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Visitor Services Volunteers (VSV)

 Visitor Services Volunteers (VSV)

Employment Status: Volunteer

Who We Are: From the captivating life of Marjorie Merriweather Post to the exquisitely maintained mansion and gardens, the Hillwood experience outshines even the Fabergé Eggs. We’re a passionate organization, proud of our reputation as one of Washington’s top cultural destinations. Our mission is to delight and engage visitors with an experience inspired by the life of founder Marjorie Post and her passion for excellence, gracious hospitality, art, history, and gardens.

Time Commitment:

    • While Hillwood has both weekday and weekend openings, we are primarily seeking candidates with flexible weekend availability.

    • VSVs serve 2-4 shifts per month equating to approximately 100 service hours annually.

    • Shifts are 4-hours in length from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 1-5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Some evening shifts are available throughout the year. 

    • Attend volunteer continuing education sessions and participate in periodic reviews

What You’ll Do: VSVs are integral members of Hillwood’s volunteer cohort who provide customer service and interpretation to museum visitors in the visitor center and mansion. The main duties include:


  1. Visitor Orientations (approximately 50% of your time)

    • Welcome and greet visitors at the tour desk in the visitor center

    • Provide information and directions

    • Orient visitors and explain daily touring and programming options

    • Distribute tickets for docent-led mansion and garden tours

    • Distribute and explain the operation of audio tour equipment

    • Answer Hillwood-related and general questions


  1. Mansion On-station Service (approximately 50% of your time)

    • Provide directions to visitors

    • Answer specific questions about the mansion and objects in the collection

    • Review audio tour use

    • Facilitate the collection of tickets and movement of visitors for the docent-led tours

    • Assist Security with the mansion coat room


  1. Other Duties As Assigned (as needed basis)

    • During high-volume days, serve as a greeter checking in pre-paid visitors in the visitor center and directing them to the tour desk.

    • During special evening and weekend programs, serve on-station in various locations throughout the estate performing specific visitor service duties and assisting with public programming.

    • Assist with administrative duties, such as the preparation of occasional mailings to members.

Membership: In addition to our strong volunteer cohort, Hillwood also has a vital membership program, which supports our efforts to share the legacy of Marjorie Merriweather Post. For volunteers beginning after September 1, 2018, maintaining an active Hillwood membership at any level is required to serve as an active volunteer. This step further deepens our volunteers’ engagement with Hillwood and allows volunteers to strengthen their roles as Hillwood ambassadors. Volunteers can join or renew their membership by calling 202.686.5807 or visiting the membership page of Hillwood’s website


Who You Are: To be successful in this volunteer role, you will demonstrate the enthusiasm, energy, and judgement required to deliver the best possible experience for Hillwood’s visitors.


More specifically, you will be most of the following:

  • A warm, empathetic, and enthusiastic communicator

  • Bring a flexible, patient, and positive outlook

  • Commitment to, enthusiasm for, and comfort with conversing with a diverse range of people

  • Detail oriented

  • Able to meet the yearly time commitment

  • Timely and responsive in correspondence via email and phone

  • Basic comfort level with and regular use of email and computers

  • Interested in learning about decorative arts, the collection, and founder

  • Demonstrate a commitment to the spirit of Hillwood’s mission, vision, and interpretive messages, and keeps them at the forefront of all endeavors

Organizational Relationships: 


  • Reports to the Head of Volunteer Services & Engagement

  • Collaborates with Visitor Services and Interpretation staff

  • Interacts with staff, fellow volunteers, and visitors of all ages

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those a volunteer encounters while performing the essential functions of the volunteer role. While volunteering a VSV is regularly required to communicate professionally in person, over the telephone, through email and other electronic means, stand for extended periods of time, ascend/descend stairs, move about their volunteer area, between buildings, and the campus grounds, and visually or otherwise identify, observe and assess.


Notice: The preceding volunteer description has been designed to indicate the general nature and essential duties and responsibilities of work performed by a VSV. It may not contain a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of volunteers to do this role.


To Apply:  We are a progressive, equal opportunity organization and all interested parties are encouraged to apply. So, volunteer “Where Fabulous Lives!” For prompt consideration, please submit your online application via the Jobs & volunteering page via Hillwood’s website