- Markham Group of Artists Volunteer Policy - Spring 2023
- What kinds of volunteer tasks does MGA offer?
- How does MGA find its volunteers?
- Executive Roles
- Director Roles
Markham Group of Artists Volunteer Policy - Spring 2023
MGA is non-profit, community organisation run by an elected group of members in service of its broader membership - there are no paid positions on the leadership team. An organisation like this can only be successful with many voices and hands, and volunteers are the heartbeat of our group.
Our key MGA values also underpin our volunteer involvement as we:
- conduct ourselves with the highest level of integrity and fairness;
- ensure fair and equitable access to MGA art shows, sales, events, and projects; and
- engage respectfully with artists of all abilities, ethnicities, backgrounds and beliefs.
What kinds of volunteer tasks does MGA offer?
MGA offers an array of workshops and lectures, and stages a variety of shows in the community on an annual basis. In support of building an increasingly diverse membership, MGA also explores other ways of engaging with the public (e.g., via digital platforms and social media).
As MGA seeks to increase exposure and reach within the community, our expanding programming requires the help of unpaid volunteers, and opportunities are plentiful for members to lend a hand. Many examples of volunteer tasks and responsibilities include smaller, one-off tasks - but don’t let these fool you...while these tasks take small amounts of time, they are incredibly important in our overall success. We love the notion that “many hands make light work”. Examples include:
- Calling to arrange catering for an event
- Reaching out to an artist to determine interest in holding a workshop
- Talking to a local store owner/proprietor/restauranteur to gauge interest in showing our member art
- Helping set up at a members’ meeting/workshop/event (no lifting)
- Door greeter at a members’ meeting/event
- Sitting for a 3-hour time slot at an in-person gallery show
- Posting something on your social media account
How does MGA find its volunteers?
MGA invites members to volunteer throughout the year through monthly newsletters and through specific “call for volunteer” emails. MGA also reaches out into the local community as needed (e.g., as in the case of high school students). MGA accepts volunteers from ages 16+ and will only assign volunteers to tasks based on the volunteer’s comfort level and abilities.
Volunteers can expect:
- A clear and realistic description of the duties and task(s) and expected timelines for completion
- A member of the MGA team to provide training for the duties and tasks
- A named, MGA contact person who can answer any questions, address concerns, and/or problem-solve during the completion of the task(s)
- To be consulted in any decision which affects them;
- To be compensated for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred upon submission of receipts as long as these expenses have been pre-approved by their MGA contact person. The MGA contact will provide clear guidelines for expense reimbursement.
- To be adequately covered by MGA insurance while carrying out the agreed duties
What MGA will expect of its volunteers:
- To undertake volunteer work at agreed times;
- To provide feedback to the MGA contact about their volunteering experience (MGA is always open and looking for improvements to the way it operates);
- To inform MGA contact ASAP if unable to fulfil tasks;
- To give some notice to MGA contact if unable to continue volunteering (applicable for duties that extend over time); and,
- To act in alignment with MGA values.
On the basis of their volunteer work with MGA, volunteers will have the right to request a reference.
This Volunteer Policy will be reviewed for accuracy and relevance every 2 years. This current version was created March 2023.
The President is key in creating and sustaining the vision, mission, and values for the evolution of MGA and in providing leadership in the management, development, and advancement of this not-for-profit group.
- Networking with local artist councils, groups, and independent art organizations with the goal of generating new members and opportunities for existing members
- Identifying potential funding sources for art projects, exhibitions, juried shows, and other member opportunities
- Locating local opportunities for members to market their work
- Chairing meetings, but may periodically designate another member of the Executive to assume this duty
- Updating the Executive members on activities and opportunities
The responsibilities of the Vice-President consist largely of supporting the President’s efforts in advancing MGA.
- Collaborating with the president on creating and sustaining the MGA vision, mission, and values
- Assisting in the management, development, and advancement of MGA goals
- Creating initiatives that build upon the networking, funding, and marketing opportunities identified by the President
- Performing the responsibilities of the President in the President’s absence
- Liaising with the executive and the membership
The Secretary will attend Executive meetings and will prepare agendas and minutes for all Executive and General Meetings and will post the minutes to the website.
The Treasurer manages the finances of our group, both income and expenses:
- Receiving, depositing, and recording all cheques and cash
- Recording payments against invoices on the website
- Issuing cheques and securing a second authorization signature
- Maintaining records of all receipts and expenditures
- Reporting financial status at each Executive meeting and all General Meetings
- Issuing member refunds as required and updating the invoices appropriately
- Managing the accounts receivable
- Reconciling the bank statement to the website invoices and credit card processor reports
- Creating annual financial statements
- Managing insurance
The Registrar inducts new members into the group and maintains the member database on the website. Responsibilities of the Registrar include:
- Monitoring the registration page for new members and renewals
- Registering members who have no Internet access
- Assisting members with website log-in as required
- Keeping track of renewal and non-renewal of membership
- Creating the annual membership list
- Sending to new members the welcome letter, membership card, and instructions for uploading images to the inventory
- Obtaining the members’ website address and adding to the members’ rosters
The Show/Sales Director is responsible for working with the show team in the scheduling and execution of group shows. The Annual Juried Show historically occurs in May at the McKay Art Centre; non-juried show in the fall occur at an available venue.
- Setting dates and securing locations for juried and non-juried shows
- Working with the Show Team and Communications Director to decide on show titles, theme, etc.
- Finding/hiring an impartial juror for the shows; coordinating with the juror
- Organizing shows: set up and tear down schedules, hosting schedules
- Working with the Communications Director to create a communications plan for the show: call to artists, advertising collateral, signage, social media messaging, etc.
The Programs Director is responsible for coordinating with the Programs team in the scheduling and execution of programming for MGA. Such programming may include but is not limited to demonstrations, art talks, workshops, and other group activities.
- Planning a balanced program for the given season
- Contacting artists, securing dates, booking the venues, and negotiating fees
- Establishing the member and non-member fees for workshops (dependent on cost of venue + instructor fee)
- Gathering descriptions of presentations from the artists, images of the artists and their work and biographical information for introductions
- Providing event and activities descriptions to the Communications Director for website and social media posting in time to meet deadlines
- Monitoring enrollments
- Cancelling workshops when enrollments are not sufficient and communicating this to enrollees
- Providing the Treasurer with a list costs, including artist and room booking fees
- Conducting feedback surveys
Media and Communications Director
The Communications Director is key in sustaining the MGA community through the sharing of information and for enabling outreach to the Markham community and beyond. The Communications Director coordinates with the Communications Team and the Executive Committee. The Director ensures that the communication of information of interest to members and the arts community at large is done in a timely fashion through approved channels and according to the guidelines provided by the Executive.
- Sharing hosting responsibilities for the MGA online community (e.g., ZOOM chats)
- Coaching and supervising student volunteers on posting on social media
- Creating surveys and sharing the results with the leadership team
- Creating communications plans for MGA events: advertising, website updates, social media messaging
- Creating advertising copy for larger MGA events: signage, etc.
- Communicating information about costs to the Treasurer prior to making expenditures
- Coordinating with the Communications Team, consisting of:
- Newsletter/Email Coordinator: responsible for creating the monthly Communique newsletter and for sending timely messages to the membership regarding events and other group business
- Publicity Coordinator: responsible for publicizing MGA activities to the Markham community and beyond when appropriate; for sending weekly (as required) updates for the Don Hamilton Newsletter; for creating press releases and sending them to publications
- Social Media Student Volunteers: responsible for maintaining our social media platforms, posting notices of group events in a timely manner, posting on a daily basis images of artwork in our shows, monitoring the Facebook Forum twice weekly
- Website Manager: responsible for updating content on the website in a timely manner, educating members on how to use the members’ portal, uploading the minutes to the website, communicating with the Website Administrator regarding upgrades, functionality, and other website matters; publishing the descriptions for MGA events on the website in time to meet enrollment deadlines; posting event cancellation notices in a timely manner