Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers

Museums should take the time to understand where volunteers will fit within the organisation before they start recruiting. Think about tasks that staff currently don't have the time to do or projects that would benefit from additional help and support. There have been many occassions where museums take on volunteers but then have nothing for them to do or the individuals lack the skills needed to do certain tasks.  This is where a volunteer role description comes in. Volunteer role descriptions are being used by more and more museums. They help to give the volunteer an accurate idea about the work that they'll be doing and also what is expected from them.  The description may include headings such as skills, purpose of role, main duties and benefits.

The National Trust Volunteer Role Description

Where to find volunteers?

There are many ways to attract volunteers to your organisation. Social media, having stands at local careers fayres or community events, creating partnerships with local organisations such as Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations and of course word of mouth. If the museum is offering valuable and enjoyable volunteer opportunities then staff and exisiting volunteers should be talking about the museum at every opportunity to family, friends and visitors.

Recruitment and Retention

A number of museums use application forms in addition to the volunteer role description to find out more about the individual, their skills and the reasons why they want to volunteer before asking them to come in for a chat.

The Egypt Centre Application Process

Once you have recruited volunteers then it is important to ensure that they have a complete induction, just as you would with any member of staff.

The Egypt Centre Induction Booklet

Rhayader Museum New Volunteer Booklet