How to Post Jobs

AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, Certified Related Facilities, Commercial Members, and Conservation Partners may post free unlimited online job listings as a member benefit. Non-members can purchase job listings. How to post a job

Career Center

Interested in a career in AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums? Learn more about types of zoo and aquarium jobs and relevant education programs in our career center.

Friends of the National Zoo

Volunteer Program Specialist

Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) is a 58-year old nonprofit organization that exists to support the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.  FONZ’s mission is to save species and save us by enriching visitor experiences, delivering transformational member and guest experiences and events, providing active volunteer and public education programs, supporting the Zoo’s long-term financial sustainability, and building public awareness and support for the Zoo’s conservation mission.


The Education & Volunteer Department is seeking a Volunteer Program Specialist to assist with the development and implementation of Smithsonian National Zoo/Friends of the National Zoo (NZP/FONZ) volunteer programming. The Volunteer Program Specialist will define volunteer roles and responsibilities for volunteers in assigned programs.


Responsibilities include but are not limited to:


  • Manage assigned Volunteer Programs.
  • Manage general volunteer recruitment and support activities. 
  • Train volunteers in interpretive techniques and provide them with enriching tools and activities for engaging Zoo visitors on a daily basis and during special events.
  • Deliver a comprehensive assessment program
  • Recruit a broad applicant pool from which a quality volunteer force is chosen and provide volunteers with an effective and responsive support staff to ensure an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
  • Support other department-wide initiatives
  • Participate in professional training to stay abreast of and introduce current trends in volunteer management, education and conservation to assigned volunteer program areas.
  • Assist in the planning and production of NZP and FONZ special events.
  • Work weekends, evenings, and holidays as needed, and perform other duties as assigned



  • Bachelor’s degree in museum studies, human resource management, nonprofit management, education, or related field required; advanced degree preferred
  • Must have 2-3 years of experience in volunteer management and coordination (adult and teen); preferably in a Zoo, Aquarium, or Museum environment. Knowledge of volunteerism and volunteer management best practices a must
  • Experience in either formal or informal education or interpretive training also preferred as is experience working with teen audiences
  • Must feel comfortable and relate well to diverse populations (volunteers, staff, community members, etc.) of all ages, as well as, exhibit cultural sensitivity and people-skills; especially good listening and both written and oral communication skills
  • Proven ability to assess organizational needs and capacity and create new programs and build capacity through community engagement and partnership development
  • Must have high level of energy and enthusiasm, creativity, flexibility, and the ability to work in both indoor and outdoor settings
  • Ability to organize and facilitate training sessions and meetings
  • Proficiency in creating both digital and print volunteer program materials (policies and procedures, applications, volunteer agreements, orientation handbooks)
  • Ability to collect and analyze data for program evaluation purposes
  • Proficiency in database management and tracking of volunteer statistics
  • Computer proficiency in MS Office suite, Adobe Design suite, e-learning authoring software and delivery platforms (ex: Moodle), volunteer database management systems (ex: VSys One or Volgistics), and digital evaluation and survey programs
  • Financial management and budgeting skills
  • Ability to work both independently and as a member of a larger staff team

All interested applicants may apply at

As an equal opportunity employer, FONZ values workplace diversity

How to Apply

Friends of the National Zoo
3001 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008

Visit our website

Find a Zoo or Aquarium Donate to AZA Contact Us Member Login Search the site