Dazzle Your Donor Prospects with an Upgraded LinkedIn Headline

Many major gift officers don’t realize that one of the things some wealthy donor prospects do after receiving a first communication from you is to check out your LinkedIn profile. And the first things they tend to notice are the photo, the banner, and your LinkedIn headline.

Your LinkedIn headline is your first message to anyone who sees your profile. This is your introduction. If you were at a networking event, this is what you would say after saying your name.

For many major gift officers, their LinkedIn headlines, as well as the rest of their profiles, are a missed opportunity to intrigue new donor prospects. Most people just list their job title here. But you can and should do so much more than that.


Because 41% of LinkedIn users are millionaires, and 40% check it every day. LinkedIn is the businessperson’s social media platform. It’s for professionals, and many of your major donors and prospects fit this description.

Thus, your LinkedIn profile should not be written like a resume. You aren’t on there to get a job. You’re on there as a resource for donors and supporters. This is an effective channel for making outreach to new prospects.

So, let’s do a quick tutorial on how to spruce up your LinkedIn headline.

What Is a LinkedIn Headline?

You can see an example in this LinkedIn profile below.

This text appears right below your name. When you invite someone to connect with you or when you send an InMail message, they will see your name and the first nine words of your LinkedIn headline.

The Top Strategy for Upgrading Your LinkedIn Headline

You want prospects who find you on LinkedIn to feel more interest and excitement about hearing from you after reading your profile.

You want them to react with something like “Oh good, that person can benefit me,” or ,”That person sounds like someone I’d want helping me.” You do not want them to react by thinking, “What does that mean?” And you don’t want a headline so bland that it barely registers with them.

Your headline needs to get their attention and make them more likely to want to accept your outreach.

The general template I recommend here highlights the value you deliver. My LinkedIn headline follows this strategy, and it is an excellent approach for gift officers to use too.

Mine says, “We help fundraisers land meetings with major donors/supporters when they are ready to give.” If I had more room I would have added our money back guarantee—10-to-1 return on your investment (which we offer because our system has never failed). So I opted to include our URL instead.

Mine is sort of a variation on the problem-solution strategy. Here, you don’t explicitly state the problem. It is implied in the text, which focuses instead on a desirable outcome.

The problem is getting meetings with wealthy donors and supporters. The solution is what I provide, with the additional detail of “when they are ready to give,” which implies our approach is different from the norm and very specific, which it is. Our unique offer is helping gift officers get meetings with warm major donor prospects at low cost with ROI guaranteed.

This LinkedIn headline strategy works well when you have something unique to offer your audience. And as a major gifts officer, you do.

So, what are your donors’ needs? What makes it difficult to make a major gift? What do they want?

For example, a gift officer’s headline could be:

“I help people make transformational gifts and feel great throughout the experience.”

In that headline, the problem is that too often, the giving experience isn’t enjoyable. It’s a chore, a slog, and they’re relieved when it’s finally over. That may or may not resonate with you.

But remember – this isn’t about you. It’s about your prospects and major donors. What do you want them to feel and think when they find your LinkedIn profile or receive a message from you? This example headline promises an outcome very different from what they may be used to, and much more desirable.

Charitable giving researcher Dr. Russell James likes phrases such as these:

  • I work for [charity name]. I show our donors how to give smarter
  • I teach donors how to get special tax benefits
  • I help people donate weird assets

Each of these statements appeals to a different need, so it depends on your emphasis or specialty as a gift officer.

Figure out a way to express the unique, tailored, and targeted service you provide in a way that appeals to your ideal prospects, and fit it into the confines of a LinkedIn headline.

Speaking of LinkedIn Headlines…

Since we brought it up, if my own LinkedIn headline intrigued you, spend some time on our site and learn a bit more about how our innovative software works.

We automate huge parts of the donor identification, qualification, and pre-cultivation processes. That saves tons of time for your gift officers, and results in them meeting almost exclusively with warm prospects who want to hear from them and are ready to consider making a gift.

Our system generates so much revenue for nonprofits that we offer a 10:1 ROI Guarantee. Yes – your organization will make at least 10 times what you spend on our software.

Want to see how we do it? Learn more about how we automate donor qualification.

Or, click below to sign up for a free demo and see how the software works.




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