Understanding Volunteers

For our benefit, we must learn what our volunteers want out of their time while at the AWHC. Staff and volunteers must have a good relationship. Then we will all be better able to meet each others needs and desires.

Who are our Volunteers?

  • Retired educators
  • Retired people who have an interest and love for history
  • Undergraduate students
  • Skilled Artistians
  • Families with small children
  • Teenagers
  • Hobbyists

What Motivates Our Volunteers to be Volunteers?

  • Create related experiences to add to their resumes
  • Hands on experiences to determine interest in pursing living history careers.
  • Class requirements
  • Help others learn about history
  • Contribute to the community
  • Working with a respected organization
  • Make new friends
  • Spend time in pleasant surroundings
  • Developed new skills
  • Path to paid employment
  • Being involved in cultural events

Why do Volunteers leave?

  • Some leave because we met their needs and now they’re finished with their particular goal or objective.
  • Others leave because they have moved on to higher education
  • They moved away
  • Others simply want a change.

There are 3 motivators that will help volunteer continue to volunteer

  1. To be acknowledge, appreciated, treated with respect as a valuable team player
  2. To have something worthwhile to do
  3. To understand how their contribution fits into the larger picture

What do we want from Volunteers?

  • Lightening the load
  • Contribute something to the AWHC and its mission
  • To increase the limited manpower without expanding the budget
  • To train future students employee and museum studies budgets
  • To increase our visibility among the community; i.e.: they are good marketing tools

Our Volunteer Program helps provide the AWHC in these ways:

  • It provides the AWHC with volunteers who will enhance the work of the staff by complementing, expanding, and supplement the staff. No Volunteer job is ever designed to take the place of an employee’s job.
  • It works with the volunteer staff in order to determine the needs for volunteer placement and to design volunteer jobs, which will meet the existing, as well as the changing, programs of the AWHC.
  • It helps create and promote in the community an understanding of the AWHC and its facts.
  • It meets the communities needs for service, through addressing the individuals needs for serving other, through programs with responsibility and challenges for those qualified and through career exploration where this will serve the requirements of the Center.

Development of the Center

  • Include volunteers in staff meetings once in a while
  • It is important to talk to your volunteers and let them know they’re important
  • Buddy system “not a mentor”
  • Set up volunteers with more experience to help new volunteers or those that have less experience.
  • Think about the goals for each of your programs so you can better use your volunteer in these areas.

In the eyes of our Volunteers, Supervisors and Lead interpreters should:

  • Practice positive feed back and rewards
  • Recognize volunteers as professionals
  • Recognize limitations on volunteer’s time
  • Realize the social needs of volunteers

In the eyes of Supervisors, Volunteers should:

  • Respect AWHC rules as professional standards rather than obstacles
  • Have an option to offer assistants when needed
  • Sharing a problem or criticism when needed
  • Consider the staff’s schedules
  • Recognize that the staff too needs support and recognitions and praise.
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