The LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace: Connecting Professionals to Nonprofit Volunteer Opportunities

LinkedIn: “Last spring, a shelter in Berkeley, CA needed an architect to help it expand its facilities. A young architect who lives nearby had just made a New Year’s resolution to join a nonprofit board. In an earlier era, they would not have known each other existed.
But in this instance the shelter’s executive director used LinkedIn to contact the architect – and the architect jumped at the opportunity to serve on the shelter’s board. The connection brought enormous value to both parties involved – the nonprofit shelter got the expertise it needed and the young architect was able to amplify her social impact while broadening her professional skills.
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. 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.
Changing 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.
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.
And to ensure that the volunteer opportunities you see in the LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace are high quality, we’re partnering with the most trusted organizations in this space, including Catchafire, Taproot Foundation, BoardSource and VolunteerMatch.”