Volunteer Coordinator

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Overview of the Homeless Garden Project

The Homeless Garden Project (HGP) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 1990 and based in Santa Cruz, California, that provides job training, transitional employment and support services to individuals experiencing homelessness. Our programs take place on our 3.5-acre organic farm and related social enterprises. In complement, HGP operates a thriving community education and volunteer program serving nearly 3,000 people each year. HGP is currently going through an exciting period of growth, preparing to move our farm from its temporary 3.5-acre site to a permanent 9.5-acre site on City of Santa Cruz Pogonip park land.

The transition to Pogonip Farm will triple the organization’s capacity to transform lives and build community connections through a public-private partnership. Serving as a national model, Pogonip Farm will be the heart of HGP’s dynamic agriculture program to provide job training for people who are experiencing homelessness, volunteer opportunities for community members and land stewardship through organic farming. In 2019, nearly 3,000 volunteers participated in our programs. In addition to its educational purpose, this program functions to break down social barriers and build community bridges, reducing stereotypes of people who are experiencing homelessness, and creating a positive social support network.


We seek an enthusiastic, outgoing, resourceful and organized person skilled in volunteer management, outreach, and building partnerships. The ideal candidate will also have an interest in agriculture and social enterprises and a sincere commitment to ending homelessness. The Volunteer Coordinator will work to create a thriving community of enthusiastic and engaged volunteers working in partnership with HGP to achieve our mission.

Under the supervision of the Director of Operations, the Volunteer Coordinator is responsible for managing the volunteer and community education programs, engaging nearly 3,000 volunteers annually.


• Oversee the volunteer programming at HGP’s farm, retail store, administrative office, and special events.

• Recruit volunteers through various channels including email communications, online postings, community gatherings and other speaking opportunities, local media, and outreach to local organizations.

• Build strong relationships with community partners to leverage volunteer recruitment and engagement opportunities.

• Serve as the primary point of contact for all volunteers.

• Provide volunteer supervision on-site at HGP’s farm, store, and office, as needed.

• Manage efforts to track and improve volunteer satisfaction and retention.

• Maintain volunteer databases, tracking volunteer contact information, hours worked, waiver completion, and areas of interest.

• Coordinate relationships between HGP staff and volunteers, including identifying staff needs for volunteers. Create and distribute job descriptions for needed volunteer positions in response to staff needs.

• Support social media, web and mass email initiatives.

• Provide tours and orientations to community members about HGP’s mission and goals, activities and volunteer opportunities.

• Manage HGP’s internship program, including for UC Santa Cruz undergraduates., and other regional and local universities.

• Lead the planning and implementation of large annual work days at the farm for 100+ volunteers, including Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Cesar Chavez Day.

• Manage the recruitment and training of ~50-100 volunteers to staff HGP’s annual holiday store from Thanksgiving to Christmas each year.

• Manage volunteer recognition activities, including bi-annual events.

• Develop new initiatives to enhance our community educational and service enterprise impacts

• Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications, Skills and Experience:

• Excellent communication, interpersonal, and relationship-building skills with diverse audiences through in-person, in writing, by phone, and via social media channels.

• Strong computing skills in database, spreadsheet, word processing, cloud-based applications, social media, online research and/or communication tools.

• Excellent organization and administration skills and experience with systems for maintaining personal and team focus and priorities.

• Enthusiastic and positive attitude toward helping others.

• Demonstrated ability to work independently, take initiative, and be resourceful within a collaborative group culture.

• Multicultural experience and/or competency.

• Flexibility and a sense of humor.

• Requires ability to occasionally work early morning hours, evening hours and weekends

The ideal candidate will also have the following preferred qualifications:

• At least one year of nonprofit volunteer management or community organizing experience.

• Demonstrated success in developing community partnerships and relationships.

• Existing strong connections and relationships in the Santa Cruz community.

• Experience in event planning.

• Experience working in agricultural and/or retail settings.


The annual compensation range for this position is $40,000 – $45,000. HGP offers health benefits as well as paid vacation, sick time, and holidays.


This position will be full-time, 40 hours per week, with occasional work required on weekends, holidays, and evenings.


Please send a cover letter and resume to Claude Rosen, Director of Operations, at clauder@homelessgardenproject.org. We will review materials and schedule interviews on a rolling basis

We are proud to be an equal opportunity workplace dedicated to cultivating a diverse and inclusive work environment. We believe that diversity is essential to achieving our mission.

HGP does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, or parental status. We strongly encourage people of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexualities, classes, and religious identities to apply.


Santa Cruz
Claude Rosen
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