Welcome to Gold Book! As the Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras, we know firsthand the rewards and challenges of initiating and executing projects at your orchestra. We also know that when a project is done well, the benefits to your organization, audience, and fellow volunteers and staff are invaluable. Gold Book is the ultimate resource for volunteers, by volunteers. Our goal is to inspire, educate, and excite you - bringing you details about the best volunteer-driven projects from across the country. Our extensive, searchable library of projects is categorized into these areas:
Brief descriptions, project details, and contact information, so if you have further questions you can follow up! And don’t forget, many projects can be adapted for use by any volunteer organization, regardless of size or budget. We hope you find Gold Book as invaluable as we do – and good luck with your project!
Each year, the Volunteer Council presents the most outstanding volunteer projects submitted to Gold Book with Awards of Excellence or Roundtable Awards. Winning projects are selected based upon originality, volunteer involvement, adaptability, and the overall success of the projects. On this website you will find several types of project recognition:
In partnership with the League of American Orchestras, The Volunteer Council strives to lead, advocate, encourage, support, and serve our member orchestras and their volunteers. For a listing of Volunteer Council members, please click here. For more information about orchestra volunteers, learning opportunities specifically for volunteers, or to check out Volunteer Notes, the quarterly newsletter tailored to the interests and needs of volunteers, visit americanorchestras.org. The League of American Orchestras provides leadership, service, and advocacy for American orchestras and their staffs, artists, volunteers, and board members. Find out more at americanorchestras.org.
History of the Gold Book The Gold Book was created in 1976 by the Volunteer Council (formally known as the Woman's Council) and by Ralph Black, executive director of the League of American Orchestras, who secured a grant for the first publication. The legendary name comes from the idea that the book is "worth its weight in gold." In 1976 copies sold for $5.00. The book's purpose was to highlight volunteer organizations’ activities and provide innovative examples for other volunteer organizations to adapt and follow. In the years since then, the Gold Book has proven itself a goldmine for volunteers across the country and Canada. And since transitioning to an online platform in 2005, accessing this resource is even easier (and free). In addition to Awards of Excellence and Roundtable Awards, given annually, the Volunteer Council has awarded the following two awards of distinction in the past, named for inspirational volunteers:
Prior to 2008 were given the distinction of Gold, Silver, and Innovation Awards (instead of Awards of Excellence and Roundtable Awards).