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How to Nurture Stronger Relationships With Major Donors Using LinkedIn

At its core, fundraising is about relationships. A strong donor engagement plan is essential for building lasting relationships that result in long-term support for your organization. That’s true whether you meet the donor in person or engage them online. 

As a trusted, professional platform with more than 810 million global members, LinkedIn can be a great place to identify and reach out to potential donors and nurture a relationship over time. Here’s how your nonprofit can leverage LinkedIn throughout the donor engagement cycle. 

Before engaging donors: Do your homework

Strong relationships are built on trust. You can earn prospects’ trust — and their attention — by using LinkedIn to establish a meaningful connection from your very first interaction. Take these steps early in your donor engagement efforts: 

  • Post high-quality content on LinkedIn that builds awareness, increasing the chances that prospects will have heard of your nonprofit when you reach out.

  • Give your own LinkedIn profile a quick audit to ensure it conveys warmth and credibility. Be sure to include an up-to-date profile picture!

  • Review the potential donor’s LinkedIn profile to learn more about them and how they can help your mission. Do they have a personal connection to your cause? If so, highlight it when you reach out. 

  • Check if you have any mutual connections. If you do, LinkedIn will note them at the top of the prospect’s profile beneath their name, headline, and location. Can they make a warm introduction for you?

  • Keep an eye on the prospects’ activity on LinkedIn for signs that it’s a good moment to reach out. For example, if they’ve just been nominated for an award, a congratulatory message could get the conversation started. 

LinkedIn Sales Navigator can help your nonprofit take your donor prospecting and research to the next level — making it easy to identify the right people, find your best path in, and track prospects’ activity. 

After engaging donors: Build on the foundations 

Once you’ve secured an initial donation, you can use LinkedIn to grow your relationships — increasing the chances people will become repeat donors or support your organization in other ways. These steps can help with donor engagement in the long term: 

  • Thank donors publicly from your nonprofit’s LinkedIn Page, if it feels appropriate. This can be especially valuable for corporate donors, helping them establish a positive reputation among potential customers and job candidates.

  • Continue to post a mix of educational and inspirational content from your nonprofit’s LinkedIn Page to keep your mission top of mind for supporters. 

  • Follow up a few months down the line to let the donor know how their generous gift is making a difference. If you initially reached out on LinkedIn, the message history will be visible for you to pick up the conversation where you left off. 

  • Check in on your donor’s LinkedIn activity from time to time to spot opportunities to build the relationship, like congratulating them on a job change.

Elevate your donor engagement efforts with LinkedIn

Leveraging LinkedIn as part of your donor engagement plan can help you make more informed requests to prospects — and nurture the relationship on a professional platform they trust. 

To learn more about how LinkedIn Sales Navigator can help your fundraising and development team reach — and exceed — their fundraising goals, contact our team

Meet your fundraising goals with LinkedIn for Nonprofits.