Great Nonprofits Supporting Communities Around the World | October Edition
Every month, LinkedIn for Nonprofits is highlighting four of the incredible organizations that partner with us to build brand awareness, elevate their fundraising strategies, hire exceptional talent, and develop their teams’ skills. These nonprofits inspire and motivate us every day—and we hope they’ll inspire you, too.
This month, the organizations we’re featuring play a vital role in diversifying tech, helping communities in need of support, and protecting our beautiful world. Learn more about their missions and programs below, and be sure to follow them on social media for news and updates.
Finding Exceptional Nonprofit Talent
Bridging the Gap Between Talent and Opportunity: Re:Work Training
Founded in Chicago in 2016, Re:Work Training is dedicated to improving employment opportunities for the city’s overlooked and untapped communities—helping to diversify the tech industry in the process. One of the biggest barriers to entry these communities face is a lack of exposure to information and resources. Re:Work seeks to connect individuals to volunteers from companies that can help bridge that gap and prepare them for a job in tech. In return, volunteers get the chance to meet people from different backgrounds and grow their networks—often resulting in hires down the line.
“You can’t be diverse and inclusive professionally without being diverse and inclusive personally,” says Shelton Banks, Re:Work’s CEO. “This is an opportunity for tech professionals to give back their time and their talent.”
Re:Work uses LinkedIn to recruit both volunteers and candidates who might be interested in going through the program. Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, it’s able to find prospective volunteers at tech companies, with a focus on business development representatives, account executives, and sales enablement managers (the type of roles it’s primarily preparing candidates for). The team also uses LinkedIn Insights to identify and build relationships with candidates who have transferable skills but may never have considered themselves qualified for a job in tech.
“It really helps us to uncover the ideal role for them,” Shelton says. “We use LinkedIn Insights to understand which companies are hiring and what skills we need to train, allowing us to map our training to demand.”
Getting the Word Out About a Great Mission
Promoting Harmony Between People and Planet: The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a global organization dedicated to creating a world where people and nature can thrive. The organization is approaching this in four key ways: tackling climate change; protecting land, water and oceans; providing food and water sustainably; and building healthy cities. While this is an ambitious mission in itself, the COVID-19 pandemic has added another layer of challenge, both in the field and from a marketing perspective.
“Our conservation work is still happening in the middle of this pandemic,” says Madeline Van Tassel, associate director of digital content strategy at The Nature Conservancy. “We’ve been sending updates to our followers about what remote science teams are achieving to reassure them that the work continues. We’ve also been creating content about how the pandemic is impacting different groups, like Indigenous communities, to give people an ‘aha’ moment and help them see the world from a different perspective.”
Beyond sharing organic updates and content with its followers, The Nature Conservancy uses LinkedIn to build brand awareness, elevate its thought leadership, and encourage followers to discuss the issues that they care about. The platform’s global membership base has also allowed The Nature Conservancy to better understand the interests of different audience segments to more effectively speak to them.
“One thing we really like about LinkedIn is being able to precisely target audiences through paid promotions,” Madeline says. “We just ran a campaign for Spanish, English, and Portuguese speakers on LinkedIn. Being able to give members the content in their own language has been huge.”
Meeting Essential Fundraising Goals
Providing Support Where It’s Needed Most: United Way
For over 85 years, United Way of Mass Bay has focused on fostering meaningful and sustainable change in communities around New England—championing education, financial opportunity, and more. While the organization is well known, its impact is so wide-reaching that many people aren’t aware of some of the programs it runs, like its BoSTEM initiative, which is designed to expose students in Boston public schools to the possibilities of a career in STEM. To find potential donors and volunteers, United Way used LinkedIn to reach out to people in the STEM community who might not otherwise have heard about the program.
“We’ve had a lot of people sign up who’ve said, ‘I didn’t even know this existed,’” says Matt Hayden, senior director of corporate relations at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “That’s an ongoing challenge for United Way, because we do a lot.”
LinkedIn Sales Navigator has helped United Way to identify the right individuals to reach out to at companies that might be interested in becoming corporate donors. The team can quickly see if a board member has a connection that could be leveraged for an introduction, and it’s able to spot prime opportunities for outreach.
“We recently saw a new corporate social responsibility officer had started at a company we wanted to connect with,” Matt says. “We sent them a note to congratulate them on the job and ask if we could schedule a meeting to discuss their goals. We’ve since put in a proposal for a partnership with them. That wouldn’t have happened without using LinkedIn.”Visit United Way’s website for more information, and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Prioritizing Learning and Development
Ensuring People with Rare Diseases Never Feel Forgotten: National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
In the United States, over 25 million people live with one of over 7,000 currently identified rare diseases. The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is dedicated to understanding and lessening the impact these diseases have on individuals, families and caregivers by providing patient assistance, research, advocacy and education programs, as well as a variety of meetings and conferences that bring the rare community together. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NORD has pivoted to help support the community and meet their changing needs. One example is the organization’s approach to events; all of NORD’s major events have gone virtual, including the annual Living Rare, Living Stronger NORD Patient and Family Forum, Rare Diseases and Orphan Products Breakthrough Summit and Rare Impact Awards. While re-envisioning these large-scale events was challenging, it has also had unexpected benefits.
“It’s amazing to see the growth of opportunities our community has available now that the events are virtual,” says Valaree DonFrancesco, NORD Marketing Manager. “By taking our events online, people from around the world were able to join us for this summer’s Living Rare Forum. It was really impactful. Social media has been an integral part of our event marketing campaigns, with LinkedIn playing a critical role in helping us to spread the word.”
Many aspects of our work and personal lives went virtual this year, beyond events. As a result of the pandemic., NORD’s entire staff made the shift from being spread over three offices to working remotely over the course of just two days. To help smooth the transition, NORD provided employees with access to a variety of resources through LinkedIn Learning, including mindfulness courses. The organization had already been using LinkedIn Learning for the past two years to help employees develop their professional skills, but recently began proactively sharing course recommendations from staff through its weekly internal newsletter, Rare Recap.
“LinkedIn has provided an amazing asset for us,” says Norine Schwarzchild, NORD Director of Human Resources. “Before using LinkedIn Learning, most of the training we did came from free resources collected from many different places. Now we are able to offer high-quality and well-organized content to our staff for their own professional development.”