LinkedIn has launched a new tool, Board Connect, to connect non-profits with potential board members. The professional social network considers the new function to be a valuable utility for its community, connecting opportunity seekers and open positions.
“There’s a huge supply and demand issue we’re trying to solve — more than 2 million non-profit board seats need to be filled each year and non-profit leaders are challenged with finding the right individuals to join those boards.” Meg Garlinhouse, head of employment brand and community for LinkedIn, told Mashable. “Board Connect takes advantage of connecting talent with opportunity and ties in social impact.”
LinkedIn Board Connect includes free access to Talent Finder (a premium feature), an educational webcast and an invitation to join the Board Connect group.
Garlinghouse, who sits on the boards of two non-profits, Network for Good and VolunteerMatch, says she had an “aha moment” while in a board member recruitment meeting two quarters ago. Professionals often signal that they’re interested in joining non-profit boards in their LinkedIn profiles, and non-profits should be using that data to find potential members, she says.
So when Garlinghouse’s fellow board members couldn’t come up with any new board members to recruit, she told the room to take out their laptops and use the LinkedIn search tab to see if anyone in their networks have a background that could be a match for the non-profit.
“Board Connect is taking advantage of what our core assets are and pivoting them toward social impact,” Garlinghouse says. “This isn’t just helpful to non-profit leaders — it’s helpful towards professionals.”
Board Connect has four non-profit launch partners — Teach for America, New Schools Venture Fund, Charter Board Partners and the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation.
In order to use the feature, LinkedIn requires non-profits must be 501(c)3 registered organizations and participate in the educational webcast about how Board Connect works.
Garlinghouse recommends professionals interested in joining a board complete the “Volunteer Experience & Causes” section of their profile, to show non-profits their interests lie.
Does Board Connect sound like a great addition to LinkedIn? Let us know if you work for a non-profit and anticipate using the tool.