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.