Volunteer Program Assistant

Organization: The Chicago Zoological Society (AZA Member)
Location: Brookfield, IL, Country
Job or Internship: Job

Volunteer Programs Assistant, Conservation, Education and Training (CET)/Volunteer Programs

Requisition ID# 984AW

This position contributes to the success of the Chicago Zoological Society by assisting in the daily coordination of volunteers to educate guests, connect guests to wildlife and nature, and provide an extraordinary guest experience. This position will provide administrative and clerical support to the Volunteer Programs Department.


Coordinate daily volunteer office operations including, but not limited to, communication of daily operations changes, create volunteer schedules, make changes in animal exhibit information, and communicate docent interpretive assignments. Order, maintain inventory, and distribute volunteer uniforms and name badges. Handle and process payments for varied volunteer activities. Transcribe and distribute meeting summaries as assigned. Responsible for completion of administrative tasks including answering phones, maintaining volunteer hotline phone message system, updating and sending volunteer program information and applications, collecting volunteer response cards, performing reference checks, preparing mailings and meeting/training program materials, filing, maintaining volunteer personnel files and confidential information, and coordinating room reservations. Coordinate volunteer activities including daily interpretive assignments, Windows to the Zoo tours, special events, special VIP tours, animal observation requests, and other special requests. Coordinate docent activities and biofacts requested for special events, tours, etc. Ensure docents are scheduled for special events, animal observations, and other special requests. Evaluate, keep detailed procedural records, and implement operations improvements for docent involvement during special events. With guidance of Interpretive Programs staff, assist in developing interpretive messages and selecting biofacts for docent interpretive touch carts and docent interpretive assignments. Maintain current exhibit interpretive reference binders and biofact selections for docent interpretive assignments. Coordinate biofact repairs. Maintain informal communication with volunteers, taking time to listen to and resolve problems and concerns regarding the volunteer program and the institution. Resolve all operations situations, and ensure serious concerns and situations are discussed with Manager, Volunteer Programs. Calculate quarterly and annual hours for all volunteers using manual and Volgistics database sources. Ensure that all volunteer demographic information is maintained and information is current and accurate in databases and on spreadsheets. Utilize databases and spreadsheets to generate specialized lists, and periodic reports. Administer annual Volunteer Earned Membership Program, including preparing and mailing out renewal forms, recording detailed volunteer membership renewal information into databases, handling and processing checks, cash, and credit card payments for membership renewals, tracking renewal upgrades, and performing additional administrative tasks associated with the program. Provide receptionist support for Conservation, Education and Training group. Greet and assist visitors and staff, answer inquiries, receive and sort mail and packages, order office supplies, and answer incoming calls. Assist with CET administrative tasks as assigned. Other related duties as assigned.


Associate’s degree in Communications, Psychology, Human Resources, Liberal Arts, Environmental Education or related field or equivalent training and experience required. Additional coursework or volunteer service in zoology, biology, or conservation fields preferred. Minimum 2 years administrative experience in an office setting, with experience in a coordinating/scheduling function required. Previous paid experience working with volunteers preferred. Non-profit experience preferred. Computer proficiency required; Microsoft Windows, Outlook, Word, and Excel required. Experience with Volgistics and other database packages a plus. Demonstrated interest in conservation, wildlife, and nature preferred. Must be able to work with and coordinate detailed records and schedules with an eye for detail and accuracy. Must be proactive and able to identify tasks to be completed and move forward without prompting. Strong decision-making skills are required. Must be able to establish and maintain strong rapport and positive relationships with volunteers, staff, guests, and local community members. Must be able to maintain confidential information. Must be highly flexible and adaptable, have a strong work ethic, and be highly tactful. Must have a track record of working effectively in a fast-paced environment with rapidly shifting priorities. National Association of Interpreters (NAI) certification or willingness to pursue an NAI certification preferred. Experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience. Multilingual ability, Spanish fluency a plus. Valid driver’s license required. Illinois residents must possess a valid Illinois license within 90 days of hire. Valid out-of-state license required for out-of-state residents.

If interested in being considered for this opportunity, please email your resume/cover letter noting position title and ID#984AW in subject line and in your cover letter to: greatjobs@czs.org. For more information about our organization and career opportunities please visit our website at www.czs.org

The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer – M/F/V/D – Diversity candidates encouraged to apply and identify themselves.