From the beginning, volunteers have been a critical element of the Foundation’s success as operator of the Future of Flight facility and provider of numerous special events and educational programs.
In 2006, the Foundation had 33 volunteers who contributed a total of 3,538 hours of work. They staffed the visitor information desk and served as Gallery attendants, answering visitors’ questions and helping at the design-your-own-airplane activity. Ed Kaplanian began supervising the volunteers in November 2007. In January 2013 the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau took over management of the volunteers working at the information desk (many of whom also volunteered with the bureau).
Today, volunteers also help out at the Foundation’s fundraising and other events, in addition to performing a variety of behind-the-scenes tasks such as donor acknowledgments, data entry, grant research and writing, and preparation of newsletters and other communications. In 2015 over 50 volunteers were helping the Foundation. The contributions of the Foundation’s volunteers are irreplaceable – and there are always opportunities for new volunteers.
In 2014 the Board of Directors approved a policy providing Future of Flight memberships to all volunteers who contribute 20 hours or more annually. In addition, the recruiting criteria and onboarding of volunteers improved with background checks, references, and an interview. In 2015 the staff developed a new category of volunteers called Ambassadors that makes use of local service groups, school clubs, and other organizations to help with tasks such as setting up for large events and registering attendees.