Thanks to our strong community of Grace Farms enthusiasts, we’ve experienced increasing interest in volunteer opportunities here at Grace Farms Foundation. We’ve taken the opportunity to collect some of the most frequently asked questions about our volunteer program, so that we can provide the best information to our supporters interested in donating more of their time and energy to support our five initiatives and Grace Farms Foundation as a whole.
How does Grace Farms Foundation volunteering differ from the Foundation’s internships?
Our intern program is reserved for students, or others seeking credit for educational or enrichment purposes. While both the interns and volunteers go through an application process, the interns are first connected to our Human Resources department, while the volunteers are connected to our our volunteer management team. Interns also have a set schedule that is expected to be maintained, whereas our schedule for volunteers provides a little more flexibility based on the availability and personal preference of the volunteers.
If I am not available to volunteer on a regular basis, may I still be on the current list of Grace Farms volunteers?
Yes, because our volunteers are usually busy individuals focusing on several other projects in addition to donating their time to Grace Farms, we work closely with volunteers to ensure we can accommodate their schedules. Those with extremely limited schedules may even be able to assist with events or projects that can be done remotely without strict timelines. This flexibility allows us to be extremely inclusive and garner a strength in numbers that broadens the breadth and perspective of our volunteer community.
Do volunteers ever get hired for employment at Grace Farms?
While some of team has been hired as a result of starting within our volunteer program, volunteers should not come in with the expectation that their role as a volunteer will lead to full time employment. Everyone is welcome to browse our careers page for full and part-time opportunities.
What qualifications do volunteers need to have?
We ask that our volunteers have an understanding of Grace Farms that results in a familiarity with our programs and initiatives, and a personal vision of how their contributions at Grace Farms can help advance good in the world.
What characteristics/personality traits are you looking for in your volunteers?
Our most sought-after quality in volunteers is that they have the commitment and passion to want to volunteer for our organization. This often comes with an innate desire to provide grace and peace to our visitors, with an open, welcoming attitude, and sense of hospitality, as well as the flexibility to fill in wherever needed.
What steps are required to become a volunteer?
We often ask that before our volunteers fill out the volunteer application on our website, which can be found here, they also take some time to review the values we list on our careers page, here. Once we receive an application we review it as a team and, depending on our needs, will reach out to the applicant for an initial conversation. At that point, if it makes sense to move forward, the volunteer will fill out some standard paperwork and we’ll go through a quick informational session and orientation process reviewing the details of Grace Farms before they begin volunteering.
Can I match volunteer efforts to my interests?
We make a point of asking every volunteer about their specific interests as they relate to our initiatives, as well as provide the opportunity to list any specific skills that might contribute to their role as a volunteer at our organization. While we do our best to tailor each person’s volunteer position to their personal interests, there are very limited opportunities to contribute to a specific initiative, with the exception of certain initiative-driven events and programming that require day-of volunteers.
Is there an age requirement to be a volunteer?
The age requirement to volunteer as an individual through Grace farms is 16. However, we encourage people of all ages with an interest in our programming to find ways to join in as visitors, so that they have a greater familiarity with what we do when they reach an appropriate age to volunteer. In certain cases, such as special community projects that are orchestrated through other local organizations such as the New Canaan Chapter of National Charity League (NCL) or New Canaan High Schools Service League of Boys (SLOBs), we will work with volunteers who are under 16, but this is the exception to the rule.