You’ve heard this before: Teamwork makes the dream work. It takes a village. We know how important networking is in general, but do you know how important it is as a nonprofit professional? And do you know how to build that vital network?
In this guide, we’ll look at how you can seek out, build, and maintain a strong nonprofit network and community. We’ll cover the following topics:
Without further ado, let’s look at some ways you can harness the power of a strong nonprofit network.
You know the importance of community partnerships for your nonprofit, but you might not know the importance of networking for nonprofits and nonprofit professionals. Here’s the scoop.
Nonprofits benefit from networking in the following ways:
On a personal level, creating solid, lasting, and mutually beneficial relationships with other nonprofit workers benefits you in the following ways:
To create these strong relationships, though, you have to be a good member of the community that you can be. Here’s how.
Like all good relationships, maintaining your nonprofit network takes work! Think about what makes your longest friendships successful: time, kindness, mutual respect, support, and often interests in common.
To be a good member of the nonprofit network, remember to:
Now let’s look at some tools you can use to grow your network and turn it into a strong community that you want to be a part of.
The Donorbox Knowledge Community is a community-oriented space dedicated to nonprofit professionals where you can post questions, find resources, meet fellow professionals, and learn about trends in the nonprofit sector.
In the Donorbox Knowledge Community, you’ll find forums for the following:
There’s also a Member’s Lounge where you can introduce yourself and get to know all other nonprofit members, share any challenges you’ve faced, your experiences, any fun fact, and more.
This is an excellent way to meet and connect with nonprofit professionals from all around the world, meaning you’re building a truly global network.
LinkedIn is an excellent platform for growing your network , and finding or building a network or community. That’s what it’s made for, after all!
You can utilize LinkedIn to find professionals in similar positions as you in other nonprofits to see how your experience measures up.
There’s a growing network of nonprofits on LinkedIn who love to share insight and resources about the current fundraising landscape, meaning you can learn through discussions and content ways to improve your fundraising numbers, among other important parts of building your nonprofit.
Here are some nonprofit networking groups to consider joining on LinkedIn:
Looking for more groups to get started? Check out these 14 LinkedIn Groups for Nonprofit Professionals. There are tons of region- and even city-specific groups, so use LinkedIn’s search function to find a group near you.
If there isn’t one, start one! You’ll be building a solid network in no time.
According to Convince and Convert, 41% of Americans listen to podcasts. That means that you likely listen to podcasts, too! You can use your time spent listening to podcasts as a strong tool to build your nonprofit network by choosing to listen to podcasts in the nonprofit podcast network.
Finding the right nonprofit podcast for you might take some time. Luckily, we have a list of 11 Nonprofit Podcasts to get you started, including our very own podcast, The Nonprofit Podcast, which you can listen to on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Buzzsprout, and Google Podcasts.
The Nonprofit Podcast shares inspiring stories of nonprofits who are changing the world and serving others. Hosted by Jared Polivka, Jena Lynch, Cara Augspurger, and Heidi Bianco, this podcast channel include noted thought-leaders, founders, and directors from impactful nonprofits such as For The Love of Alex, Nova Ukraine, Upward Scholars, Movember, Barn Sanctuary, and more.
Their stories will not only inspire you and help you gain from their experience but you’ll also discover new organizations to network with.
Additionally, podcasts can also help you rethink your fundraising and outreach strategies. As you listen to how other nonprofits are growing and making a difference in the world, you will come across ideas and strategies that will help you in the long run.
Attending local events is an excellent way to meet nonprofit professionals in your area. These can range from specific mixers for nonprofit professionals to more general business networking luncheons to community or church events and even volunteering opportunities.
A good way to learn about these events is to join membership groups and other kinds of professional groups in your area. If you’re new to your area, try asking your coworkers for some suggestions for where to start.
If you live somewhere that doesn’t have a large nonprofit community, don’t fret! In our increasingly virtual world, in-person events aren’t the only way to connect with nonprofit professionals.
Keep an eye out for virtual gatherings, such as:
This tool requires a willingness to put yourself out there in order to get the most out of building your network this way. Be confident and, most importantly, be yourself! You’ll find a group of nonprofit professionals who reflect your values and interests in no time.
Having a strong network to turn to is important at any stage in a nonprofit professional’s career. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re established, building a community to turn to in times of trouble and success can only make you a better professional–and provide great benefits for your nonprofit, too.
At Donorbox, we understand that community is key to helping nonprofits do more good. That’s why we’ve built powerful tools like the Donorbox Knowledge Community and The Nonprofit Podcast to make connecting, growing, and fundraising easy and more effective for you.
Our aim is to make the network of nonprofit professionals and consultants even stronger. When we all put in the work, amazing things can happen.
Donorbox wants to help you in several ways. Therefore, we’ve come up with Donorbox Premium where you get expert help such as fundraising coaching and a dedicated account manager as well as tech support, and much more! Explore the success package and get in touch with us to go premium!
Learn about the Donorbox online fundraising features such as Crowdfunding, Peer-to-Peer fundraising, Text-to-Give, Events, Memberships, Recurring Donations, and more. They are easy to set up and simple to use. 50,000+ nonprofits are using us already. Sign up for free now!
Check out our Nonprofit Blog for more tips on nonprofit management, professional development, fundraising, and more!