Corporate volunteering at museums is increasing

Jonathan Knott, 05.11.2015
But fewer fiscal donations to charities, says Gough
Corporate volunteering is on the increase while fiscal donations to charities are decreasing, Richard Gough, the volunteer coordinator at Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, told delegates at the Museums Association Annual Conference and Exhibition
He said that employer supported volunteering (ESV) schemes benefited businesses through contributing to CSR, image and employees’ soft skills. Likewise, the extra capacity can help museums “get things done”. He compared setting up a sustainable volunteering partnership to completing a jigsaw puzzle, matching the needs of the museum, the business and volunteers.

Gough stressed the importance of building long term partnerships and advised delegates to work with businesses “that share your values as a museum”.

Speaking at the same session, Danielle Garcia, the volunteer programme manager at Imperial War Museum North, said that if: volunteering for wellbeing, a volunteer and training programme led by her institution with Manchester Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry, had helped local people who were long-term unemployed or young people struggling to find work develop their confidence and employability.

Participants underwent a ten-week training programme, followed by a six-week volunteer placement in a local partner institution. The museum’s research found that 86% of those who had completed the scheme reported increased wellbeing, and 30 had gained employment.

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