Volunteer at WITF
Volunteering is a great way to contribute to the Central Pennsylvania community, gain experience and foster personal growth.
Volunteers work in partnership with WITF staff in a variety of roles. You can participate individually or gather co-workers, classmates, friends and family to volunteer together for WITF! We welcome companies and school groups looking for opportunities to give back. Not only will you be helping your community, but you’ll discover new networks of like-minded people who also believe in the power of Public Media.
Many Ways to Volunteer
Help connect our audiences beyond broadcast. WITF community events are powered by volunteers. From Ready Set Explore events designed for children and families, to preview screenings and community conversations designed for general audiences, we rely on the talent and energy of volunteers for many of our community engagement activities. Typical volunteer tasks include: registration check-in, counting guests, ushering, staffing marketing or children’s activity tables. You could even become a costume character or character handler!
To raise financial support for the station, we hold on-air membership drives several times a year. We are always in need of volunteers to help answer phones and process donations during pledge drives.
General Office Support, Tours and More!
WITF has opportunities for individuals and groups to perform various administrative tasks which may include operating office equipment, performing general clerical duties and even staffing WITF’s front desk. Especially skilled and trained volunteers serve as tour guides for school, scouting and senior groups. And some even help support WITF’s daily radio talk show Smart Talk by being phone screeners.
Join WITF’s growing pool of dedicated volunteers and find out how you can help make a difference!
If WITF requests volunteers to complete the Criminal Background Check (CBC) and Child Abuse History Clearance (CAC) forms prior to their first day, WITF will cover the cost of each application form.
Note: WITF reserves the right to request a state CBC and CAC upon acceptance into WITF’s volunteer program. Volunteers’ continuation in the position will be contingent on the results of the aforementioned clearances. If WITF requests volunteers to complete the Criminal Background Check (CBC) and Child Abuse History Clearance (CAC) forms prior to their first day, WITF will cover the cost of each application form.
A conviction record will not automatically result in your disqualification of volunteering; felony and misdemeanor convictions will be considered only to the extent they relate to the volunteer position for which you are being considered. However, failure to disclose a conviction and/or mischaracterization of a conviction will result in your ineligibility for volunteering and/or termination from volunteering (even if the conviction would not have barred your eligibility for volunteering had it been properly disclosed).
Volunteering Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get there?
The WITF Public Media Center is conveniently located just off the Swatara exit 2 of I-283. Click here for directions.
Where should I park?
The main parking lot and the lot to the right of the main entrance. Both areas have designated spaces for individuals visibly displaying handicapped placards.
What types of volunteer opportunities does WITF provide?
WITF has a variety of opportunities, for both individuals and groups, such as Pledge Phone Volunteers, Call Screeners, Tour Guides, Administrative Support, Reception Support, and Community and Special Event Volunteers.
Do I need to arrive early?
Yes. You should arrive about 15 minutes before your shift is scheduled to begin so you can receive instructions.
Can I still volunteer if I can’t stay for the entire shift?
Absolutely. It is okay if you can only come for a portion of a shift – please just let us know ahead of time.
Would you be able to provide written documentation of the amount of time I am volunteering?
Yes. We are happy to provide a letter verifying the amount of community service hours you have provided to WITF.
What’s it like to answer pledge calls during a fund drive?
Simple! You will be seated at a table with a phone, pledge forms, list of thank you gifts available and other information relevant to the pledge campaign. Before you begin, you will receive a brief orientation session from a WITF Pledge Supervisor or staff member who will provide instructions and point out where to find information you might need. Directions for answering calls are listed right on the pledge form; all you have to do is follow the script. You will ask the callers for basic information, questions about the amount of their pledge, what thank you gifts, if any, they might want and about their contact preferences.
What do I do if the caller has a question I can’t answer?
Often you will be able to find the answer in the reference materials and instruction you’ve been provided. However, if there is a question you can’t answer, raise your hand and the Pledge Supervisor will usually be able to find the answer quickly. You can also take a message if the Supervisor is assisting another volunteer and the Supervisor will get back to the caller.
Will I be answering calls during the whole pledge shift?
Not necessarily. During the fund drive, programs air for segments ranging from 10 to 40 minutes without interruption. These are followed by a pledge break of about 10 minutes. Almost all of the phone calls come during the pledge breaks. We encourage you to bring along a book, magazine or other activities to do during any “down time.”
Will I be on TV?
Phone volunteers are shown only during live TV breaks. Some of our pledge breaks are live from the studio, some are pre-taped, and some are provided by other sources. It is common for the host to interact with volunteers during breaks. Volunteer groups will often be granted a brief interview during one of the live breaks to promote their organization.
What should I wear?
Requested attire is typically business casual. It is best to dress in layers so you can accommodate warm or cool temperatures. Temperatures in the WITF Public Media Center and the TV studio can vary depending on the time of year. The TV studio tends to fluctuate the most; as time passes, the studio lights continue to produce heat. If you are with an organization and are going to be on air, you may want to coordinate clothing with others in your group.
Should I bring anything to eat or drink?
You don’t need to bring snacks (unless you are sticking to a specific diet), though you may want to have a meal before you come. Plenty of snacks will be provided along with sodas, coffee and other hot drinks.
Is there anything else I should bring?
As previously mentioned, it is a good idea to have something to read or work on while you are not answering calls or on-air in the WITF TV studio.
What if my question isn’t answered here?
Volunteer at WITF
Please complete the form below to let us know about your specific areas of interest as a WITF volunteer. If you are part of a non-profit or other community organization that would like to get involved with WITF’s on-air membership campaigns, please indicate below.
*Please note that when filling out these clearances you must select “volunteer” on the form so you are not charged for processing.
All volunteers working with WITF will be required to obtain a criminal background check, and any who come in contact with minors while volunteering (such as community outreach events or public tours of our facilities,) will be required to obtain a PA Child Abuse History Clearance, or provide proof that they have been cleared through such applications, perhaps from employment situations. If such proof cannot be provided, or if the volunteer’s application is denied, more suitable volunteer opportunities such as Smart Talk phone screening, or administrative assistance opportunities may be offered and arranged. Any denial will be discussed confidentially with the volunteer, but it is the responsibility of that volunteer to contact any agency directly, not through witf, to discuss errors with the results of the clearance application.