Third sector groups will now be able to target volunteers via the popular business networking site
A new service will enable charities to advertise volunteer opportunities to 250,000 LinkedIn members who have declared an interest in volunteering.
For a fee – typically between £10 to £20 – organisations can post opportunities on the business networking site as well as contact users directly.
The LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace will put charitable organisations in touch with LinkedIn members who want to know more about volunteering opportunities.
Meanwhile users will be able to browse thousands of volunteering opportunities at non-profit making organisations.
The service already runs in the US and has proven increasingly popular over the last year.
Alison Dorsey social impact manager at LinkedIn, said: “The volunteer experience and causes field has become very popular in LinkedIn profiles.
“A lot of members have indicated that they want to volunteer in the future.
“It’s very difficult to gather data on how many people we’ve connected, but we hear fantastic stories about its success.”
She said the site offered a powerful tool because it allowed charities not just to post information and wait, but to actively search a database of interested individuals and contact them.
“We have a powerful algorithm designed expressly to direct people towards the right opportunities for them,” she said. “We want charities to make use of that.
“We also want charities to get in contact. A lot of people feel it’s a bit forward to contact someone out of the blue and ask them to volunteer.
"But actually a lot of people feel flattered.”
Ariel Eckstein, managing director of LinkedIn marketing solutions said talent was just as critical to the charity sector as it is for businesses, and charities often struggle to find the right fit skilled volunteers and trustees.
He added: “We have hundreds of thousands of professional members who want to volunteer their skills but, until now, there was no easy way for them to connect with charities through LinkedIn.
“We’re launching the Volunteer Marketplace to solve that. By applying what we do best – connecting talent with opportunity on a massive scale – to the social sector, we want to help UK charities recruit the skills they need to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”
George Thomson, chief executive of Volunteer Scotland said the new service is a helpful addition to the volunteering landscape in Scotland.
"Research shows that volunteering can deliver health benefits to volunteers as well as providing them with valuable skills and experiences that can help them find a job," he said.
"As Scotland’s only national centre for volunteering, Volunteer Scotland’s website makes it easy for volunteers to search thousands of opportunities; we also enable organisations to advertise new volunteer opportunities and provide direct access to Scotland’s Disclosure Service for voluntary organisations.
"We already share volunteering opportunities with other websites and LinkedIn offers an additional channel to reach potential volunteers.
"We would hope to connect our own service with this new facility to further promote volunteering and volunteer participation in Scotland.
"Our aim as an organisation is to increase participation in volunteering in Scotland to ensure that everyone has the chance to benefit from the enjoyment and well-being associated with volunteering.”