Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer at WSLR

There are two things that differentiate community radio from public radio -- community access and volunteers. At WSLR-LP Community Radio, volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization. Volunteers participate in every aspect of WSLR's operations and we could not do what we do without them!

Consider becoming a WSLR volunteer. Turn on, Tune In, Help Out!

WSLR wants and needs creative people to keep the airwaves alive and thriving. Whether you are interested in music, public affairs, or working behind the scenes, WSLR welcomes you.

WSLR volunteers are the heart of WSLR, providing professional skills, time, energy and personal commitment to all facets of WSLR's operations.

Your first step is to attend a Volunteer Orientation. Most of your questions will be answered there. New volunteer orientations are held on the second Thursday of odd-numbered months at 6:00 p.m. . In 2013, the dates are January 10, March 14, May 9, July 11, September 12 and November 14.  Please RSVP if you plan to attend -  941-894-6469.

We have many volunteer opportunities available, including the following ongoing needs:  Station Administration, Outreach & Special Events, Music Department, News & Public Affairs Department, and Committees. 

Station Administration Opportunities
Front Desk/Reception Area
WSLR has two four-hour shifts available for volunteers at the front desk, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. This task includes answering the telephone and taking messages when necessary; greeting guests and directing them to the proper staff member; tidying the desk and kitchen area as needed; as well as small clerical tasks, such as filing, data entry, etc. that are delegated by staff members.
Time Commitment: One four-hour shift
Skills needed: Polite phone skills is the only skill necessary for this opportunity.
 

Mailing Projects
WSLR does four large mailings annually and volunteers are needed to assist with sorting, labeling and preparing newsletters for mailing. We generally have about one week notice for these projects.
Time Commitment: Hours are flexible; volunteers may offer as many hours as they are available.
 

Pledge Drive Phone Operators
WSLR conducts two 7-day pledge drives (usually in October and March). During these drives, phone operators are needed for a variety of shifts between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. daily. Shifts are approximately two hours long and the schedules are posted one month prior to the drives.
Time Commitment: One two-hour shift
Skills Needed: Polite phone skills is the only skill necessary for this opportunity
 

Data Entry for WSLR Calendars
We need help for a few hours each month doing computer data entry to keep our online calendars (concerts, event and arts) current.
Time Commitment: a few hours monthly
Skills Needed: Ability to use a computer and do data entry
 

Graphic Design
WSLR  has an ongoing need for graphic designers, specifically people who specialize in printed ads.
Time Commitment: Varies by project
Skills Needed: Graphic design
 

Special Events Volunteer Opportunities
WSLR hosts a variety of events throughout the year.  Events offer a lot of volunteer opportunities, including set-up, break-down and clean-up, traffic assistance, beverage serving, outreach, ticket sales, promotion, donation solicitation, poster art and volunteer coordination.
Time Commitment: Few hours
Skills Needed: Varies  

Tabling Outreach Volunteer
WSLR is always in need of volunteers to staff our outreach tables at various public events in the Sarasota area. Doing outreach is a special and important undertaking because even though we have been on the air for over seven years, there are many people who are unfamiliar with WSLR, its content and how a volunteer-powered radio station works. Outreach volunteers must take a knowledgeable and assertive approach to get the public's attention and engage and inform them about WSLR. Therefore, we need our tabling outreach volunteers to be gregarious, friendly, energetic, and engaging to a wide variety of people. They must also be prepared to take initiative and committed to WSLR's mission and ready to talk about it and their personal connection to it.

Responsibilities: We need volunteers who will set-up outreach materials, staff a table for the duration of the event (or a particular shift), and then break down the table materials, sometimes by themselves. Summer tabling sometimes involves setting up and taking down a table and tent. We usually need volunteers to pick up and drop off materials at the station before and after the event, as well, and volunteers who can take the lead and handle tabling events from start to finish on their own are particularly helpful to the station. While staffing the table, volunteers must chat with event attendees, often initiating contact. Volunteers must be prepared to handle money for WSLR promotional materials sales (t-shirts, tote bags, mugs, etc.), invite listeners to become members (or renew their membership), and complete membership forms. Volunteers sometimes take entries for raffles or door prizes and distribute said prizes. The table and surrounding area should be neat, attractively set up, welcoming, and not cluttered with non-WSLR materials. Volunteers must follow all venue rules and regulations as set out by our hosts. Tabling happens most often during events on weekends, but can sometimes occur on weeknights at concerts and other similar events.

Requirements: Tabling outreach volunteers should be friendly and outgoing, promote WSLR positively and accurately, be clean and neat in appearance, physically able to do the tasks involved with the tasks they've agreed to be responsible for, and able to be trusted handling money. They must have completed the WSLR orientation, be knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the station, familiar with contents of the materials they distribute, our programs and schedule, and mission statement.

Requested Skills: It is particularly helpful to have volunteers who are familiar with WSLR to do outreach at various political, community based and musical events.

Music Department Opportunities
The Music Department needs help with the following:

  • Organizing the library, filing releases and reorganizing to accommodate the ever-expanding flow of music into the stacks.
  • On-air shifts, by taking the on air training class and producing an approved demo, volunteers can take the first steps toward being on the air during our Restless Mornings show (1:00-3:00a.m.)

Time Commitment: Varies by project
Skills Needed: Organizational skills
 

News & Public Affairs Department Opportunities

News Producers/Citizen Reporters
Producers will coordinate with the news directors on stories in the community that need to be covered. We encourage producers to pitch story ideas to the news department as well as taking on given assignments. Once training has been completed, producers can check out recording equipment from the news department to go on assignment to record interviews and cover events. Producers will liaise with the news director on editing the features and interviews to be aired during the local news or other shows.

Volunteer Development
Includes connecting with new volunteers who have expressed interest in news when they attend a new volunteer orientation and when they emerge from the basic board training class, helping the new volunteer find his or her way at WSLR, and checking with the volunteer from time to time. It also includes assisting the Co-Directors to organize training sessions in specific aspects of radio news production and tape parties, where volunteers listen to each other's work and offer feedback. Another aspect of volunteer development is finding ways to recognize the efforts and the achievements of News volunteers.

Program Promotion
Includes helping with the production of recorded announcements of specific upcoming programs, developing and enhancing the description of programs on wslr.org, including fuller descriptions of programs as well as supplementary text and visuals, and placing brief text announcements of upcoming programs for live reads by news hosts and DJ's.

Committees
Technical Committee
The Technical Committee maintains WSLR's technical infrastructure, including its website, live audio streams, audio archives, network, servers, and custom applications. The committee meets every 1-2 months, as needed, with e-mail communications and project updates between meetings.

Time Commitment: No specific time commitment, other than evening meetings every 1 to 2 months. The work is project-based and different projects require different skills and time commitments.

Skills Needed: Experience with Linux-based server configuration and administration, networking architecture, including VPN's, network hardware, routers, etc. Website development and maintenance including experience with HTML, PHP, JavaScript, JQuery, Python, MySql, and Apache. Experience with audio encoding including Shoutcast and other audio formats. Experience in project management and systems analysis. Ability to take direction, work as part of a team, and willingness to think creatively and take initiative.
Contact:  Ed Ericsson

Event Planning Committee

This committee meets the first and third Tuesday of the month at 6:00pm to help plan, promote and implement WSLR-sponsored events.

Time Commitment:  2 hours every month for meeting;  add’l time if you take on specific responsibilities related to a particular event.

Skills needed:  Event Planning and Marketing experience helpful.

Contact:  Michele Demperio