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LinkedIn Has a Treasure Trove of New Donors

Fundraisers know that earning the support of returning and new donors is like discovering a buried treasure.

There are many benefits that nonprofits can gain from having an established, long-term relationship with returning donors and volunteers. But Fundraisers can also find themselves running into walls. Donors move away, pass away, and can change their giving and support priorities. Whatever the reason may be, in order to make up for that attrition, Fundraisers need to continue advancing their organization goals and search for new supporters while keeping current donors engaged.

LinkedIn Data is a Great Source for New Prospective Donors

LinkedIn is designed to help professionals build networks with one another and has quickly become the most widely-used professional social network, worldwide.

This means that your alumni are self-reporting a plethora of information on LinkedIn. Alumni share their employment information starting with current and working its way into their past employment.  You’ll also find their full education information, all the degrees they have received, from undergrad to post-graduate, including major, degree, and dates. Then you have organizational memberships, volunteer roles, and causes of interest. Volunteering roles and causes of interest tell you what your alums care about and what their philanthropic interest are. People that have volunteer roles are a lot more likely to volunteer and people who are members of boards are more likely to donate. In general, people that have these areas filled out are a lot more likely to get involved with your organization, because they know the value of giving.  

Marketing and sales professionals already using LinkedIn data to identify those who fit the description of their desired customers, and fundraisers can also do the same to connect with people who are interested in their causes and have the capacity to donate.

Who’s Really on LinkedIn?

With LinkedIn designed for professional use, it tends to filter out many of the underage and underemployed users that you can find on other social media platforms.

By the end of 2017, LinkedIn had over 500 Million users according to Social Media Today. 45% of those users had a household income of $75K or greater – which means that many of them have the capacity to invest in nonprofits. So don’t believe some of the myths – the demographics of today’s LinkedIn users are well aligned with the typical characteristics of nonprofit supporters.

Make Sure You Know How to Follow the Treasure Map

LinkedIn data can help you find specific characteristics about individuals that might make great future donors, but you need to know what to look for. Here are some signs that an individual might be a great future donor:

  1. Currently sits or has sat on a board with another charitable foundation. (By 2015, over 10 million professionals had listed volunteer experience and causes to their LinkedIn profile.)

  2. Has a connection to another donor, volunteer, student or staff member in your organization.

  3. Employed by a company that aligns with your organization’s mission.

  4. Participates in a group that aligns with the mission of your organization.

OK, So I Know What I’m Looking For – How Do I Get There?

Here are the some of the basic key points to finding your next, new donor:

  1. What geographical region are they from?

  2. What kind of educational background do they have?

  3. What is their job title and employer? Are they a CEO, President, or Entrepreneur?

  4. Do they volunteer?

  5. What are their causes of interest?

  6. Do they sit on boards?

  7. Optional, if LiveAlumni User: Use the Reports feature to identify every individual within your account who matches the above criteria to build a list of your next potential donors. Need help? Contact our support team –; we are more than happy to you succeed!

Don’t Forget to Network!

Once you have found your next donors, the hard part is connecting with them.

Using the data that’s available on their current employment, causes of interest, etc., make sure that your Fundraising and Marketing Team generates relevant content that will engage these potential new donors.

All the research in the world may bring you to “X marks the spot,” but getting the conversation started with these new prospects is what will get your organization a “treasured” new donor.


Sources & Additional Reading

[1]  The Rise of the New LinkedIn,

[4]  How to do Advanced People Search,


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