Cynthia Conway, Sonoma County Museum
The Sonoma County Museum (SCM) is a private, non-profit museum for art and history with broad community support. They are the only museum of California’s North Coast region to present a comprehensive array of exhibits, education and public programs, and to hold a significant collection of over 20,000 artworks and historic objects.
Today, our VolunteerSpotlight shines on Cynthia Conway, who uses VolunteerSpot's online signup sheets to create an easy sign-up system for both docents and volunteers.
Please tell us about your organization and your volunteer needs.
The Sonoma County Museum relies on a hardworking, friendly, knowledgeable volunteer base of up to 100 volunteers; 50 of whom have regular shifts performing front desk duties, gift shop sales, office help, education program and event support, collections and cataloguing, exhibition installation, marketing outreach and docent duties.
Explain how you use VolunteerSpot to coordinate these volunteers.
The Curator of Education of the Museum lists all the school, youth and adult tours for the Museum on a designated Volunteer Spot calendar. The docents check this calendar and sign themselves up online for the specific dates and times for leading the various tours. They can also find information about the age-group of the tours, along with pertinent details and information to help them prepare their presentations accordingly. The Volunteer Coordinator lists all the volunteer shifts for the remaining duties at the Museum (which are extensive!). These are also on a separate designated calendar so volunteers may sign themselves up online for shifts for specific dates and times. Both utilize the URL address to the specific calendars and include in emails to volunteers which creates an easy sign-up system.
What’s one piece of advice you have for volunteers or their leaders out there?
As helpful as online systems are for coordinating a large volunteer base, volunteers also appreciate a personal email or phone call now and then. Appreciation parties just for your volunteers are also very helpful in creating an atmosphere where they feel valued (because they are!). Integrate games and festivities to create a fun and memorable party.
Why did you decide to use VolunteerSpot?
Volunteer Spot is user-friendly and easy to navigate. It does a lot of the work for you, especially in sending out timed reminders for volunteers for their upcoming shifts. This saves a tremendous amount of time itself.
Anything else you’d like our readers to know?
The Sonoma County Museum (SCM) is a non-profit art and history museum in Santa Rosa. Focusing on art from the modern period to the present, the Museum's art collection also features artists who have lived and worked in the greater Bay-Area. The Museum’s mission is to educate, inspire and enlighten with its collections and educational outreach programs and serves up to 25,000 visitors a year. School tours and related hands-on workshops are free to students in the region, allowing access to quality culture, arts and history programs. SCM is a Smithsonian Affiliate.
Currently, we are inviting local Sonoma County volunteers for docent duties for our fall tour programs. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For more information, visit www.sonomacountymuseum.org.