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Volunteer Opportunities


OLLI is a member run organization. While we don't require everyone to fill a position, there are three interrelated reasons why volunteering is important to OLLI—money, workload and teaching. 

Simply put, it would cost you a lot more to be a member if OLLI had to pay for all its operations. Although we don’t have to do some things that a private college would (such as administer entrance requirements, give exams and award degrees), we offer programs that are comparable to those found in colleges. We get by with what is really a minimal membership fee because:

  • We rely on our members to teach or otherwise lead courses.
  • We don’t pay outside teachers and speakers.
  • Over 80% of the work of running the organization is done by member volunteers. 

We do employ administrative help, a necessity as we continue to grow. In fact, almost half our budget goes to personnel costs, reflecting the well known fact that personnel costs are the major expense item in many organizations.  

Quite aside from financial need, volunteering in an organization from which members derive so much enjoyment can and should be personally satisfying and rewarding.  

Four other things should be said about volunteering:


  • You don’t need prior experience or expertise in a particular field, although this is always welcome and in a few cases necessary. Everyone has the talent to help in some capacity. If special knowledge is required, we can train you.
  • You should volunteer only for what you want to do.
  • Your time is valuable. We won’t ask you to put in more time than you can handle comfortably or serve longer than you can.
  • You should look on volunteer work as enjoyable and rewarding. If it isn’t, we are doing something wrong.

We currently have the following needs ( contact us at or call 703-503-3384 to volunteer) :

E-News Associate Editor
Job Description:
Do you like to read? Do you enjoy being the first to know what's going on around the OLLI campuses? Why not try volunteering for the vacant Associate Editor position on the new and revamped OLLI E-News! No experience is necessary. Just a willing spirit and a reasonable knowledge of English grammar and spelling. A bit of enthusiasm for the world of writing, although not necessary, is a plus. As the Associate Editor of the E-News you will spend an average of about two hours a week soliciting volunteers to write articles, proofing incoming articles, and proofreading the final version of the E-News for errors before it is published. And if you have an affinity for writing...there's a bonus. You can pick and choose which articles you would like to write yourself, if you are so inclined, e.g., a profile of a new Board member or a feature article on one of OLLI's many activities and parties. This job is not difficult; it is extremely satisfying, and what a way to get to know your fellow OLLI members. If you are interested contact Irene Osterman at
Time Commitment: Two hours per week
Contact: Irene Osterman,


Staff Writer, E-News
Job Description:  Occasionally accept an assignment from the E-News editorial staff to write an article on a specific topic (example: a profile of a new Board member, committee chair or resource group chair/co-chair). Volunteers may also contribute OLLI-related articles, such as human-interest stories, on their own.
Time Commitment:
Two to four hours per article (target length is 250 words).
Contact: Sheri Siesseger,

Instructor Profile Database Manager
Job Description:
Supervise volunteers to develop and maintain the OLLI Instructor Profiles Database ( • Identify, with the help of Beth Davis, OLLI member instructors and non-OLLI members who have taught during multiple terms and are not yet in the database. We do not include one-time non-OLLI members such as Mason professors who have easily accessible online profiles. • Allocate assignments to members of the team, including oneself, to contact identified instructors via email and request that they provide a photo and a personal profile or information that can be used to write a short bio. A sample letter exists. • Receive the final text as coordinated with the instructor from the team members, review it for consistency and email it in MS Word to the webmaster for inclusion in the online database.
Time Commitment: 8-10 hours per term
Contact: Susan Van Hemel,

Advisers for New Members
Job Description: Committee meets twice a year to discuss additional ways of sharing information with new members and integrating them into the OLLI community. Committee members call new members midway through the term to get feedback on their OLLI experience.
Time Commitment: Two to three hours per term.
Contact: Toni Acton,

Tallwood Office Work
Job Description:
Serve as receptionist in the Tallwood office; greet visitors, make and answer phone calls, retrieve messages, handle inquiries, mail materials and otherwise assist the staff with clerical tasks as requested. Hours are 9:00 to noon. Volunteers may decide to work one or more days a month, choosing the days that fit their schedule. Training is provided. This is a great way to learn about OLLI, meet new members, and assist our terrific staff.
Time Commitment: One or more days per month, as schedule allows, three hours per day. Flexible days.
Contact: Toni Acton,






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