Director, Volunteer Administration & Engagement

Requisition Number: 
Volunteer Services
Job Status: 
Reports to: 
CFO & Executive Vice President (will transition over time to Vice President, Human Resources)
Volunteer Services Coordinator
To develop and maintain an effective Volunteer Program to meet the needs of the Chicago Botanic Garden, its visitors, and volunteers. This is a full-time position working Monday to Friday.

Direct all aspects of the organization's volunteer program, including recruiting, training, placing, and supervising volunteers.

Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role, you will be responsible for the following:  

  • Communicates with all departments of the organization to proactively identify available opportunities and needs for volunteers.
  • Host volunteer recruitment and orientation sessions outlining opportunities, expectations, and requirements. 
  • Assess exiting volunteer recruitment process and identifies areas for improvement or modification using a variety of resources or techniques;
  • Recruit volunteers to reflect the breadth of the audience we strive to serve.
  • Gathers information about each volunteer's skills, availability, and goals; matches volunteers with appropriate opportunities based on this data, ensuring good working relationships among staff and volunteers
  • Oversees background screenings for all volunteers.
  • Works with supervisory-level staff and above to guide and support volunteer participation in major Garden initiatives and events.
  • Works closely with corporate relations to identify volunteer days at the Garden.
  • Serves as a volunteer advocate and liaison between staff and volunteers.
  • Regularly communicates with volunteers to ensure the placement is a good fit.
  • Addresses conduct issues with volunteers; conducts investigation in cooperation with the volunteer, department manager, staff, or others involved.  
  • Administers record-keeping systems to capture volunteer inquiries. 
  • Maintains files, records, applications, and other data concerning the volunteer program, such as tracking volunteer hours; oversees hours that are tracked into a database (Currently Raiser's Edge). 
  • Drafts, maintains, and publishes guidelines, best practices, and procedures for the volunteer program. Coordinates volunteer recognition and appreciation events and activities.
  • Produces and oversee content development for Grounds Cover, the volunteer newsletter, and volunteer website information to communicate effectively with all Garden volunteers and prospective volunteers. Recruits and involves volunteers with appropriate skills to assist with Grounds Cover.
  • Communicates with volunteers in various methods, depending on preference.
  • Directs and implements methods that evaluate the volunteer program, volunteer service areas, and volunteer development.
  • Develops and adheres to the budget for Volunteer Services.
  • Serves on interdepartmental teams as requested and as a responsible, committed team member.
  • Performs other related duties as required.

 Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired:

  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.

Our ideal candidate will have the following: 

  • Bachelor's of Science or Bachelor's of Arts degree
  • 5 years working in the not-for-profit sector as a volunteer program manager, director level preferred.   
  • Experience with Raiser's Edge database preferred.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, high-energy level, proven leadership, and ability to deal with multiple constituencies and assignments. 
Physical Demands: 
Office setting. Frequent sitting, standing, walking, bending, listening, speaking, and keyboarding. Regular exposure to outdoor environment (rain, snow, cold, pollen); use of office equipment including computers, telephones, copiers, scanners, and fax machines. Some requirements for lifting, pushing, or pulling items less than 30 pounds.
Why Apply?: 

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a M/F, Disabled, and Vet EEO/AA Employer.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.