Volunteer Enrichment Day can be a time to reflect on the success of the past year and to plan for the future. Begin by brainstorming the types of things you’d like your volunteers to know. What information can you share with them that will make them feel like they are part of a vital organization?
Start the day off with a welcome by your Volunteer Coordinator and/or Director. Include how many volunteer hours were given in the previous year, how you’ve met your fundraising goals, and highlights of past programs, exhibitions, artifact donations or events. You may even want to create a slide show on PowerPoint – a picture is always worth a thousand words!
Next, have staff members make short presentations about their work. Even at a small- or medium-sized museum, volunteers are often pigeon-holed in their departments and may not know what’s going on throughout the institution. Have each department head give a 2-3 minute talk on highlights in their area.
Include a program that will appeal to all volunteers. Perhaps you want to talk about how they are ambassadors for your museum in the community. Invite a guest speaker to talk about the importance of customer service, particularly if most of your volunteers come into contact with the public through your admissions office, museum shoppe or docents. Present a program on emergency preparedness, addressing what to do during a tornado warning, power outage or missing child alert. Provide a tour of a new exhibition or behind-the-scenes areas.
End the day with department meetings. Have your volunteers meet with their supervisors to discuss any changes or department-specific news. Staff members can use this time to address any concerns that have come up during the year.
Provide light refreshments to enhance the experience for the staff and the volunteers. Everyone feels more positive with a cup of coffee and a pastry!
Volunteer Enrichment Day is also a wonderful tool for recruiting new volunteers. Let potential volunteers, interns and the general public know about your event and invite them to come learn more about your organization.