Olympia Film Society

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Mission Statement

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Volunteer Handbook


Volunteers are the heart of Olympia Film Society (OFS). Every movie we screen (roughly 17 per week) is staffed by Volunteers. That adds up to more than a hundred Volunteers each week. And that's only the beginning. Volunteers also play a crucial role in theater maintenance, housekeeping, graphic design, web design, promotion, film selection, and administration. Not to mention our Volunteer Board of Directors (BOD).


Volunteers operate under the supervision of the Volunteer Coordinator (VC), according to the policies, principles, practices, and budget of the Olympia Film Society.


Any person may request to volunteer at OFS by contacting the VC and/or using our online Volunteer Management System (VMS). All requests to volunteer will be reviewed on a non-discriminatory basis (see Non-Discrimination policy in our Bylaws). Training is required. OFS reserves the right to refuse Volunteer requests.


     1. ABOUT

OFS uses an online database (the VMS) to schedule and track volunteer activities. All volunteers are required to use the VMS to sign up for, confirm or decline shifts.


Once you are logged in to the VMS, click on Sign-Up, then click on an Activity to view & select available shifts. Save your selections. You can view your schedule on the Assignments page. If everything looks correct, please Confirm your shifts to ensure that we have our signals straight.


Hours logging is also required. Board/Committee and Office/Admin Volunteers log their own hours (on the Hours Log page). Film/Event volunteer hours are logged by Lobby Supervisors and House Managers.

     4. BACK-UP LIST

While you are logged in to the VMS, click on Sign-Up, then click on an Activity. At the bottom of the screen you can click "Add me to the back-up list in case you ever need extras." You may be contacted if we are short-handed, or if another volunteer is looking for a sub.


If you are unable to make your shift, simply Decline that shift on the Assignments page of the VMS. You are not required to find a sub, but we encourage you to do so, via email, phone, or in person. It's another way you can help support OFS.

     a) Email - Compose a personalized request for a sub, send it to the VC and they will forward it along to the appropriate volunteers.

     b) Phone - The VC can email you a phone list of potential subs.

If you are able to find a sub, just ask them to sign up on the VMS. In many cases, a volunteer will claim the shift without any urging.

Please note, you will not be able to Decline a shift on the VMS within 24 hours of the start time. Instead, please call our Emergency Call-Out Hotline at 360.350.2292.



The Volunteer Blog is a resource for all Volunteer news, information, updates, changes, announcements, reminders, etc. The idea is to have all the important info in one place, archived and searchable online. Please check the Volunteer Blog on a regular basis, especially prior to your shift.


If you are interested in volunteering as a Projectionist, Lobby Supervisor, Box Office cashier, Concessionaire, or Ticket Tearer, we encourage you to commit to a Weekly (recurring) shift. Having a regular shift makes scheduling easier on everyone, helps develop teamwork, and puts you on track to earn Perks.

To inquire about a Weekly shift or find out what is currently available, contact the VC.

     3. PRIVACY

OFS does not sell, trade or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. We may release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with law, enforce our policies, or to protect our or others rights, property or safety.


OFS tools such as the VMS, social media accounts, and official email accounts contain privileged information and are strictly to be used for OFS business.

     5. MINORS

Any Volunteer under the age of 18 either needs to be accompanied by a parent/guardian or provide written permission from a parent/guardian.


For safety reasons, please notify the VC if you have any special needs, disabilities, or serious medical conditions.



Volunteers can gain experience and develop skills to list on job applications and resumés. With permission, an OFS staff member can be used as professional reference. You can also request a letter of recommendation.


Volunteers who have completed their shift and been released by their OFS supervisor are allowed to enter the film/event that is taking place. This perk is non-transferable; it only applies to the film/event that the volunteer helped operate. Subject to space limitations.

     3. GOODIES

Have a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate from the Volunteer Goodies cabinet in the Mezzanine Lounge. Unless you are a Projectionist, ID Checker, or Security, please wait until after your shift.


Volunteers who complete 16 hours of service (separate from hours completed in exchange for Show Cards, if applicable) will receive a Membership Card, valid for 1 year. Volunteers can also opt to purchase a Membership Card at any time.

Membership Card holders receive:

  • Discounts on film admission and certain OFS concerts and special events*
  • A subscription to the OFS weekly email newsletter
  • A subscription to the OFS program guide, mailed to you every 6 weeks, if requested
  • Entrance to members-only screenings and events*
  • Voting rights at the annual OFS membership meeting and Board election*
  • Recognition in the annual Olympia Film Festival program guide
  • Discounts at our partner theaters nationwide*

     *Please present your Membership Card at the box office.

Additional benefits apply to higher level members. Please see our website for more details.

     5. SHOW CARD

Show Cards are available to OFS Members only.

Members who complete 16 hours of service (separate from hours completed in exchange for a Membership Card, if applicable) will receive a Show Card, valid for 3 months from the date of issue.

Volunteer another 16 hours, turn in your old Show Card and receive a new one, valid for 3 months from the date of issue. Repeat.

Unless otherwise advertised by OFS, Show Cards may only be used for:

  • Unlimited free film admission with one accompanying guest

  • A spot on the guest list for special events - such as live performances, one-time film screenings, theater rentals, and festivals. Subject to availability.
 Does not include a plus one.

  • 20% discount on concessions & merchandise - not including alcohol.

Show Cards are non transferable. The person named on the Show Card must be present and attending the event in order to use the card. Show Cards hold no monetary value.

Show Card holders can get discounted admission at participating movie theaters.

Additional benefits may be added at the discretion of the Executive Director (ED).


OFS appreciates the contribution freely given by its volunteers. Our sustainability rests on the values and standards maintained by our staff and volunteers. Together they represent the organization to the public. This section explains the process by which OFS staff can assist volunteers in providing quality service. It also describes the actions that will be taken in the rare event when a volunteer does not meet OFS standards for conduct and reliability.


In cases of unsatisfactory performance or misconduct, the VC will meet with the Volunteer to discuss how the Volunteer could make improvements and/or adjust their behavior.

If the unsatisfactory performance persists or the misconduct recurs, the VC will fill out a VC Notice. The VC will give copies of the completed VC Notice to the Volunteer and the Executive Director. Any Volunteer who receives three VC Notices will be dismissed and have their Show Card revoked.

Types of unsatisfactory performance include but are not limited to:

     a) Incomplete tasks or gross inaccuracy

     b) Poor customer service

     c) Poor communication with direct supervisor or Staff

     d) Negligence or failure to follow OFS policies and/or procedures

Types of misconduct include but are not limited to:

     a) Lack of cooperation, or undermining Staff or Volunteers

     b) Disruptive, rude, disrespectful, or negative behavior toward anyone

     c) No Call No Show or canceling a shift within 24 hours of start time for a non-emergency/illness

     d) Tardiness or leaving early

Certain types of misconduct will result in immediate dismissal and loss of your Show Card, including but not limited to: 

     a) Illegal activities

     b) Abusive behavior, such as physical violence, threats, bullying, or name calling

     c) Sexual harassment (see sexual harassment policy)

     d) Bringing firearms or weapons into the theater

     e) Theft or misuse of OFS property, resources, or privileged/confidential information

     f)  Intoxication from alcohol or any drug

     2. APPEALS

Volunteers who have been dismissed may make a written appeal to the ED within 7 days of receipt of the third and final VC Notice. The ED may meet separately with the VC and the Volunteer before making a decision. If there is a meeting, the Volunteer may be accompanied to the meeting by a support person of their own choosing.  

The ED will convey their decision to the VC and the Volunteer within 7 days of meeting with the Volunteer. The ED's decision is final.

If the ED was one of the parties involved in the incident that led to dismissal, the Executive Committee will handle the appeal.


See Conflict Resolution Policy.


The VC is responsible for making sure all volunteers receive a digital or paper copy of this Volunteer Handbook.


This document is subject to change at the discretion of the ED.

DRAFT prepared by Volunteer Coordinator - 6 feb 2015
Revised by VC with input from EC, Staff & Volunteers - 9 feb - 13 mar 2015