An international collaboration of experts on LinkedIn has raised more than £40,000 for a charity supporting Ukrainian refugees crossing the Moldovan border.
Dubbed ‘LinkedIn Live Aid’ by a supporter, the cash was raised in just seven days by six international high-profile LinkedIn influencers who led a webinar for up to 1,000 people and encouraged attendees to continue to donate.
Now they’re urging their combined 300,000 followers to carry on supporting the charity Hope4 (https://www.hope4.love/donateukraine) which is on the ground in Moldova , supplying food, heating, vital equipment and more to families fleeing Ukraine.
Moldova is facing a refugee crisis and needs urgent financial aid as tens of thousands of people escape the Russian invasion cross its border, the country’s prime minister, Natalia Gavrilița, has said. The fundraiser was launched by LinkedIn coach Lea Turner from the UK, along with UK-based John Espirian, Ariel Lee and Andy Foote in the US, Spain-based Richard van der Blom, and Michelle J Raymond in Sydney.
Alexandra Soame MD of the Experience Collective a follower of Lea spotted that the event had really taken off and donated her teams event planning and production skills to support the masterclass
“We have had so much amazing feedback from those that attended the event saying how valuable the content was and how impressed they were. It was wonderful for our team to be able to donate their time to do something practical to help the crisis. This shows the positive power of social media and the event industry at its best”
Alexandra Soame MD of the Experience Collective
Lea said: “I’ll admit, the idea was impulsive and I wasn’t sure we’d hit my original £5k goal, but the LinkedIn community really got behind the event, and it soon spiralled so that we had to enlist the lovely people at The Experience Collective for tech support. I’m so proud of everyone, and so grateful to Hope4 for giving us a way to do something useful when so many of us have been feeling helpless.”
Michelle said: “ I cherish the week that I have just had being part of something that changed the lives of so many people. At a time when the worst of the world was visible, goodness also shone brightly."
Ariel added: “I'm blown away by the way the community has rallied around this cause. From idea to reality to money in the hands of the people who needed it in mere HOURS...I can't thank Lea enough for allowing me a small part in this awesome initiative.”
“I'm really happy to have been able to team up and deliver a session that's helped raise so much money for Hope4, who are doing great work on the ground between Ukraine and Moldova,” said John.
Richard reflected on how the session itself illustrated how well an ethos of collaboration on LinkedIn works: "On LinkedIn you also need to provide support to your network, behave according to your own values and beliefs. LinkedIn is not different from the real world. So be generous and try to add value to the community, just like donating for Hope4," he said.
Andy added: "It's not often you get to do a webinar that is spun up in 10 days, provides extraordinary feelgood for everyone involved while raising stacks of cash for a great cause. It was a privilege to be involved in this timely humanitarian effort and to stand shoulder to shoulder with Lea and my fellow LinkedIn specialists.”
Hope4’s Chris Lomas said: "I’ve been witness to what could only be described as a LinkedIn revolution. Hate will never defeat love and what I saw yesterday at Lea Turner's LinkedIn Master Class, was nothing short of love. An outpouring that will live on, and called LinkedIn’s own LiveAid. So, what does it really mean on the ground? Well, Hope4 doesn't keep a penny and as such, every penny is translated into tangible aid and support right across Moldova. Every single penny entrusted to us by the people who supported Lea's event, is spent on food, shelter, equipment and fuel, all necessary to get vulnerable women and children in particular, into a safe and secure place. Together #WeAreHope4 orphans, victims, women and children everywhere, which is why we've already launched into Poland as well. We want to thank Lea Turner, her panel of experts and everyone who supported them."
A recording of the webinar with all proceeds going to Hope4 can be bought here: https://bit.ly/ukrainefundraiserlinkedintraining