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Volunteer Programs Manager

  • Full Time
  • Portland, Oregon
  • $49,000 - $55,000/year USD / Year
  • Salary: $49,000 - $55,000/year
  • COVID vaccination and booster required upon hire

Website PDXJapaneseGdn Portland Japanese Garden

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in Portland, Oregon.

Portland Japanese Garden – a 501(c)(3) non-profit in Portland, Oregon – is hiring for a full-time Volunteer Programs Manager. The Garden is fortunate to have the support of dedicated volunteers in the roles of Tour Guides, Art Docents, Bonsai Docents, Horticultural Support, Garden Monitors, Special Event Support, and Administrative Support. In total, Garden volunteers donated 7,000 hours of their time last year.

The Volunteer Programs Manager is responsible for all volunteer management and cultivation, oversight of the Tour and Volunteer Coordinator, and will participate in volunteer solicitation as a member of the Philanthropy team. This position is ideal for an experienced and dynamic volunteer professional with demonstrated organizational skills and a passion for building and stewarding relationships with volunteers who generously donate their time to support Portland Japanese Garden. An interest in Philanthropy is also a plus.

The Volunteer Programs Manager reports to the Director of Philanthropy and will work from the primary Garden campus, in the Volunteer Office, located at 611 SW Kingston Avenue.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy: For the safety of our staff, volunteers, and guests, Portland Japanese Garden requires all staff and volunteers to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, including the initial booster. Candidates must be fully vaccinated by their hire date and must provide proof of vaccination upon hire.

Primary Duties 

Volunteer Administration

  • Manage Portland Japanese Garden’s portfolio of 200 volunteers
  • Work with departments across the Garden to fill volunteer roles as Tour Guides, Art Docents, Bonsai Docents, Horticultural Support, Garden Monitors, Special Event Support, and Administrative Support
  • Oversee volunteer recruitment, orientation, and placement
  • Create and manage the calendar of volunteer communications
  • Create and manage the Volunteer Department budget
  • Collaborate with staff to develop meaningful volunteer opportunities
  • Work with Culture, Art, and Education departments to develop and implement Guide Training and continuing education programs like docent orientations.
  • Create training manuals, written and digital training, and onboarding materials for volunteer programs
  • Diversify volunteer programs, ensuring volunteers reflect the community we serve
  • Manage disputes between volunteers
  • Educate oneself to have knowledge and confidence to give tours of Portland Japanese Garden


Staff Management Responsibilities

  • Provide ongoing supervision and coaching for the Tour and Volunteer Coordinator
  • Support the Tour and Volunteer Coordinator in overseeing group sales and tours
  • Support the Tour and Volunteer Coordinator in booking and managing school tours
  • Maintain a high degree of discretion and confidentiality in dealing with sensitive information


Donor/Volunteer Cultivation and Solicitation

  • Manage all volunteer cultivation and stewardship
  • Develop and implement volunteer recognition programs, including an annual appreciation event and quarterly newsletter
  • Develop new types of tours to increase volunteer involvement, drive membership and visitor engagement
  • Foster friendships between volunteers and employees
  • Create in partnership with the Director of Philanthropy an annual appeal to volunteers
  • Oversee stewardship, prospecting, and solicitation of non-board volunteer donors
  • In collaboration with the Institutional Giving Manager, work with corporate partners to develop corporate volunteer program and encourage matching gifts


Other Responsibilities  

  • Learn about Japanese culture and art as opportunities arise in the organization
  • Familiarize oneself with the organization and the Employee Handbook
  • Get to know fellow staff members, developing trust, establishing credibility, encouraging teamwork, and creating an atmosphere of open, honest, two-way communication
  • Maintain a high level of professionalism in manner and appearance
  • Adhere to Garden Dress Code (business casual)
  • Other duties and projects as assigned



Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every one of the qualifications as described in a job description. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the position, and that candidate may be one who comes from a less traditional background. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to think broadly about your background and qualifications for this role.

  • Minimum 5 years volunteer experience, with a proven record of success (in a public garden, museum, cultural center, or performing arts organization is preferred, but not required)
  • Minimum 3 years of staff management experience
  • Bachelor’s degree is preferred
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with a proven track record of working well with others, adapting to others’ work styles, and professional interactions with co-workers and/or vendors
  • Exemplary organizational skills, with the ability to manage multiple tasks and competing priorities
  • Experience with program budgeting and an understanding of financial statements
  • Strong listening skills, giving full attention to what other people are saying or asking, taking time to understand the points being made, and asking questions when appropriate
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office and donor and volunteer databases (Tessitura and Volgistics preferred)


Special Requirements

  • Must be able to work efficiently in an open and busy office environment
  • Must be able to remain in a stationary position and/or move about the Garden for several hours
  • Must be able to navigate all areas of the Garden for guest tours and various events
  • Being bilingual in any language is a plus
  • Valid driver’s license and ODL background check
  • Some evening and weekend work required


Compensation & Schedule

  • Salary: $49,000-$55,000/year, depending on experience
  • This is a full-time, salaried position, 40 – 45 hours per week. The schedule is generally 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Occasional weekend or evening work is required to support special events.
  • Benefits:
    • Health, dental, and vision insurance (premium 100% covered for employees)
    • 401k plan (after 6 months, with 4% employer match after 1 year)
    • Flexible spending accounts for medical and dependent care expenses
    • Paid vacation, sick, and holiday time
    • Free access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)



The Garden is located at 611 SW Kingston Avenue, in Washington Park. Below are the transportation options for staff commuting to the Garden:

  • Parking: Staff may park in the numbered spaces throughout Washington Park, which require payment. The cost is $8/day, or staff may request parking permits from Washington Park. The Garden subsidizes a portion of the cost for parking permits; the cost for staff is $75 during the high season (March – September) and $50 during the low season (October – February).
  • Bus Passes: For staff who take public transit as their primary means of commuting to the Garden, we provide paid bus passes. Full-time staff receive a monthly TriMet pass, and part-time staff receive daily passes, based on their work schedule
  • Transportation Stipend: Staff who take any form of alternative transit to get to work qualify for a $5 daily stipend. This includes taking public transit, walking, biking, carpooling, or getting dropped off. The only staff who do not qualify for the stipend are those who are receiving a bus pass through the Garden



To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and three work-related references. Please also submit a written sample of 200 words answering the prompt:

How did you first get involved in working with volunteers, and what has kept you in this field?

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please no phone calls or hand delivered applications. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

To apply for this job please visit