last year, Mercy Housing posted on VolunteerMatch for a skilled yoga instructor to teach a weekly class to its senior residents. This opportunity was automatically reposted to LinkedIn’s Volunteer Marketplace. Hannah, browsing LinkedIn, found the opportunity, and was immediately interested. She’d grown up with volunteering, but it wasn’t until she found a way to use her specialized skills to give back that she realized how enjoyable and fulfilling volunteering could be.

And Hannah is not alone. Since VolunteerMatch’s partnership with LinkedIn began, we’ve connected more than 100,000 interested volunteers with opportunities to put their talents to good use.

Giving the social sector world-class access to volunteers in a connected world is what VolunteerMatch is all about. We are breaking down barriers to close an engagement gap that frustrates and marginalizes the promise of everyone finding their opportunity to make a difference.

This commitment from LinkedIn for Good provides VolunteerMatch’s nonprofit members with access to the equivalent of $18.6 million dollars worth of free recruiting services, because LinkedIn believes every nonprofit should be able to find the talent and connection they need to succeed.

If you are interested in joining the 10,000,000 LinkedIn members already participating in the program just add the Volunteer & Causes field to your LinkedIn profile and indicate that you are interested in ‘skills-based volunteering’ opportunities.

If you are a nonprofit just make sure all your VolunteerMatch opportunities are tagged by skill and we will do all the rest.

On behalf of all the amazing people and causes we serve, I want to thank the LinkedIn for Good team, and our amazing board member Meg Garlinghouse, for this opportunity to come together to put the power of technology to good use.

Interested in partnering with VolunteerMatch? Find out how.

6 Quotes About Pro Bono to Inspire Your Volunteer Program

Pro Bono Week 2015!It’s Pro Bono Week 2015And here at VolunteerMatch, that has us jumping for joy. Because we love pro bono and every chance we get to talk it up.

Why all the hype about pro bono volunteering? Well, when volunteer roles align with professional expertise, everyone wins.

Nonprofits gain expertise they might otherwise have been unable to afford. Volunteers gain new ways to practice and sharpen their skills and can connect with their communities in meaningful ways. Corporate volunteer programs get refreshed, fulfilled employees with new perspectives and heightened skill-sets.

VolunteerMatch's book, Volunteer Engagement 2.0, includes 3 chapters on pro bono volunteerism.In our book, Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights Changing the World, we dedicate three entire chapters to pro bono and skilled volunteering. Haven’t read the book yet? It’s easy to order your copy today at a 25% off discount. In the meantime, we’ve pulled a few of our favorite quotes in honor of Pro Bono Week 2015:

Imagine if you were adding an additional 5 to 20 percent in value to your budget through high-quality, high-value pro bono? This is the potential of pro bono today. – Meg Garlinghouse & Alison Dorsey, LinkedIn for Good

Although more than 92 percent of nonprofits say that they would like to use a skilled volunteer, only 8 percent actively do. – Meg Garlinghouse & Alison Dorsey, LinkedIn for Good

Like all good initiatives, successful pro bono projects start with a clear need, articulated in a way that shows measurable goals and endpoints. – Alethea Hannemann, The Taproot Foundation

You want your pro bono consultants to treat you like a paying client, so you need to treat them as if you are paying, with all the expectations and responsibilities that go along with it. – Alethea Hannemann, The Taproot Foundation

Despite a mountain of evidence that workers love engaging their professional skills in doing good, most nonprofits say they simply aren’t getting enough pro bono help. – Deirdre White & Amanda MacArthur, PYXERA Global

Remember you have something precious to offer a rich and diverse community of pro bono professionals who want to give back: a meaningful and authentic experience! If you take time to invest upfront in pro bono, you can create the kind of experience that your volunteers will be hungry for and want to repeat! – Deirdre White & Amanda MacArthur, PYXERA Global

Want more? Order your copy of Volunteer Engagement 2.0 today at 25% off. And don’t forget to help us celebrate pro bono week by following along with #PBW15 on Twitter and sharing your stories.

Pro Bono Week Special: How the California State Library Engages Pro Bono Volunteers

Celebrate Pro Bono Week 2015 with VolunteerMatchStory #1:

When the California State Library began growing its volunteer program, it quickly became clear to Carla Lehn, Library Programs Consultant, that she didn’t have enough time to do everything that needed to be done.

She knew if she could find someone to take a few responsibilities off her plate, then together they could go so much further. So, she created a position description for Assistant Volunteer Coordinator and posted it on VolunteerMatch.

Kellie Dawson was looking for something to get her out of the house a bit that fit her skills, background and interests when she came across Carla’s listing. Voila! Kellie has since rolled out two majors shifts in process for the CA State Library volunteer program, and says, “I will not give this position up as long as it’s there for me.”

Story #2:

When the 30th anniversary of the CA State Library’s literacy program approached, Carla realized she didn’t have the expertise or resources to run a statewide PR campaign around this event.

Dan Dement was in the process of starting his own PR agency, and he knows that “Volunteering is good career karma.” And the issue of literacy struck a chord with him. “It was a wonderful experience all the way through,” reflects Dan on this pro bono project.

Story #3:

Carla was looking for someone to help her up her social media game for the CA State Library’s literacy program, in order to find volunteers and raise awareness for the cause.

Leila Ertel has a background in social media marketing, but when she moved to Sacramento and switched jobs, this was no longer a part of her job. So, by volunteering with CA State Library, she is still able to use those skills. A win-win!

Why are we sharing these stories today?

Celebrate Pro Bono Week 2015 with VolunteerMatch!It’s Pro Bono Week 2015! 

Pro bono a special form of volunteering where people use their professional career skills for a good cause, and Pro Bono Week is a global campaign to celebrate and encourage these volunteer activities.

Help us celebrate this week:

Does your organization engage pro bono volunteers? Share your story in the comments below!

Volunteer Engagement 2.0 Author Spotlight: Deirdre White & Amanda MacArthur, PYXERA Global

VolunteerMatch’s new book, Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights Changing the World, features chapters from 35 experts in the field of volunteer engagement. In this series of blog posts, get to know these #35experts and their areas of expertise.

Today’s experts: Deirdre White, CEO, and Amanda MacArthur, VP of Global Pro Bono & Engagement, PYXERA Global.Corporate Volunteers

First of all, what is your chapter about?
Over the past few years, pro bono has grown across sectors. In order for it to be an effective resource for nonprofits, it’s important to understand why pro bono is different from traditional “hearts-and-hands” volunteering.

Hearts-and-hands volunteering is when people give back through non-job-related skills, such as serving at a food kitchen or cleaning a park. With traditional volunteering, quantity over quality is usually okay.

With pro bono, quality is more critical. Pro bono asks volunteers to use job-related expertise to build capacity at an organization, and is grounded in a mutually beneficial experience for the volunteer and organization. Our chapter explains how recognizing the mutual benefits of pro bono can help a nonprofit get the expertise it needs.

Why is this topic important?
In order for pro bono to work, there needs to be an exchange of resources – a skill or expertise the volunteer can contribute along with a matching need for the nonprofit. To succeed, both need to develop trust.

Corporate pro bono programs can be very powerful. According to a study on skills-based volunteerism by True Impact, 142% of volunteers were more likely to report job-related skills gained than traditional volunteers. In addition, pro bono can be a very successful leadership training experience.

Explain your background on this topic. (In other words, what makes you a “volunteer engagement expert?”)

Deirdre White, Contributor to VolunteerMatch's book Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights Changing the WorldDeirdre White:
I serve as the CEO of PYXERA Global, where I lead a team that creates and executes best practices in Global Pro Bono to benefit global corporations, local government, and nonprofits worldwide. PYXERA Global recently received the CECP Director Award of Excellence for JIVA, an integrated community development program made possible by pro bono work. I have several decades working on the ground, virtually, and overseeing pro bono projects with an emphasis on mutual benefit, sustainability, and inclusion.

Amanda MacArthur, contributor to VolunteerMatch's book Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights Changing the WorldAmanda MacArthur:
I am Vice President of Global Pro Bono and Engagement at PYXERA Global. I lead the Global Pro Bono team along with PYXERA Global’s MBAs Without Borders division. I specialize in designing, implementing and measuring the impact of skills-based volunteer programs with a focus on leadership development, as well as creating sustainable impact.


What did you learn and/ or struggle with when writing your chapter?
At times, it can be difficult to determine how our extensive work in international settings is applicable to US nonprofits. We reflected on how to take our process of designing and implementing programs for companies and local clients, and make it applicable for nonprofits not working within the framework of a larger pro bono program – who might be looking for pro bono expertise independently.

We thought about the way PYXERA Global acts as a neutral third party to assess an organization’s needs and how to customize that to help nonprofits do this for themselves. We also had an absolutely wonderful editor, Robert Rosenthal, who helped us clarify our thinking and approach in these areas.

What is the one piece of advice you would give volunteer managers to take with them to the future?
Always practice purposeful engagement. In other words, enter into relationships with individuals and organizations across sectors intentionally and with the understanding that you are both on equal footing. When looking for pro bono volunteers, be strategic and don’t compromise. Know what you have to give, but also know what success will look like.

Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights Changing the WorldTo read Deirdre and Amanda’s full chapter, How to Get the Right Pro Bono Expertise for the Job, order your copy of Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights Changing the World today.

 

 

Session Recap: Tech Platforms for Volunteering

“How many of you work for nonprofits?”

Joel Bashevkin, Executive Director of Taproot Foundation, posed this question to a packed room in downtown San Francisco last week. As might be expected at an event for the group San Francisco Tech4Good, a majority of the audience raised their hands.

“How many are tech workers?” Joel went on to ask. While less than before, a substantial amount of hands went in the air.

“How many are nonprofit tech workers?”

As a few lonely hands proudly went up (mine included), the audience let out an embarrassed chuckle.

Why aren’t there more organizations that merge technology with the social sector? As an employee of VolunteerMatch, I’m fortunate to see technology put to work every day for social good, and I know the large-scale effect it can have. (Last year alone, VolunteerMatch generated $1.34 BILLION in social value).

This quandry, along with many others, was discussed at last week’s Technology Platforms for Good. The event rounded up pioneers in the tech-volunteering space. Our own Greg Baldwin joined the panel along with Joel Bashevin and Meg Garliginhouse, Head of Social Impact at LinkedIn.

The ultimate conclusion? With so many ways (and free ways at that!) to find, manage, and engage volunteers online- if you’re not using technology, you’re missing out.

I’ve chosen a few of my favorite live tweets from the session, some of which include actionable advice for engaging volunteers via technology (see below). Want even more? Watch the video recording of the event.