As a community-based organization, the GLBT Historical Society relies on the dedicated efforts of a legion of enthusiastic volunteers. You can get involved with the exciting and important work of preserving and interpreting LGBTQ history! Donate your time for projects and tasks that appeal to your skills and interests.
Why become a volunteer?
Volunteers have a unique opportunity to learn about the GLBT Historical Society’s history, operations and collections, contribute to preserving LGBTQ history for generations to come and meet people from all over the world. In addition, volunteering comes with a number of benefits, including the following:
30% discount on merchandise in the museum store and online.
Invitations to biannual volunteer appreciation parties and additional celebrations.
Please read the descriptions below for information about available volunteer opportunities and how to apply. If your application meets our needs, we will contact you about next steps, including interview, orientation and training.
Already a volunteer? Log in here to view your schedule, sign up for shifts, and more!
Museum & Event Volunteers
As a museum or events volunteer, there are many different ways you can help the GLBT Historical Society. Read below to find out about specific roles.
Museum Front Desk
Museum front desk volunteers interact with visitors from around the world. They greet guests, explain exhibits, answer questions, and sell tickets, memberships and merchandise. Front desk volunteers are expected to perform the following tasks, serving as:
Host: Welcome visitors, ask where they are visiting from and how they heard about us, and actively engage with each guest.
Guide: Provide information about current museum exhibitions and events and answer general inquiries about the museum and the GLBT Historical Society.
Receptionist: Answer phone calls and distribute event/programming information.
Liaison: Connect the public to GLBT Historical Society staff members, field questions about local landmarks and give directions when requested.
Cashier: Charge museum admission, sell memberships and gift-shop items, and maintain proper merchandise inventory and storage.
Museum volunteers must be at least 18 years old and commit to at least two shifts of two to three hours each per month during our normal business hours (Monday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sunday 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.). New volunteers will receive an orientation and training.
Events & Outreach
Volunteers can also help with our public programs that take place at the museum, such as panel discussions and exhibition openings. This usually involves checking in visitors, selling tickets, providing beverages and helping with set-up and clean-up. Our events typically occur Thursday or Friday evenings from 6:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Volunteers may also staff booths or tables at Pride, the Folsom Street Fair, other outreach events, and fundraising events and parties, including our annual Gala and membership drive.
Interested in becoming a Museum and Events volunteer? Please fill out our application form by clicking the button below.
Volunteers in the archives help our staff process collections, create finding aids and catalog records, sort ephemera and periodicals, and assist with collection surveying and digitization. We are looking for volunteers who have experience working or researching in archives, or who have or are completing a graduate-level degree in library and information science or related fields. Volunteers in the archives must be at least 18 years old and commit to at least six hours per week during our normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.) for a period of at least three months. If you are interested in becoming an archives volunteer, please email your résumé and cover letter detailing your interest and any relevant work experience to Kelsi Evans, director of archives and special collections.
Most of the exhibitions mounted by the GLBT Historical Society are curated by members of the public based on their interests and expertise. Click here for more information about community curators.
The GLBT Historical Society’s Working Groups are advisory and operational bodies that carry out designated functions focused on key initiatives. Volunteers on the Working Groups commit to a more sustained level of involvement in the society. Click here for more information about the Working Groups.
Photo: Marie Ueda, Disabled gay rights contingent at the 1977 San Francisco Gay Freedom Day, 1977, Marie Ueda photographs (2006-12), GLBT Historical Society