Episode 12: Leveraging Tech to Engage Volunteers with Brian Rosenbaum
In this episode, we talk with Brian Rosenbaum, Engagement Manager at United Way of Greater Los Angeles about leveraging technology to engage volunteers. Brian is also Board Chair of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network Los Angeles.
Brian began his career in social work. During grad school, Brian realized his “strengths and passions are in building and improving roads, rather than repairing individual cars.” So, he shifted to the nonprofit sector where he focuses on volunteer management and community engagement. With the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, Brian oversees a year-round calendar of signature volunteer opportunities and coordinates custom volunteer opportunities for corporate partners.
How the United Way of Greater Los Angeles is Leveraging Technology to Engage Volunteers
- A microsite, built using HandsOnConnect software
- Integrates with Salesforce
- Custom landing pages (co-branded, secure pages)
- Matches volunteers to opportunities
- Elevates United Way as a philanthropic concierge for corporate partners
DIY Donation Drive Toolkits
- Created toolkits for food and college supplies drives for first-time college students
- Volunteers can access and execute drives themselves
- Toolkits include step-by-step processes: how to prepare, recruit, deliver donations and recap
- Registration tracks interest in the program
- Outreach resources in toolkits include email templates, social media images, flyers, etc.
- Post-event summary tracks the impact of the program
- Plan to build additional toolkits in the future
Why Use Technology?
- People are hungry to make a difference, but they don’t know how
- People are busy
- People can make a tangible difference where ever they are
- By putting resources online, people can access them anytime and anywhere and know they’re connecting with opportunities that have been vetted by the United Way
- Development department can pitch these resources as products
- Take an upfront initial investment, but then almost runs itself
How Did the United Way Build Its Online Toolkits?
- Follow the example of other organizations who are using toolkits
- Think through what you would personally need to promote the volunteer opportunity
- Where do you get storage boxes?
- How long should a drive last?
- How will you recruit volunteers?
- Once developed, beta test internally. What did you miss?
About Brian Rosenbaum, MSW, CVA
Brian Rosenbaum, MSW, CVA, is a California native with more than a decade of nonprofit experience. He earned his BA in Psychology and Spanish at UCLA and his MSW at Columbia University, with an emphasis on program development and community organizing. As Engagement Manager for United Way of Greater Los Angeles, Brian oversees United Way’s year-round calendar of volunteer and engagement opportunities, as well as coordinating corporate volunteer engagement events. He also serves as Board President for Young Nonprofit Professionals Network Los Angeles, leading an all-volunteer board that works to support, connect, and empower emerging mission-driven professionals in LA. In his spare time, Brian can be found running, cooking, or gardening.