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Filoli is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Volunteer Opportunities

Filoli volunteers have the opportunity to server in various ways, using the knowledge and skills developed over a lifetime as well as training and experience gained in volunteer roles. Please use the list of committees below to find an area suited just for you. After you have determined where you would like to volunteer, visit the Sign Up To Volunteer page to submit an electronic form or to download and print a copy of the form.


Committee Activity/Attire Requirements Prerequisites Commitment

Assist instructors during Filoli’s Photography, Art, Botanical Art, Calligraphy, Decorative Art, Arts and Crafts, Embroidery, Mosaic and Children’s Classes; plan and curate, check in artists, hang artwork and host Art Committee exhibitors in the Filoli Visitor Education Center; monitor Artist Access in the Garden; and assist with Filoli Special Events. Attire: sporty casual and comfortable shoes. Tasks vary from interacting with Filoli’s students, visitors, and artists in the Garden to preparing refreshments, planning and curating art exhibits, and providing administrative support at art receptions and exhibits. Some walking, stair climbing in the House, and sitting. Attendance at Art Committee meetings and orientation; Internet access to respond to calls for volunteers, record volunteer hours, and Committee updates. 36 hours per year minimum.
Floral Design Support the Floral Design Classes, assist with decorating Filoli for various events and assist other Filoli volunteer groups with their floral design needs. Activities are indoors and outdoors
Attire: sporty casual and comfortable shoes
Standing, walking, sitting. Graduate of Filoli’s Home Floral Design Program (beginning, intermediate, advanced), plus completion of all required enrichment courses. 30 hours per year minimum which can include assistance in floral design classes.
House Flower Arrangers Create floral arrangements for the House, Visitor and Education Center Lobby, and Garden on a weekly basis. Flower Arrangers also create arrangements for teas, lectures, special events and the holiday festival. Activities are indoors and outdoors and vary depending on the day of the week.
Attire: casual and comfortable shoes
Picking flowers in the garden requires pulling wagons with buckets of water and flowers. Arrangers sometimes climb ladders. Must be in good physical condition. Taken courses in floral design or have experience as floral designers. 2 shifts of two hours per month.

Gardening/Garden Shop/Café/Hospitality

Committee Activity/Attire Requirements Prerequisites Commitment
Garden Information Docents Use GID training manuals, resource materials, and garden knowledge to answer visitor's questions about Filoli's plants and gardening practices as well as home gardening questions. Activities are outdoors at a covered informational table or strolling the gardens. Attire: sporty casual (no jeans) and comfortable shoes. Ability to listen attentively and interact with visitors. Strong background in horticulture and gardening. Competent with e-mail and use of Internet. Master Gardener or experienced Filoli volunteer. Excellent garden experience and knowledge. Successfully complete Garden Information Docent training. Shifts: 2 times per month from 12 noon to 3:00 pm on Tuesday through Sunday. A total of 16 shifts per year is required.

Volunteers assist the horticulture staff by working in the gardens, greenhouses and orchard. Activities include weeding, raking, light pruning, removing debris and seasonal plants,  and a variety of special projects. Garden volunteers are physically active, outdoor loving people who enjoy the satisfaction of helping to keep the gardens at Filoli beautiful. Attire: long pants including blue jeans, substantial shoes or work boots, gardening gloves, a hat and sunscreen. Rain gear and rain boots may be needed for winter work. No shorts are allowed. Bending, lifting, and working outdoors. Volunteer must be able to pull weeds while working on one’s knees, push a full wheelbarrow and empty it, lift a 15 lb. pot of dirt with bulbs and climb a ladder. None other than the ability to perform the various activities listed under Requirements. Volunteers are expected to work at least two 2 1/2 hour shifts per month, either Monday or Thursday mornings from 9:00 to 11:30, all year round, except holidays.  Volunteers are also expected to work at least two Filoli special events per year.  
Garden and Gift Shop

Work in the Garden and Gift Shop involves operating the cash register, wrapping purchases, assisting guests and sometimes restocking the shelves. Activities are indoors and, occasionally, outdoors. Subcommittees include the Pricing Committee (pricing merchandise) and the Herb and Vinegar Committee (making Filoli herb mixes and vinegars), and the Silk Flower Workshop. Attire: dressy casual with comfortable shoes Engaging guests in a friendly, smiling manner, standing, operating a cash register and wrapping purchases. None. On the job training provided. 2 or 3 three–hour shifts per month, choice of Tuesday through Sunday. One of Filoli's special events and at least two shifts for Holiday Traditions.
Café Serve Filoli guests indoors and outdoors along with set up and clean up of the Café. Tasks include: AM shift: prep showcases, PM Shift: cleanup. Main duties: ladle soup, serve desserts, deliver grilled sandwiches to tables. Attire: dressy casual, comfortable shoes Standing, bending, light lifting, and walking. None. On–the–job training provided. A minimum of two shifts per month. There are three shifts per day, Tuesday through Sunday, each 3 1/2 hours: 9 -12:30, 11 - 2:30 and 12:30 to 4.

Assist with food service at Filoli by serving brunch, lunch, or dinner at events. Committee members also distribute refreshments, prepare food, set up tables, and do general cleaning up. The Hospitality Committee supports other committees, as needed, during the year. Attire: Dressy casual, comfortable shoes. Standing, walking and light lifting for 3 or more hours. None. On–the–job training provided. Approximately 25 hours per year are required. Must have flexible schedule to accommodate various events.

Guides and Greeters

Committee Activity/Attire Requirements Prerequisites Commitment
House and Garden Self–Guided Docent Self-Guided Docents are stationed throughout the House and occasionally in the Garden. They serve as visitor resources, respond to questions, or when appropriate, point out something of interest. They need the ability to listen attentively, interact well with visitors and provide an overall welcoming and enriching Filoli experience. Attire: sporty casual and comfortable shoes. Standing, walking, sitting, interacting with guests. Attend six training classes and two practice shifts. Attend annual update sessions. 20 shifts per year, which includes at least 2 weekend shifts per year. The shifts are from 9:45 am to 12:45 pm and 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm (Tues - Sat); 10:45 am to 1:30 pm and 1:15 pm to 3:30 pm (Sun).
House and Garden Guided Docent Lead walking tours of the House and Gardens. Tours usually consist of eight to twelve people. Educate visitors about the families who lived at Filoli and about the House and the Garden. Attire: sporty casual and comfortable shoes Lead a walking tour for about 2 hours. Successfully complete the six–week docent training course (meets Saturdays from February through early April). Attend annual update sessions. Lead 20 tours per tour season: 18 guided tours and 2 weekend shifts
Student Tour Docent Lead walking tours of the House and Gardens. Tours usually consist of 6 to 8 people (students plus adult chaperones) and last for 1-1/2 hours. The tours educate students about the families who lived at Filoli and familiarize them with life during the early part of the 20th century using a variety of hands-on activities within the house. Attire: sporty casual and comfortable shoes Lead tours and interact with students. Same as for House and Garden Docent. Must complete House and Garden Docent training. One tour or more per month, based on need during the school year. Tours count toward House and Garden tour hours requirement.
Orchard Docents Lead walking tours through the Gentlemen’s Orchard providing information about its history, purpose and maintenance. Share overview on the origin and varieties of the fruit trees and the fruit harvest.
Attire: comfortable casual and sturdy shoes.
Physical ability to walk and conduct a 60–90 minute tour on uneven orchard ground. Must complete training course (two 2–hour classes, one 2–hour comprehensive orchard tour). Previous interest in plants, fruit trees, and gardens helpful. Commitment: Lead 5 tours during regular season (June – October). Participate in special events, Filoli’s Autumn Festival mandatory.
Nature Education Docent Nature Ed docents lead a variety of 2-hour interpretive hikes ‘beyond the garden walls’ on 7 miles of trails through Filoli’s Nature Preserve. Opportunities to volunteer on weekends or weekdays. On weekdays, 1st-5th grade school children from throughout the Bay Area and beyond come to explore and learn. On weekends, docents lead families and friends on a variety of special hikes through the Preserve.

Attire: hiking gear (long pants and sturdy shoes). Expectation: complete training and lead hikes 2x/month.
Enjoy children! Ability to lead 2–hour walking tours over moderately steep terrain. Must complete the Nature Education training program.

Next docent training begins late January 2017.

Download Schedule
Lead 12 hikes per year.


Committee Activity/Attire Requirements Prerequisites Commitment
Visitor Services Greet guests, process admissions and memberships, answer phones and check event/class ticket availability. Activities are indoors. Attire: sporty casual Knowledge of Filoli history and operations. Basic computer skills are helpful. Standing at the counter or sitting at a desk. Warm friendly smile and positive attitude. Training on the job with staff and experienced volunteers. 2 three–hour shifts per month. Shifts are from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm Tuesday through Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Library/Collections Assist in staffing Friends Library and Sterling Library, in re-shelving books and videos in the circulating library, and in assisting members in finding material through the library cataloging system. Helping with other projects as necessary. Attire: sporty casual Interacting with visitors, sitting and standing. Enjoy libraries and interacting with people. Previous library experience is helpful. 2 to 4 three–hour shifts per month on Tuesdays or Thursdays.
Membership/Events Ticket Sales Sell and process memberships and tickets for all special events, classes, lectures and workshops and answer a variety of general questions about Filoli. Activities are indoors. Attire: sporty casual General office administrative skills and comfortable working with computers. High level of comfort in taking phone calls and inquiries. Commitment to outstanding customer service. Enjoy office work, which includes a variety of phone inquiries and computer data entry. The work is detailed and involves the need for diplomacy, accuracy, and an interest in problem solving. Minimum 2 shifts per month. Shifts are from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm and 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday.