This Volunteering guide has been produced by our Sustainable Volunteering Officer, Eleanor, to assist volunteer managers with recruiting new volunteers, used in tandem with your Volunteer Policy and Forward Plan.

It also gives you tips on ongoing things you can do to keep your new and existing volunteers happy in their role.

If you have any questions about our Volunteering resources or cannot find something specific you are looking for, then please get in touch.

Getting Started

Imagine a new colleague: a new volunteer, or recently-appointed trustee.

How easily could they see:

  • How volunteer involvement contributes to the central aims of your organisation?
  • What resources (people and time) your organisation is currently committing to developing its volunteer programme and what the current key objectives are?
  • How your organisation shows that it welcomes, values and thanks volunteers?

Your Volunteer Policy and Forward Plan should help them to understand this.

Recruitment Planning

Ask your current volunteers for feedback.
• What do they get out of volunteering?
• How they heard about you?
• What else they’d like to get involved in at your museum?
• What could the museum do to improve the way it welcomes and looks after volunteers?

Find out why previous volunteers moved on.

• What went well during their time at the Museum?
• What didn’t go so well and why?
• What could the museum do to improve the way it welcomes and looks after volunteers?

Flexible Recruitment

Consider offering flexible volunteering roles, such as project based or one off opportunities.
These can be a good introduction to volunteering that may lead to a longer term role.

Saltash Museum
Has lots of bite-sized volunteer opportunities ready to go – with the idea that a new volunteer can get to know the organisation with a small project.

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
Offers one-off days of volunteering for busy young people, providing a clear role description, training, supervision and point of contact on the day.

The Roman Baths
Offers project-based volunteering, for which a group is recruited together. For example, a group of students were recruited together to help document the Beau Street Hoard.

Top Tips:

You can easily gather volunteer feedback with an online survey:
• Survey Monkey or Google Forms are free and user friendly
• Use any positive quotes you get from the survey in your recruitment for future volunteers
• Consider an annual survey to check how your volunteers are doing

The Recruitment Process

Consider the following questions and suggestions when you are beginning the recruitment process.

Examples of a Supportive Induction and a Warm Welcome

  • A small North Devon museum operates a ‘buddy system’ for new recruits. Buddies sign off the induction checklist with new volunteers to confirm they have been supported through the induction.
  • Weston Museum holds Volunteer Days. These are group training and induction days, in which existing volunteers take part so new volunteers quickly get to know the wider team.