Growing Volunteering

Growing Volunteering Recruit, retain and rethink volunteers in your museum

The recent crisis has led to many museums rethinking their approach to volunteering, whether that is through scaling down some roles, upskilling others, identifying new roles or actively recruiting new, more diverse volunteers.

This project is an opportunity to look differently at all aspects of your volunteering offer. It is a chance to think about how to recruit a wider variety of volunteers, how to welcome them and retain them, and how to create meaningful opportunities that lead to a thriving volunteer community supporting your museum in the long term.

We are inviting 8 museums to be involved in this project to explore new ways of recruiting and retaining volunteers.

Participating museums are also eligible for a grant of up to £500 to help initiate some of their proposed actions. Grants are only available to South East museums (non-NPO, non-National) that are Accredited or formally Working Towards Accreditation.

What does it involve?

Those involved will attend 4 virtual training workshops with Carol Carbine (, an experienced volunteering consultant, to explore the barriers to volunteering, the opportunities for trialling new models of volunteering and the different approaches to recruitment that work in a museum context.

The project will also include a session to help museums think about approaches to volunteer recruitment, the messages used and the channels available.

The museums will then use this knowledge to do a SWOT analysis of their existing volunteering offer, and with the help of a member of the South East Museum Development team, each museum will create an action plan to develop their volunteering offer and trial a new approach to volunteer recruitment.

The training workshops are planned for autumn 2021 and the follow up activity is expected to happen November 2021-Feburary 2022.

What’s the commitment for museums?

· Attendance at 5 virtual training workshops, held over Zoom

· Creating a SWOT analysis and action plan in conjunction with a Museum Development Officer

· Planning and delivery of agreed activity, using the grant by 1 March 2022

· Delivery of a short presentation on successes and challenges at shared learning day


· Friday 13 August : Deadline for expression of interest

· Wed 15 Sep, 10am-1pm – Workshop 1

· Wed 29 Sep, 10am-1pm – Workshop 2

· Wed 20 Oct, 10am-1pm – Workshop 3

· Wed 3 Nov, 10am-1pm – Workshop 4

· Wed 24 Nov, 10-11.30am – Session on advertising volunteer opportunities

· November: SWOT & action planning

· November-February: Volunteer recruitment activity

· 1 March 2022: Final report & evidence of grant spend submitted to SEMD

· Wed 2 March 2022, 10am-1pm – Project follow-up workshop

To apply

Please complete the Expression of Interest and return to us by Friday 13 August

Complete Expression of Interest here

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