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Volunteer Supervisor

Santa Barbara Zoo
Santa Barbara, United States Posted: May 08, 2024

Are you passionate about wildlife conservation and eager to inspire others? Join our team as a Volunteer Supervisor at the Santa Barbara Zoo! As a vital part of our zoo family, you'll develop our programs and lead a team of enthusiastic volunteers, ensuring every guest has a wildly wonderful experience. Embrace the opportunity to make a difference, one paw print at a time. Let's bring out the jungle spirit in you! Apply now and let the adventure begin!

  • Under the general direction of the Director of Education, the Volunteer Supervisor promotes the Zoo and its mission through community outreach, recruitment, training, planning, development, implementation, management, and evaluation of the Zoo’s volunteers and volunteer programs. 
ESSENTIAL DUTIES include the following:
  • Working in cooperation with Department Managers, plans, develops, promotes, implements, maintains and evaluates a wide range of volunteer opportunities.
  • Supervises volunteer staff and provides direction, coordination, and consultation for all volunteer functions within the Zoo. 
  • Manages the on-grounds volunteers by leading meetings, creating volunteer schedules, and providing support to volunteers during their shift.
  • Performs outreach, recruitment, interviews and places applicants for volunteer work, in collaboration with HR Specialist. 
  • Manages volunteers and volunteer programs.
  • Manages volunteers at large zoo events where many volunteers are needed, in collaboration with HR Specialist.
  • Manages information and communications using Volunteer Platform (currently: Volgitics)
  • Develops ongoing programming to fit zoo needs.
  • Identifies, cultivates and develops volunteer leaders.
  • Coordinates and schedules assignments, meetings, lunch & learn, and events.
  • Participates in training sessions, directs and monitors daily activities of volunteers.
  • Informs volunteers of Zoo policies and procedures, and standards of volunteer service in collaboration with HR Specialist.
  • Confers with volunteers to resolve grievances and promote cooperation and interest.
  • Organizes and participates in volunteer recognition programs.
  • Serves as a liaison to other areas around the zoo that utilize volunteer support.
  • Identify and put in place volunteer retention strategies.
  • Provides volunteer recommendation letters and hour reports as needed, in collaboration with Education Director, and HR Specialist.
  • Maintains accurate records and provides timely statistical and activity reports on volunteer programs.
  • Develops relationships with community organizations, businesses, and schools.
  • Adheres to and enforces Zoo’s policies and procedures as outlined in the Employee Policy Manual.
  • Attends all bi-monthly all-employee meetings.
  • Greets every guest with a smile. 
  • Thanks guests for supporting/visiting the Zoo.
  • Answers phone calls, voice mails, and e-mails promptly.
  • Ensures the Zoo’s presentation standards for cleanliness and maintenance are met by keeping work areas clean, picking up trash, reporting unsafe or unsightly conditions.
  • Associates with guests to assist and share information.
  • Responds to all guest inquiries, complaints, and comments according to Zoo guest relations procedures.
  • Maintains a clean neat appearance and adheres to the Zoo’s uniform dress code.
  • Takes responsibility to stay informed about happenings at the Zoo, such as reading employee communications and attending meetings.
  • Reflects the Zoo's core values, qualities outlined in the Guest Relations Statement and the Employee Pledge.
  • To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. 
  • The requirements and environmental characteristics described below are representative of the knowledge, skill, ability, and working and physical elements required of the position. 
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Education and Experience:
  • High School graduate. 
  • Professional experience in volunteer or personnel management in an organization.
License, Certification, or Preferred Qualifications:
  • B.A. or B.S. preferred with course work in personnel management, natural history, and/or public relations preferred.
  • Successful completion of a Department of Justice background check.
  • Negative TB tests and Tetanus vaccinations as necessary.
  • CVA certification preferred.
  • Valid California State driver’s license.
  • First Aid & CPR Certification.
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:
  • Understanding of volunteer organization dynamics and relationships.
  • Ability to keep internal information confidential to the extent possible.
  • Ability to effectively problem solve in complex situations arising among volunteers and between volunteers and staff.
  • Knowledge of current methods, principles, procedures and practices utilized in volunteer personnel management.
  • Ability to manage, coordinate, facilitate and supervise the activities of a diverse audience, and of large groups of people.
  • Ability to speak in front of large groups of people.
  • Effective verbal and written communications skills.
  • Ability to engage and motivate a diverse audience.
  • Ability to convey zoo’s mission, vision and program needs to others clearly.
  • Thorough knowledge of the zoo’s mission/vision and general policies and procedures.
  • Basic knowledge of biology and zoology concepts preferred.
  • Knowledge of current practices in thematic interpretation and environmental education preferred.
  • Knowledge of audio-visual equipment and computer software such as database programs, desktop publishing, and graphics programs.
  • Ability to interact courteously and respectfully with supervisors, fellow employees, volunteers, and our guests.
  • Ability to exercise safe work habits.
  • Ability to use Volgistics –or similar platform- for communications, scheduling, and reporting.
  • Willingness to learn and participate in meetings and training programs.
  • Awareness of, sensitivity to, and empathy with animals.
  • Ability to prioritize duties effectively.
  • Must be creative and self-motivated.
 Physical Demands & Work Environment:
  • Available and willing to work weekends and holidays, and when events are scheduled.
  • Must be able to occasionally lift 50 pounds, and 10 or fewer pounds frequently.
  • Ability to exert a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly push, pull or otherwise move objects.  
  • Ability to negotiate the zoo work environment including behind-the-scenes, lawns, gravel, hilltop, and attic storage.
  • Must be physically able to operate a variety of machines and equipment including electric carts, telephones, printers, projectors, and copiers.
  • Involves working out-of-doors in all weather conditions.
  • Ability to work successfully in shared work space environment, with constant interruptions.
  • Supportive and open employment culture.
  • Needs to be able to handle animals and train others to do so.
Tools Used:
 Electric cart
  • Standard office equipment; telephone, copier, printer, facsimile machine, calculator 
  • Personal computer and software (such as Word, Filemaker Pro, Excel, Outlook)
  • Two-way radio
  • Audio-visual equipment
  • Automobile or van
  • We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Experience Required
  • Professional experience in volunteer or personnel management in an organization.
  • Great team, beautiful grounds, great animal collection, sunshine & ocean view almost year-round!
  • Comprehensive benefits package, incl.
  • voluntary supplemental insurances, free parking M-F, a paid conservation day, a paid zoo day to visit another AZA accredited institution, free guest passes, paid time off to take your pet to the vet, unlimited free tea/coffee every morning, 20 discounts on food services and retail purchases, access to the San Diego Zoo Global Academy platform, and much more...
  • $25.90 - $27.60 per hour

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