Volunteer FAQ

Interested in volunteering? Sign up here.

  1. What are the possible volunteer opportunities during the festival?

    Most of our festival volunteers assist EFF staff at film screenings by handing out Festival programs, tracking attendance, and providing general event assistance. Additional festival volunteers act as photographers, social media correspondents and videographers (resume required).

  2. What is the required commitment to volunteer during the Festival?

    Screening volunteers are required to sign up for a minimum of 5 screening events. Special Assignment volunteers sign up for a minimum of 20 hours of service. Some of these volunteers begin as early as March 1.

  3. What is the time commitment for a screening assignment?

    Volunteers arrive at least 45 minutes prior to a screening to greet and seat guests, hand out Festival programs and take tickets or confirm registration at certain venues and assist our venue partners after the program. Depending upon the film length and whether there are any speakers or discussion following the film, a volunteer can typically expect to spend from 2-4 hours at each event. You should ensure you are comfortable being on your feet for fairly long periods of time without sitting down.

  4. How are my Festival assignments made?

    Volunteers selected for the 2016 team will be asked to submit their preferences for a minimum of 5 screening events. We do our best to accommodate volunteers’ schedules in filling screenings needs. We use the information you provide on the application to make scheduling decisions.

  5. EFF is such a great organization that I’d love to help out all year. Can I?

    Yes! EFF is a year-round endeavor that holds film screenings and special events throughout the year. In addition to assisting with these events, volunteers can work with EFF staff in a number of key areas, such as Fundraising, Public Relations, Media Production, Administration, and Programming (reviewing films for consideration in the Festival).

  6. What benefits will I get from Volunteering?

    As part of the DCEFF Volunteers team, you will have an impact on one of the coolest events in DC. Volunteers, who successfully complete their assignments, are invited to attend a special “Volunteer Thank You” event shortly after the Festival ends.

    Free food and drink, plus gifts and surprises are in store.

    As a volunteer, you will be able to discover your own hidden talents, as you learn the elements behind producing a massive, annual festival. You’ll also have the pleasure of knowing that your efforts make a difference, because the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital would not be possible without dedicated volunteers, like YOU!         

  7. What is the time commitment as a year-round volunteer?

    Year-round volunteers generally commit to a minimum of 25 hours outside of March. This group of volunteers is invited to the April Volunteer Thank You event, and may be included in other events during the year. They also receive an EFF volunteer T-shirt.

  8. How do I find out if I’m accepted as a Festival Volunteer?

    Volunteers are notified within 48 hours. You will be required to attend a Volunteer Orientation. We begin scheduling as soon as you are accepted as a volunteer.

  9. When is the Volunteer Orientation Meeting and what happens at this meeting?

    We schedule two options for volunteers to attend an orientation meeting early in March, about two weeks before the Festival’s Opening Day. During the 1-hour (or less) briefing, volunteers will receive their Festival T-shirt, badge, Festival assignments and instructions for completing assignments. A number of EFF staff members and the Volunteer Manager will be on hand to review the materials and answer questions volunteers might have.

  10. What if I miss the Volunteer Orientation Meeting?

    It is vitally important that all volunteers make their best effort to attend. If not, volunteers should make arrangements to pick up their volunteer packet as soon as possible after the meeting, from the EFF office. Your final schedule and all materials should be reviewed right away and any questions directed immediately to the Volunteer Coordinator. We will not confirm your assignments until this requirement is met.

  11. Will I get to see the Festival films when I volunteer?

    We make every attempt for volunteers to see the film screenings that they are assigned to work. Generally, open seats can be taken by volunteers within the starting minutes of the film.

  12. I want to see other films during the Festival—Any advice?

    As soon as the EFF program goes live on the website, usually in late January or early February, make your selections and secure your tickets and/or reservations early. Many screenings are sold out or fully reserved in the first few weeks. If it is a first-come, first-seated program and/or an event with no ticket sales or advance registration, we encourage you to arrive early. Many audience members will start lining up more than 30 minutes before screenings, depending upon the film showing and size of the venue.

  13. Does my volunteer badge give me access to screenings I’m not working at?

    Festival volunteers are welcome to attend any screenings at the Festival, but NEITHER your badge NOR T-shirt provides ANY special access. If an event is ticketed, you must purchase a ticket in advance. If reservations are required, you must sign up as instructed in the program. If it is a first-come, first seated program, you must line up with the other audience members.

  14. What should I wear at Festival screenings and at other EFF events?

    In general, clean, comfortable and neat attire is suitable for our venues and other Festival assignments. Volunteers are expected to wear their official Festival T-shirt and name badge to assigned screenings. We understand March weather and some venues can be chilly—so long sleeve shirts under your EFF T-shirt are fine, as are open sweaters, jackets, etc. Special assignment Festival volunteers will be told if their T-shirts are necessary for a particular assignment.

  15. What if I have to cancel a volunteer assignment during the Festival?

    Each screening event depends on the group of volunteers assigned to it, but we understand emergencies do arise. In such an event, volunteers are expected to immediately call or text their assigned EFF representative.

    We hope that volunteers will provide at least 4-6 business hours notice, so that we can attempt to fill their vacancy at the screening. For example, call or text before noon if you cannot attend an evening screening!

    * Please note that “unexcused” absences from assigned screenings will affect your status as a Festival volunteer.


  16. How do I cancel my Volunteer Application?

    If you are unable to serve as a volunteer, please notify the EFF office immediately via email, volunteer@envirofilmfest.org.