LinkedIn is where you polish your resume and look for jobs, but now it also wants to be the place you go for volunteering. The company launched the LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace today to connect professionals with nonprofit organizations that are looking for volunteers. It's a separate part of LinkedIn's website where nonprofits can post new opportunities, and it also aggregates postings from websites like Catchafire, Taproot Foundation, BoardSource, and VolunteerMatch. Not only does this expand on the LinkedIn Board Connect, a feature that came out in 2012 to help nonprofit leaders find professionals to join their boards, but it's a way for LinkedIn to kill two birds with one stone: get more nonprofits and potential volunteers to use the site, and increase traffic.
LinkedIn wants to be more than just your resume updater
LinkedIn has become a professional standard, but unless you're actively looking for a job or looking for someone to fill a position, you probably don't spend much time on the site day to day. The company wants to users to think of LinkedIn as more than just the place you need to go in order to update your resume, and it's hoping the Volunteer Marketplace will be enough incentive to start that. LinkedIn is hoping to reach more students, who often need volunteer opportunities to boost their resumes, as well as professionals that may not be able to find a job because of the bleak economy.
In the process, LinkedIn will be helping out an industry that is always in need of skilled workers, but may not know where to find them. Places like Catchafire and Volunteermatch are devoted to pro-bono work, but don't have the name recognition of LinkedIn in the professional world. Coupling paid positions with volunteer opportunities on a well-known site could bring more attention to nonprofits and volunteering in general, as well as those smaller, niche sites.