LinkedIn Volunteers Tops 10 Million

February 10, 2015       Mark Hrywna      

The LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace has reached 10 million members, including 4.5 million in the United States, creating a volunteer gap between the number of skilled volunteers and the number of opportunities available to them.

Some 10 million members of LinkedIn have now added the volunteer and causes section to their profiles on the online professional network, up from three million just a year ago. It’s been three years since LinkedIn added a “Volunteer and Causes” section to members’ individual profiles.

With 4.5 million of these professionals in the United States, where there are about 1.5 million nonprofits – meaning there are three professionals who want to help for every single nonprofit, according to Meg Garlinghouse, head of LinkedIn for Good. The number of willing skilled volunteers and the number of opportunities available to them is creating a volunteer gap, with more volunteers than open or discoverable opportunities, she wrote in a blog post today. The biggest challenge is bridging the gap between the number of professionals who want to help and the skilled volunteer opportunities available to them, Garlinghouse wrote in a blog post today.

More than four million LinkedIn members have signaled that they are interested in skilled volunteer work or joining a nonprofit board; 61 percent of those members are mid-level managers or higher. More than 7 out of 10 members who have added volunteer experience to their profiles are millennials, who view their social impact efforts as “a core part of their professional identity.”

LinkedIn announced the start of Volunteer Marketplace in the United Kingdom, a service that it launched last year to make it easier for nonprofits and members to find one another on the network.

LinkedIn compiled data on the user profiles of the 10 million members, presenting it in the form of an infographic. If the data were represented as a person, the average LinkedIn do-gooder would be a 29-year-old Danish professional who studied at a Canadian university and is now working at PwC. The data also yielded some other observations based on the percentage of members with “Volunteer and Causes” in their profiles:

  • Large consulting firms like PwC and KPMG (especially in Canada) have employees who want to give back. So do millennial-heavy companies like Uber and AirBnB. Other top large companies included Mozilla, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment,, Sunglass Hut and Olive Garden.
  • About 1 in 5 identified as Generate X and “mid-career professionals,” and 8 percent as Baby Boomers and “senior leaders.”
  • Based on percentage of members who with volunteers and causes in their profile, western Europe and Canada have the most do-gooder LinkedIn members led by Denmark, followed by Canada and Netherlands, as well as Ireland and Australia.

Within the United States, the most concentrated locations were college towns, likely a result of the 70 percent of members who identified as millennials:

  • Bloomington, Ind.
  • Fort Collins, Colo.
  • Lafayette, Ind.
  • Lawrence, Kan.
  • Madison, Wisc.
  • Corvallis, Ore.
  • State College, Pa.
  • Austin, Texas
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.
  • Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

Four out of the top five colleges are based in Canada: Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Exeter, University of Victoria, Dalhousie University and Simon Fraser University.

Among the top nonprofits that members support are:

  • American Red Cross
  • Greenpeace
  • American Cancer Society
  • Amnesty International
  • World Wildlife Fund
  • Habitat for Humanity International
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Wounded Warrior Project

“Despite a number of extraordinary organizations such as VolunteerMatch, Catchafire and Taproot working with us to close the volunteer gap, there’s still a chasm between the needs of nonprofits and good deeds of professionals, in the world,” Garlinghouse wrote.