Cheers to Penny Senften, Manhattan Arts Center
The Manhattan Arts Center touches its community in more ways than one. The organization promotes the arts and orchestrates several events for community members. Penny Senften shares how MAC relies on VolunteerSpot to lend a helping hand with their volunteer work!
Tell us about your organization and volunteer needs.
We are a volunteer-driven community arts center with a very small staff. Volunteers run most of our programs. Our programs include community theatre, a music series, children’s programs, gallery exhibits, educational programs and outreach programs. Some of our 200 or so volunteers have been with us for years, some come to help with one program and then move on. They help with office work, organize and hang gallery exhibits and arrange opening receptions, cover the front-of-house tasks for theatre and music events (house manager, box office, ushers), plan and carry out special events, and much more!
Explain how you use VolunteerSpot to coordinate these volunteers.
We e-mail specific groups of volunteers who have an interest in a particular program – e.g. theatre, or gallery exhibits - and ask them to sign up either online or through the office. The tasks range manning the box office and ushering to staffing our galleries on Saturdays and helping with sales during our annual art exhibit and sale. Some tasks involve less than an hour, some several hours, although we break up longer stints to make them more manageable. We also gained several excellent volunteers through our website.
Why did you decide to use VolunteerSpot?
Signing up with VolunteerSpot is easy and gives volunteers control. They can check their own commitments, swap times, and also receive a reminder. No password is needed! It’s easy for the coordinator to set up, and the “group pages” are excellent as volunteers can see what other volunteer opportunities an organization has.
What’s one piece of advice you have for volunteers or their leaders out there?
Volunteering has to be enjoyable and rewarding. We want our volunteers to be here when they can and want to be here. And you can’t say “thank you” too many times!
Anything else you’d like our readers to know about your organization or volunteering?
Not everyone wants to use an online system, so we always include the opportunity to call or e-mail the office and have us do the online part. We also like all messages to volunteers to be personal, so have the coordinator sign them by name.
We salute Penny and all the other teachers and volunteers making a difference in their communities. Check out how VolunteerSpot’s Volunteer Software can save you time and stress and boost parent involvement in your school. Take a tour today!