Global Not for Profit and Volunteer Match Network Launched
19 February 2015 at 10:32 am
The world’s largest business social networking platform LinkedIn, has launched a tool for Not for Profits which it claims will connect them with more than four million volunteers.
LinkedIn recently launched its Volunteer Marketplace which allows organisations and individuals to post and search for unpaid positions.
Not for Profits are able to advertise a volunteer role on the site for $19 – a 90 per cent discount on normal job postings.
LinkedIn claims that so far more than four million users have expressed interest in joining a nonprofit board or doing skills-based volunteering or both.
In launching the new network LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman said that he hoped it would change the professional definition of “opportunity”.
“When I talk with LinkedIn members, many tell me they aren’t actively looking for traditional job opportunities. Instead, they want to hone or leverage their skills while also making a positive impact on the world,” Hoffman said.
“Students often fall into this category. Retired professionals and stay-at-home parents seek ways to continue to leverage their skills and experience. And while busy professionals who love their current gigs may not necessarily be looking for a new position, these are often the very people who are most actively engaged in “meaningful searches” – a volunteer opportunity that will enhance their life in ways beyond what their primary vocation provides.
“By providing opportunities for all these different kinds of LinkedIn members, we aim to help the social sector by doing what we do best as a company: connecting talent with opportunity at massive scale.”
Hoffman said he was inspired to create the Volunteer Marketplace after hearing about a shelter in California that needed an architect to help it expand its facilities.
He said through LinkedIn they managed to get in touch with a young architect who had just made it his New Years resolution to join a Not for Profit board.
“This story inspired me and my colleagues at LinkedIn. As someone who studies and invests (as a venture capitalist) in internet marketplaces, I realized the somewhat serendipitous connection between architect and shelter would happen more often if there were a dedicated volunteer marketplace,” he said.
“After all, there are hundreds of thousands of “nonprofit needs” in the world, and even more professionals who want to donate their skills to help meet these needs.
“The challenge is that nonprofits and professionals don’t know how to easily find each other. LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace aims to solve that problem.”
“Today, with the launch of LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace, Not for Profits can discover the relevant members who’ve expressed interest in volunteering. In addition, these members will now be able to browse hundreds – and eventually thousands – of specific, high-quality volunteer opportunities that nonprofits are seeking to fill.”
Hoffman said volunteering was also good for advancing a person’s career too.
“Volunteering is a great way to hone your existing skills, develop new professional skills, and network with like-minded colleagues,” he said.
“In a recent survey on LinkedIn, 42% of hiring managers stated they consider volunteer work equivalent to full-time work experience. 20% said they’d hired someone because of their volunteer experience.”
Of the 77 per cent of LinkedIn members that have expressed interest in volunteering, 72 per cent of them are millennials, 21 per cent are from Generation X and seven per cent are Baby Boomers.