Of course they are.
I read an article yesterday that got me thinking about my LinkedIn account in a new way. You can read Brock’s article here. Basically, he tells about trying to schedule a visit with a donor who didn’t return calls or email AFTER said donor had viewed Brock’s LinkedIn profile. (You do know you can see who’s viewing your profile, right?)
This donor didn’t return my calls, and didn’t respond to an email.
I’m not sure why Brock’s profile would have that reaction. Maybe it’s because the donor really dislikes fundraisers and Brock’s profile clearly establishes him as an effective and accomplished fundraiser.
Maybe his profile is too one-sided, only highlighting his fundraising experience. Rounding it out may be a good strategy. He suggests finding a way to add a recommendation to his profile from an existing donor, adding volunteer positions, and limiting how many previous employers you include. Smart advice.
I’d suggest we go a step further and invite recommendations from people with whom we serve. All of us are involved in other organizations, coach soccer or Little League, and volunteer for events. If we included these things in our profiles, we could invite recommendations of that work which might give a more balanced impression of who we are and what we do. Maybe it will make us seem less like a stereotypical “fundraiser” and more like the passionate, caring, people that we really are.
Bottom line: make sure you take some time to evaluate your profile from the perspective of an existing or potential donor. Better yet, find someone to do it for you and talk with her about it later.