Volunteer With Us

**Consider Joining the 2023 Graycliff Docent Training Program—Apply Now Through March 1.**

Docent Training Application Process

If you have serious interest in training to become a Graycliff docent, please complete our online application form.

The application deadline for the Spring 2023 Class is March 1, 2023. 

Your gift will be put to immediate use, helping us to further our mission and properly care for our historic site.
To make a gift by phone, please contact Graycliff staff at 716-947-9217

To make a gift by mail, please make your check payable to Graycliff Conservancy and mail to us at
PO Box 823, Derby, NY 14047

Interested in Volunteering?

Use your unique skills or develop new ones while helping to preserve and promote an architectural masterpiece.
Send us a message at volunteer@graycliffestate.org to get involved today!

Graycliff Needs You Now!

Graycliff Conservancy was built by the passion and perseverance of volunteers and now, more than two decades later, the story is still unfolding.

Join a dedicated and enthusiastic group of volunteers engaging daily with our historic site and helping us to further our mission. Graycliff is always in need of:

  • Docents – Tour leaders who interpret the historic house and grounds. Consider joining our 2023 Docent Training Program.
  • Tour Assistants – Volunteers who help our docents with our many tours.
  • Green Team – Volunteers who help maintain the historic landscape of the grounds.
  • Clean Team – Volunteers who help with the thoughtful upkeep and housekeeping of our historic interiors.

Graycliff Docent Training

Graycliff’s guided tour program is led by a group of enthusiastic volunteer docents who uniquely interpret our historic site. Our docents lead both scheduled publicly available tours, as well as group and school tours. Graycliff docents present our lakeside property to visitors, animating the many stories of this very special place. Volunteering in this capacity is an excellent opportunity to learn all about Frank Lloyd Wright, Ellen Biddle Shipman, the Martin family, and the specific context of Graycliff. You’ll perfect skills you already have, while developing new ones, and join a community of talented and passionate individuals. We are confident you will be inspired and enchanted by Graycliff and have a lot of fun along the way!

The Training Process

Our docent training is open to anyone with a passion for architecture and history! Docent trainees are required to attend our docent training classes, which are a mix of both in-person and online meetings led by a knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteer leadership team who give ample support and encouragement along the way. Trainees are directed to reading materials and provided with in-depth information on the history of our site. Along with the classes, trainees also fulfill requirements related to both shadowing and giving mock tours before being certified as a Graycliff docent. A $35 materials fee is required. Upon completion of the program, new Graycliff docents are gifted a one-year “Martins” level membership to our organization (a $100 value).

Spring 2023 Graycliff Docent Training Class

Our goal is that upon completion of the Graycliff Docent Training Program, docent trainees will have the knowledge and confidence to present the stories of Graycliff in their own unique way to the many visitors to our historic site.

2022 Class Schedule: 

  • Week 1 – Tuesday, April 19, 6-8pm – in person at Graycliff
  • Week 2 – Tuesday, April 26, 6-8pm – Zoom
  • Trainee Field Trip to the Martin House – Saturday, April 30, 9:30-11:30am – in person at the Martin House
  • Week 3 – Tuesday, May 3, 6-8pm – in person at Graycliff
  • Week 4 – Tuesday, May 10, 6-8pm – Zoom
  • Week 5 – Tuesday, May 17, 6-8pm – in person at Graycliff

2023 Class Schedule:

  • Tuesday, March 14, 6-8 pm (in-person at Graycliff)
  • Tuesday, March 21 – NO CLASS
  • Tuesday, March 28, 6-8 pm (Zoom)
  • Tuesday, April 4, 6-8 pm (in-person at Graycliff)
  • Tuesday, April 11, 6-8 pm (Zoom)
  • Saturday, April 15, 9:30-11:30 am (Trainee Field Trip to the Martin House)
  • Tuesday, April 18, 6-8 pm (in-person at Graycliff)
  • Tuesday, April 25, 6-8 pm (in-person at Graycliff)


Application Process

If you have serious interest in training to become a Graycliff docent, please complete our online application form.

The application deadline for the Spring 2023 Class is March 1, 2023. 

Internship Programs

Graycliff is always looking for college and graduate students who are interested in a semester, summer, or, most preferably, a year-long commitment. Our internship program is best suited for students with the following academic focuses, though students in any field are welcome to apply.

  • history of art and architecture
  • horticulture
  • non-profit business administration
  • marketing
  • communications

Please contact us at volunteer@graycliffestate.org for application details. 

Applications are considered on a rolling basis.


As the Graycliff story continues to be written, your financial support can help us write the next chapter.

Become a Member

Enjoy the beauty again and again with a Graycliff membership.


Help continue Graycliff's restoration and advance a new vision for this architectural gem.

A special thank you to our partners