Museums Track Volunteer Hours | Track It Forward

Museums Track Volunteer Hours

Membership Goals

Encourage volunteers to meet an incentivized goal!

Organize Activities

Keep track of the different activities that each volunteer is signing up for.

Easy Volunteer Logging

Use embeddable widgets for volunteers to easily login and submit hours.

How the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science Makes Tracking Over 20,000 Volunteer Hours Look Effortless

The North Carolina Museum of Life and Sciences (NCMLS) offers a multitude of activities for volunteers. There are volunteer opportunities within the museum for groups, individuals, and even working in a camp setting as a volunteer! 

Museum volunteers can work as an educational volunteer in exhibits like Earth Moves Catalyst, help animal departments with cleaning and food preparation, ensure safety in the popular butterfly unit, and volunteer to staff large special events.

One of the most popular volunteer opportunities for museum volunteers is summer camp volunteering, where younger volunteers can help host and organize museum summer camps. This is a great opportunity for younger volunteers to educate children about the exhibits! 

Many museums love to have volunteers, the North Carolina Museum of Life and Sciences says volunteers help keep the museum running smoothly! The 2009 Museum Financial Information Study showed that some museums hold over 6x more volunteers than paid workers. The larger museums had a 2 to1 ratio of volunteers to full-time paid workers. With 35,140 museums in the United States alone, this is a lot of volunteers. 

Depending on the year, the North Carolina Museum of Life and Sciences has had up to 200 museum volunteers a year, and within these volunteers, there have been around 20,000 hours recorded. This is a lot of hours for a museum to keep track of and organize.

Specifically for the North Carolina Museum of Life and Sciences, they like to track museum volunteers in order to reward them with a free annual museum experience pass and add them to a list of invitees for special events at the museum!

chart showcasing north carolina museum of life and sciences volunteer hours for the year of 2019. there were 3,778 hours in the animal department, 3,111 in the butterfly house, 81 in Earth Moves Catalyst exhibit, 877 in exhibits, 299 in labs, 455 in programs, 1,700 in special events, and 6,094 in summer camp with youth volunteers

Museum Volunteer Software that NCMLS Uses

With Track It Forward, the Museum of Life and Sciences Volunteer Coordinator, Emma Nadeau, is able to quickly see the attractions that most volunteers are doing, how many volunteers are reaching the 100-hour goal, and she is able spend more time on the museum volunteer activities, rather than calculating and tracking hours herself. 

Track It Forward allows volunteers to track their own hours in the software. For NCMLS, this was a huge aspect. Prior to Track It Forward, each department and attraction had to keep track of the volunteers. This meant a lot of department heads taking time out of their busy schedules to organize their own volunteer tracking system and then report it to the coordinator. 

Track It Forward works well as a museum volunteer tracking software because it easily allows the addition of new volunteers to the software, creating a volunteer database, profile, and account for each volunteer, so they can log their own hours.

Emma says, “The most valuable aspect of Track it Forward is the ability to empower volunteers to take control of their own hour tracking,” says Emma. “Giving them that trust and responsibility then allow us to spend time planning events and doing other things.”

Specific Features That Help Museums Track Volunteer Hours 

Within Track It Forward, there are many different features that can help organize data and make volunteer tracking easier for the museum volunteer coordinator or museum volunteers. 

Activity Sorting 

Since NCMLS likes to organize their volunteers based on the activity they are volunteering for, this was a great feature for them. When a volunteer logs their hours, they must answer what type of activity they did. For example, if they were volunteering on behalf of a camp program, if they worked at the Earth Moves Catalyst exhibit, or in the Butterfly House. 

This helps Emma see which exhibits are getting the most attention and which need the most help! As a volunteer coordinator or administrator on the Track It Forward website, Emma has her own dashboard that helps oversee all of the museum volunteers. 

“It’s very useful to be able to log in and see the total hours volunteered according to each department and according to each activity,” says Emma. 

Emma could also easily generate different reports on each activity or department within her dashboard on Track It Forward. Within minutes, she can have a downloadable report with all the information on her museum volunteers. 

chart showing hours and activities in track it forward dashboard

Milestones

This feature functions both for volunteers and volunteer coordinators. A large way to motivate volunteers is to give them some sort of recognition and achievement! For museum volunteers at NCLMS, this is a free membership after 100 hours! 

From a volunteer’s perspective, when they login to submit their volunteer hours at the museum, they can see in realtime how far along they are in the 100-hour goal. This can be a great motivator for volunteers to continue to volunteer.

In addition, the volunteer coordinator or admin on the website can see on their dashboard how many volunteers are close to the 100- hour goal or specifically check in on each volunteer to see how far along they are. 

The milestones feature is an easy addition to Track It Forward and is a great way for volunteers and volunteer coordinators to be up to date and aware of their hour progression! 

Embeddable Widget 

screenshot from North Carolina Museum of Life and Sciences showing the embed for current volunteers to log their hours on the website.

Another feature the museum uses is an embeddable hour log! This means that volunteers can easily find where to log their hours on the museum’s website! A lot of times, volunteer management software may require downloading software, which some volunteers do not like. 

With Track It Forward, the North Carolina Museum of Life and Sciences just posts the embeddable hour log on their website, so it is easily found for volunteers! 

Track Museum Volunteers with Track It Forward 

Museums are a great place for a variety of volunteers to meet and learn about a multitude of things! At a place where volunteers are in such high demand, it is just as important to track these museum volunteers! 

Track It Forward is available on desktops, laptops and mobile devices. Volunteers find the software very easy to use and a great motivator to do more volunteer work! Volunteer coordinators find the features time-saving and easy to navigate. 

FAQs

  1. How do I get involved in museum volunteer tracking?
    Many museums have a volunteer section in the footer of their website, or you may be able to reach out to the museum contacts and they can put you in contact with the Museum Volunteer Coordinator. 
  2. Why would I need to track my museum volunteer hours?
    If you are volunteering at a museum, it is important to keep track of your volunteer hours for certain awards you may be entitled to receive, or some job applications and higher education applications like to see numerical data on volunteer work! 
  3. Why would a museum need to track their volunteers?
    Museums can give a lot of work to volunteers as a learning experience. Keeping track of museum volunteers adds a personal touch to each volunteer, as well as a better management program for volunteers. This can help create better activities and programs in the future! 

Use our volunteer tracking software if you are a museum volunteer coordinator.

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