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May 22, 2017

You can now see LinkedIn profiles in FDO! But why is that important?

The LinkedIn feature in each grantmaker profile in FDO allows you to use your connections to key members of a grant making organization to begin conversations that might lead to more funding for your non-profit.  Maximize the impact of this feature by connecting with your colleagues, board members and peers in your field in LinkedIn so that you’ll have access to their networks. A majority of funders say they prefer to have a conversation with prospective grantees before they receive their grant proposal, so use this tool as a way to connect to the grantmaker early in the application process!

Where do I find this feature? If a staff member has a LinkedIn profile, you will see a icon next to their name in the grantmaker's profile. Simply click on the icon to be brought to their LinkedIn profile.

How else is the integration with LinkedIn helpful? It’s very common to want to click the “Exclude grantmakers not accepting applications” button when doing a search for a list of prospects, but to do so could be costing you a future funding opportunity.  With some strategizing, and with the help of your network, these funders can still be a prospective funder for your organization.   As long as the grantmaker’s giving priorities and average grant size match your organization’s needs, a conversation sparked by a mutual connection can lead to future funding opportunities!

Helpful Tip:  Make sure you are connected to your board members on LinkedIn and check to see if they have any ties to board members of prospective grantmakers.  If you find that a grantmaker would be interested in funding your organization based on their interest in your subject area and location, and you also find that they’re connected to one of your board members, discuss with your board member the best way you can reach out.  Below is an example of an outreach letter of a board member’s connection to a board member of a grant making organization:

Dear Ms. Jones:

My name is Samara Baker. My colleague/friend/relationship, Micah Harold, is a trustee on your board and suggested that I connect with you regarding your work to increase adult literacy in the Hartford area. My organization, Hartford Reads, specializes in managing successful adult volunteer tutoring programs at public libraries throughout the Hartford area. Last year, we were able to connect 575 adults in the community with tutors to help them increase their reading skills. On average, 84% of the adults we serve in reach fifth grade level their first year; 93% of those who continue services for a second year complete our program reading at the high school  level.

Given your excellent work throughout Hartford in supporting literacy programs for children, youth and adults, and your support of programs that complement our work, I was hoping we might be able to meet discuss how we may be able to partner on this issue. Please let me know at your earliest convenience if and when you might be available. I look forward to the opportunity to speak with you and learn more about your work.

Thank you,

Samara

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