Hours: 40 hours/week, occasional weekends, holidays and evenings
Salary: $16.50 - $17.25/hour (based on experience)
Benefits: Health benefits; 16 days of vacation, 6 days of sick leave, and 9 paid holidays per year
Reports to: Executive Director
Area of Focus: Volunteer coordination, Community education and community building, Sustainable farming, Homelessness, Social Enterprise
The Homeless Garden Project (HGP), founded in 1990 and based in Santa Cruz, California, provides job training, transitional employment and support services to people experiencing homelessness. In complement, HGP operates a thriving community education and volunteer program serving nearly 3,000 people each year. Our programs take place on our 3.5-acre Organic farm and related social enterprises.
The Cultivating Community program blends formal, experiential and service learning, and is open to anyone interested in learning about sustainable horticulture, social justice and nutrition. In 2017, nearly 3000 volunteers participated in our programs. In addition to its educational purpose, this program also functions to break down social barriers and build community bridges, reducing stereotypes of people who are homeless, and creating a positive social support network.
Our two current program development focus areas are: becoming a “Service Enterprise” which leverages the strategic and effective engagement of volunteers to meet our mission; and on increasing volunteer capacity to support our year-round retail store.
HGP seeks an experienced and dedicated individual to lead the Cultivating Community program. We seek an enthusiastic, outgoing, resourceful and organized person skilled in coordination, volunteer management, outreach, and building partnerships. The ideal candidate will also have a background in agriculture and social enterprises and a sincere commitment to ending homelessness. The Volunteer Coordinator will work to create a thriving community of enthusiastic and engaged volunteers working in partnership with HGP to achieve our mission.
HGP is currently going through an exciting period of growth, preparing to move our farm from its temporary 3.5-acre site to a permanent 9.5-acre farm site, within a 20-acre site on City of Santa Cruz Pogonip park land. The transition to Pogonip will triple the organization’s capacity to transform lives and build community connections through a public-private partnership. Serving as a national model, Pogonip Farm will be the heart of HGP’s dynamic agriculture program to provide job training for people who are experiencing homelessness, volunteer opportunities for community members and land stewardship through organic farming.
Under the supervision of the Executive Director, the Volunteer Coordinator is responsible for managing the Cultivating Community volunteer and community education program, engaging nearly 3,000 volunteers annually. This role includes volunteer coordinating, recruitment, interviewing, training, orienting, onboarding, supervising, tracking and acknowledging volunteers. The Volunteer Coordinator also seeks and develops new areas for growth of the community of volunteers, educational opportunities and partnerships.
• Recruit volunteers through various channels including website, community gatherings and other speaking opportunities, local media, and outreach to local organizations.
• Serve as primary point of contact for all volunteers—both groups and individuals-- in the agency, including being on site when volunteers are most often present.
• Coordinate outreach events, tabling, and other special outreach events.
• Provide tours and orientations to community members about HGP’s mission and goals, activities and volunteer opportunities.
• Oversee the volunteer program at: Natural Bridges Farm and open volunteer hours, holiday store and year-round store, Fundraising events, Century Certificate program and HGP administrative office.
• Facilitate volunteer coordination and development of volunteer opportunities to support the transition to the Pogonip Farm, in conjunction with Executive Director and the Pogonip construction team
• Collaborate with community partners to maintain and update information about HGP and HGP volunteer opportunities; create and distribute material to publicize volunteer trainings. (Community partners include the Volunteer Center, UCSC internship programs, Homeless Services Center).
• Develop partnerships for community outreach purposes and coordinate with these partners to deliver orientations and presentations about volunteer opportunities.
• Develop and present training materials to increase volunteer engagement with HGP mission and goals, provide opportunities for volunteers to learn, and to ensure volunteer activities run smoothly. Continue to develop materials that respond to the unique needs of the growing volunteer population.
• Maintain and track information, including policy and procedures manual for volunteer program, volunteer job descriptions and hours worked; maintain volunteer files in a safe and confidential manner. In collaboration with Executive Director, continue development of volunteer program policies and procedures which guide the volunteer program and reflect the overall values of Homeless Garden Project.
• Support and recognize volunteers in a variety of ways, including bi-yearly recognition event.
• Coordinate annual holiday store and year-round store volunteer program.
• Coordinate relationships between staff and volunteers, including identifying staff needs for volunteers. Create and distribute job descriptions for needed volunteer positions in response to staff needs.
• Coordinate trainings for staff to increase capacity for working effectively with volunteers.
• Support social media, web and mass email initiatives.
• Advocate for HGP to the general public to inform and educate regarding homeless issues, urban agriculture and volunteer needs/opportunities.
• Other duties as assigned.
Qualifications, Skills and Experience:
• Dedication to volunteerism and coordinating volunteer activities
• Demonstrated ability to make assignments and follow up on completion/evaluation
• Demonstrated ability to both follow and give directions, and seek assistance when needed
• Availability, dependability, and willingness to be flexible
• Requires ability to occasionally work early morning hours, evening hours and weekends
• Demonstrated ability to organize, delegate, give direction and feedback
• Ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds
• Enthusiastic and positive attitude toward helping others
• Ability to work well independently and on a team
• Demonstrated ability to solve problems and think strategically
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills
• Excellent interpersonal skills
• Self-motivated; able to take initiative on projects
• Organized and resourceful
• Computer skills a must: Word and Excel
Desirable skills and qualifications:
• Experience in leadership role
• Track record of planning and implementing events
• Bi-lingual/bi-cultural background
• Commitment to sustainable agriculture and food systems
• Experience with social justice issues and affected populations a plus
E-mail resume, cover letter and contact information for three references to Darrie Ganzhorn, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to P.O. Box 617, Santa Cruz, CA 95061. Resume review begins immediately.