Re: Intake form for Volunteers

Sharon McCullar

We have a fairly simple application form that contains the questions you listed: Name, Address, emergency contact information, areas of interest for volunteer tasks, and availability questions. We are also doing an interview with the potential volunteer with the person who would be supervising them, department head and volunteer coordinator. THose applicants interested in being Interpretive Staff Members (leading tours and programs at our Historic Sites) get invited to a group orientation/open house that works well as the interview phase.
If they pass that interview we move on to a background check. Sometimes the applicant’s interests and skills just do not match what is needed at the moment or the comfort level with the person just isnt there. Two of our curatorial staff work alone in stand-alone buildings away from the museum proper – so we have to be cognizant of personal safety and general security as well.
This system is fairly new to us but applicants don’t seem to mind the process and appear to understand the importance of getting a good fit for the volunteer and the museum. They want to be placed where they will be most useful and will be happy with the work they are doing.
I suggest start small with a simple application and group orientation/open house once or twice a year. You might find that gets the interview in without a lot of staff time committment.
My two cents worth.