• Nonprofit Learning Lab

Engaging Your Corporate Volunteers: Words of Wisdom from Brian Rosenbaum

Brian Rosenbaum of YNPN L.A. led a workshop at the Nonprofit Lab in Los Angeles on January 7, 2020. We recently had a conversation with him about his future trainings and wanted to share some of his insights that we think can lead you to a more productive 2020!

What is the best advice a mentor ever gave to you?


“By the work one knows the workman.”- Jean de La Fontaine. My best boss, who later became my mentor, shared this quote with me in a moment when I was falling short of my potential. This quote goes both ways: whether your work is sloppy or impeccable, it follows you and becomes your reputation. All we have is our integrity, and if we are known for being late, unorganized, or slow, that reputation is difficult to undo. Today, I strive to be the person who you know did something, even if my name isn't on it.


What is a tool that helps you improve efficiency? What do you use it for and how do you use it?


Keyboard shortcuts! My first computer teacher wouldn't let us use a mouse. She said, "If you can't control your computer without a mouse, you shouldn't be using it in the first place." Knowing how to navigate most apps using only the keyboard makes me 10 times more efficient than any app.


At our Nonprofit Lab in Los Angeles, you led a workshop “Engaging Corporate Volunteers: More Than Just Bagged Lunches.” What would you like to share about the power of corporate volunteerism?


Engaging episodic, corporate volunteers in ways that tap their heads, hands, and hearts can engage them in ways that are transformative for the individual, your organization's relationship with the company, and our communities. It starts with how we treat corporate volunteers. Facilitating opportunities for them to learn more about your core issue, and their personal relationship to it is the key to creating a space for critical self-reflection. When volunteers start considering their own assumptions about others, their privilege and power in society, and even their role in perpetuating society's injustices -- this is when they experience personal change, and can become true champions for your mission.


We hope to see you at our next Nonprofit Lab in Los Angeles on September 14, 2020. It will be a great day of learning, networking and skills building. Our Nonprofit Labs are a one-day deep dive nonprofit conference for nonprofit professionals. To register for the nonprofit conference in Los Angeles, www.nonprofitlearninglab.org/losangeles

Nonprofit Learning Lab

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