Benefits of Volunteering
Volunteering supports the Exploratorium and promotes hands-on science, artistic expression, and educational innovation. Volunteers contribute to the community while gaining additional experience and new skills. They get to know each other at gatherings and special events and by sharing their ideas and experiences via an e-mail list. Volunteers may also attend and participate in lunchtime “Brown Bags” and film screenings at the museum. Individual volunteers sometimes host events or parties in order to keep in touch.
By engaging in the wide variety of volunteer opportunities possible at the museum, volunteers gain technical knowledge, learn how to work with the public, develop teaching skills, and refine work habits and management techniques. You may choose to enhance your resume by listing the experience and skills you’ve gained through volunteer work at the Exploratorium.
Though working as a volunteer at the Exploratorium doesn’t guarantee being hired for a paid position, volunteers with appropriate qualifications occasionally apply for available, paid staff positions. In the past, volunteers have been offered paid positions.
While the museum doesn’t pay volunteers, it does offer other benefits, depending on the number of hours a volunteer accumulates. After a volunteer accumulates 40 hours, he or she receives a one-year museum membership with associated benefits, including a 20 percent discount at the Exploratorium Store.
All volunteers receive the following:
- A 20 percent discount at the Exploratorium café
- Invitations to Exploratorium “Brown Bags”: During a lunch hour, visiting scholars, artists, and scientists present overviews of their current projects and answer questions
- Invitations to Volunteer Department gatherings, including a special-recognition event, usually held in April
- Free admission to special events through promotions received by the Marketing Department
- Use of the Volunteer Lounge, including microwave and refrigerator
- If you itemize deductions on your federal and state tax forms, you may be able to claim a deduction for automobile mileage, tolls, BART, or MUNI fares
- Are you a senior? You may be eligible for mileage reimbursement and bus passes from RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program). For more information, visit http://www.seniorcorps.org/joining/rsvp