This FAQ is for frequent questions that new and/or potential volunteers ask us regarding volunteering at MAFI events (including Manifest).
Who is MAFI? What is Manifest?
MAFI stands for Melbourne Anime Festival Inc., a not-for-profit committee made up of unpaid volunteers. Each committee member pays a yearly joining fee, and is responsible for the organisation and running of Japanese-themed events.
Manifest is the name of a yearly weekend-long event dedicated to Japanese animation and other Japanese-related pop culture. It was originally held at Melbourne University, but moved to the Melbourne Showgrounds in 2009.
Do you always need volunteers?
Generally, MAFI needs new volunteers every year to fill various positions (such as Traders Coordinator, Screenings Coordinator, etc) as well as assist during Manifest. On-the-day volunteers are often different each year, though dedication is valued and rewarded.
How do I register to become a volunteer?
I've got specific skills and experience; can you use them?
One of the strengths of MAFI is the diverse range of backgrounds, skills and experiences our volunteers bring to their roles. If you believe that you would be an asset to a particular area or on-the-day role, please include that information in your application.
Are there certain skills I need to be a volunteer?
All Manifest volunteers receive free on-the-day training and so do not need any previous qualifications or experience. However you will need to be open-minded, non-judgemental, able to listen, learn, and work in a team.
Roles within MAFI may become available throughout the year (such as Traders Coordinator or Screenings Coordinator). Applicants will usually need some form of prior experience, however MAFI is a learning environment and volunteering in any role will give you the chance to develop your skills.
What will I get out of volunteering?
All our volunteers get something slightly different from the experience. Some of the most common benefits reported are:
- changing the way things work for the better;
- getting invaluable work experience;
- developing new skills;
- putting existing skills to good use;
- getting involved with the local anime/manga community;
- making new friends.
What support will I get as a volunteer?
All volunteers are fully supported and supervised throughout their involvement with MAFI. There will be a member of staff on duty in all areas that you can turn to for extra support if you feel you need it. We make sure that you are not put in situations that are beyond your abilities, and will work with you to help ensure that you find volunteering with us both challenging and rewarding.
How much time do I need to give?
Each shift at Manifest typically lasts two to four hours, depending on how many volunteers we have available. Volunteers are required to complete at least one shift, with rewards available to volunteers who complete additional shifts.
For more permanent roles within MAFI (such as Traders Coordinator or Screenings Coordinator) more time will be required. You should consider the time you have available, your interests, skills and how they fit with MAFI's needs before applying for a position.
What age restrictions are there on volunteering?
Volunteers - both within MAFI and at each Manifest - need to be 15 or over. There is no upper age limit for volunteers.
How can I make sure that I receive your emails?
When will I receive a response to my application?
Within 24 hours of registering you will receive an automatic confirmation of your application via email. A MAFI member will then contact you directly within one week.
Please note that inclusion in the MAFI volunteer database does not guarantee that you will be offered a volunteer assignment at Manifest.
I have registered but have not received any response; what should I do?
The registration process consists of two (2) parts:
- You complete a short application form. Shortly after, you receive the first automated message with a copy of the information you submitted to us.
- The volunteer coordinator will contact you within a week to confirm your application and inquire about/confirm areas of interest.
Please be aware that some email providers and spam filters may redirect our emails to users' junk email folders. Therefore we suggest that you check your junk email or spam folders.
When will I get my timetable?
Most timetables are pre-arranged, with the exception of on-the-day volunteer registrations. You will therefore receive your volunteer schedule approximately a week before Manifest.
How long will MAFI keep my information?
Information provided by potential volunteers will be kept for ten (10) years for insurance purposes, however after two (2) years of inactivity your information will be archived.