The Gardens at Lake Merritt

Volunteer Coordinator

Friends of the Gardens at Lake Merritt
Volunteer Job Description:
Volunteer Coordinator

The Friends of the Gardens at Lake Merritt (FGLM) was formed in 2004. In partnership with the City of Oakland, FGLM supports garden revitalization through volunteerism, funding and special projects; ensuring these gardens remain a vibrant, relevant part of urban life.

The Gardens are situated in Lakeside Park, Oakland, on land which was the United States’ first governmentally-protected wildlife preserve.

Position Purpose
The purpose of the Volunteer Coordinator position is to facilitate an excellent experience for all volunteers from inception to the end of the relationship. The person in this position will be responsible for “front end” customer service with the volunteers, and also behind-the-scenes planning, organizing and record keeping. The Volunteer Coordinator will support the work of the City of Oakland Park Supervisor assigned to the Gardens at Lake Merritt by assisting with planning and execution of ongoing and one-time volunteer activities, and other duties as assigned.

Position Qualifications
An ideal candidate for this position will possess and/or demonstrate the following:
– Experience with volunteering, preferably with an environmental focus
– Experience with technology tools and databases
– Problems-solving skills and decisiveness
– Ability to work independently and collaboratively
– Ability to work with individuals of various cultures and generations

Position Details
This is an unpaid volunteer position. We ask for a minimum commitment of 6 months for this position. The benefits include professional development including training and experience using Salesforce and Google Suite for Nonprofits, mentoring, free entry to events among others. The estimated time commitment for this position is 5-8 hours per week. Upon completion of a successful 6-month tenure, employment references from FGLM Board and associated nonprofit professionals will be available.

Volunteer Coordinator Position Responsibilities
Volunteer Management

  • Respond, demonstrating great customer service skills, to volunteer inquiries [within 48 hours] that come via various outreach tools such as Facebook, volunteer sign-up page, etc.
  • Assist in the recruitment of new volunteers to the Gardens at Lake Merritt as directed.
  • Manage volunteers of all types that are supporting the Gardens. Determine skills, availability, involvement capability, and recommend different opportunities to volunteers, placing them in an appropriate position(s).
  • Assign volunteers to work days, make sure coverage is provided for all work days and special events including periodic expos, seminars, and other community programs.
  • Assist Park Supervisor with planning and coordination for corporate workdays including communication with corporate team leader.
  • Recognize volunteers through events, emails, awards, gifts, name on website, etc.
  • Assign new volunteers to appropriate garden leader for training on an ongoing basis. Ensure all new volunteers receive and read over City of Oakland’s volunteer guidelines and expectations document.
  • Train existing and new volunteers to take on more responsibility and other roles within Garden to meet FGLM’s needs, including long-term volunteer positions such as Volunteer Ambassador, etc.
  • Manage Volunteer Advisory Panel, if needed.
  • Keep up with volunteer feedback and provide quarterly summary to Board of Directors on any notable feedback.

Tracking and Database Management

  • Along with Marketing Intern, report volunteer hours and number of volunteers attended to the Public Works Environmental Services Division on a monthly basis, per the Adopt-A-Spot agreement.
  • Maintain volunteer database including entering all volunteer workdays into Salesforce prior to event.
  • Ensure accurate contact information for volunteers in database system.

Event Planning

  • With the assistance of City staff and garden leaders, schedule and organize volunteer work days.
  • Ensure all volunteer information is tracked in Salesforce and volunteers are thanked appropriately. Work with event planner for Autumn Lights Festival and other special events to ensure accurate records are kept.


  • Provide information to Marketing & Social Media Coordinator to assist with marketing materials such as newsletter, articles and other postings.


  • Provide ongoing feedback to Board and Volunteer Coordinator regarding success of volunteer work days and ideas for improvement.

For All FGLM Volunteer Personnel
The purpose of FGLM Volunteer Personnel is to draw interest in the Gardens at Lake Merritt, keep the volunteer program running successfully, and keep people coming back to the Gardens. FGLM Volunteer Personnel are ambassadors of the Gardens, positively representing FGLM and its mission. Additional responsibilities include:

  • Lead volunteer projects as needed. Training will be provided.
  • Attend occasional meeting of all coordinators and/or with City staff, Board, etc.
  • Attend review with Program Manager.
  • Use every interaction with a volunteer or potential volunteer as an opportunity to provide them with a positive experience.
  • Participate in Board meetings on an as-needed basis.
  • Write reports on any new processes developed.
  • Be the main contact for training new volunteer for position once 6-month term is coming to a close.

If you are interested in applying for this volunteer position, please email Donald Cooper at

The Green Heart of Oakland for Fifty Years

Discover the hidden garden jewel on the shores of Lake Merritt in the city of Oakland. We are a seven-acre collection of themed gardens.

The Gardens are open daily:
9am - 5:30pm
Entry is free!

666 Bellevue Ave, Oakland, California
Read more about the gardens...
View map, directions, and parking info...

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NOTE: You'll be making a secure tax-deductible donation through Square Market to the Friends of the Gardens at Lake Merritt's fiscal agent "Oakland-East Bay Garden Center Inc."