Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

Department

Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Lisa Graham-Peterson

Abstract

This research investigated the question:

What are the key strategic principles and the best practices of using LinkedIn for online interactive engagement and networking that nonprofit advocacy organizations can utilize to bolster constituent activism in support of shared goals? The methodology included a comprehensive literature review as well as a series of formal and informal conversations with thought leaders and practitioners of online advocacy. Analysis of research data provided the basis for recommendations and considerations for nonprofit organizations contemplating LinkedIn’s potential value for advocacy and networking efforts. These principles, best practices, recommendations and considerations for using LinkedIn’s networking toolset establish a framework for nonprofits to assess LinkedIn. The author recommends that advocacy organizations consider LinkedIn’s capabilities in the context of their mission, goals, culture and constituents. Among the research findings is the conclusion that LinkedIn is an exceptional social media platform in a number of respects, including the comprehensive amount of data LinkedIn contains and the sophisticated tools LinkedIn provides to mine and refine that data. LinkedIn consequently enables advocacy organizations to map strategic relationships and to customize their interaction with various segments of their audience.

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