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Volunteer Coordinator

Company Sonoma Ecology Center
Location Sonoma, CA
Update 8 Day ago

Who We Are:

Sonoma Ecology Center is a 26-year old nonprofit with a mission to work with our community to identify and lead actions that achieve and sustain ecological health in Sonoma Valley. We are respected throughout the North Bay and beyond for our contributions to important initiatives in land, water, biodiversity, and climate. Each year, we provide in-depth environmental science instruction to over 1200 students, manage over 4,000 acres of public and private land including a state park, raise thousands of plants and restore critical native habitat, and provide cutting edge research and technical support on timely issues affecting the region. We have over 20 professional staff and manage numerous large grants and contracts, often in partnership with other nonprofits and agencies that by working together significantly leverage our work and impact.

Position Summary:

If you believe that a job should be relevant, rewarding, and fun, then the Volunteer Coordinator position might be for you. The position offers a unique blend of office and fieldwork, flexibility, and independence. One must be motivated, self-driven yet responsible and comfortable dealing with large groups as well as dedicated individuals. The ideal candidate will be able to translate a broader vision into plans and actions.

The Volunteer Coordinator serves as a liaison between various volunteer groups and the Sonoma Ecology Center, primarily at the Sonoma Garden Park. You will identify and utilize donated volunteer time and talents effectively. Through solid leadership, you will collaborate both within the organization and with external partners. The Volunteer Coordinator must have a deep-seeded belief in the mission of the Sonoma Ecology Center, and a strong appreciation for the Sonoma Garden Park and all that it offers to our community.

Examples of Duties:

Duties may include but are not limited to:

Devise and coordinate both small and large-scale volunteer projects and events. Schedule and direct volunteer work. Facilitate large events and provide logistical support. Control resources. Maintain a flexible work schedule to accommodate weekend activities. Establish realistic goals and objectives for programs at the Park and evaluate costs and benefits.

Oversee the work of all SEC volunteers. Train all new volunteers and community gardeners in safety measures, maintaining a clean and safe working environment, enhancing the volunteer experience.

Identifies, contacts, and cultivates local community resources. Garner interest and action from community organizations and local businesses. Coordinate volunteer days and other promotional efforts, such as team building activities.

Maintain comprehensive records of all volunteer efforts. Track program activities, measure performance and participation, and prepare progress reports.

Work closely with the Communications Manager, the Program Managers, and our Development Department to market events, volunteer days, and other ancillary volunteer projects. Draft monthly newsletter, put forth ideas for press releases and articles which promote the Park, and participate in radio / television interviews when asked.

Maintain a strong relationship with the Development Department to help ensure that volunteer connections to the Sonoma Ecology Center are encouraged to participate on multiple levels.

Develop a volunteer recognition program.

In partnership with the Executive Director, develop and implement the strategic direction of the volunteer program at the Sonoma Ecology Center. Create a Park Steward committee for the Sonoma Garden Park. Perform administrative duties, assists in developing policies and practices.

Seasonal Harvest Market and Community Garden Plots:

Sonoma Garden Park operates a community seasonal harvest market and rents organic garden plots. You would be the overall ambassador and advocate for the garden, the market, plot holders, and the community, and you would ensure a successful and vibrant market.

Some of the duties include :

Manage the operations of the Saturday market, set up begins at 8 am and take down begins at 1 pm and be available during market hours. Develop and coordinate volunteer activities. Coordinate with the Sonoma Garden Park Manager to harvest seasonal produce and plan for market sales. Expand retail offerings, create attractive displays, maintain appropriate inventory levels, and monitor sales. Represent and promote the market and strategize to increase the market’s customer base and business activities.

Attract community gardeners. Offer tours, answer questions, review applications and communicate rules and responsibilities for plot renters. Exercise diplomatic conflict resolution and address concerns. Work with gardeners to ensure a safe gardening area which is well kept and is aligned with organic gardening principles.

Launch a semi-annual plant sale. Coordinate with the native plant nursery manager and individual gardeners to obtain plant starts. Work with the Communications Manager to market the sale and enlist volunteers to spread the word in the community.


Knowledge of:

Principles and practices of volunteer recruitment, training, and retention. Principles and practices of public communication, marketing, and relations. Awareness of the diverse demographics in the Sonoma Valley and how to expand our volunteer base.

Computer applications such as, database management, Office, spreadsheets, social media, and Giftworks.

Understanding of organic gardening principles and drip irrigation systems.

Education and Experience:

Bachelors of Arts and a minimum of 2 years’ experience in volunteer recruiting, recognition and retention. Masters preferred.

Interest in and experience in public speaking. Spanish speaking is a plus.

Personal Characteristics:

Active listening, adaptability, analytical skills, conflict resolution, customer oriented, interpersonal skills, tolerance, compassion.

Can lead, educate, and support others. Maintains composure under difficult circumstances. Highly motivated and extremely organized. Works well independently and as part of a team.


Must be comfortable working outdoors as well as in an office. Must be willing to work 50% (or more) at Sonoma Garden Park, including on weekends and evenings.

Must have access to reliable transportation, have a valid Driver’s License, and is fully insured.

Must pass a DOJ/FBI background check.

Environmental/Physical Requirements:

Must be able to safely lift and carry 50 lbs. Must be able to load/unload and set up tables, chairs, and other equipment before and after events.

The employee will be subject to both inside and outside environmental conditions, including inclement weather.

The employee is frequently required to sit; talk; and hear. One must have the ability to effectively use office equipment (including but not limited to computer, phone, and printer/copier) and computer systems to fulfill essential functions of the position.

Equal Access:

Sonoma Ecology Center is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. Equal access to programs, services and employment is available to all persons. Those applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application and/or interview process should notify our Human Resources Department for assistance.

To Apply:

Please address your resume and a cover letter to Celina Briggs. Please, no phone calls. For more information about the Sonoma Ecology Center please visit

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: $17.00 to $20.00 /hour