Growing Volunteering

Recruit, retain and rethink volunteers in your museum

Do you struggle to recruit new volunteers? Are you looking at how to attract and retain volunteers of different ages and backgrounds in the longer term?

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 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 pilot project to explore new ways of recruiting and retaining volunteers.

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 the sector and the different approaches to recruitment that work in a museum context.

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 November-December and the follow up activity is expected to happen January-March 2021. A grant of up to £500 is also available to the museums involved to help initiate some of their proposed actions.

What’s the commitment for museums?

· Attendance at 4 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 31 March 2021

· Shared learning discussion (1/2 day) with rest of group to discuss successes and challenges


· Wed 11 Nov, 10am-1pm – Workshop 1

· Wed 25 Nov, 10am-1pm – Workshop 2

· Wed 9 Dec, 10am-1pm – Workshop 3

· Wed 16 Dec, 10am-1pm – Workshop 4

· January : SWOT & action planning

· January-March: Volunteer recruitment activity

· Wed 14 April, 10am-1pm – Shared Learning discussion

How do I get involved?

Applications for this project are now closed.

9 museums were selected to be involved in the project in October, with training sessions taking place through November – December 2020.

The Museums involved are: Brading Roman Villa, Deal Museums, Godalming Museum, Maidenhead Heritage Centre, Museum of Oxford, Westbury Manor Museum, River & Rowing Museums, Seaside Museums and King John’s House.

Accessibility Options

The following options may make it easier for you to use this website

Change the contrast of colours and text

Change the size of the size of the text

Toggle the display of images