Staying Connected to our Volunteer Community

By Kristin Strommer
Director of Communications and Marketing
Museum of Natural and Cultural History 

In March 2020, the pandemic forced us to temporarily close our doors to the public—and to the museum volunteers whose day-to-day presence we immediately began to miss. In an effort to stay connected to our volunteer community, the Public Programs team created a series of virtual volunteer meetups and has been hosting them monthly on Zoom.

Our Zoom meetups mean we can regularly check in with each other, discuss programs, test ideas, and get feedback from this important group of museum supporters.

These lively events, which convene volunteers from all museum divisions and often feature museum researchers as guest speakers, are providing us with unique learning opportunities while also fostering vital connections among museum volunteers and staff.

MNCH volunteers on a pre-pandemic field trip in 2020

MNCH volunteers on a pre-pandemic field trip to the Hallie Ford Museum

“During the meetups we’ve been able to check in with each other, discuss programs, test ideas, and get feedback from this important group of museum supporters,” said museum education coordinator Robyn Anderson. “What started as a way to stay connected during the pandemic turned into a communication tool that we can continue to use in the future.”

Robyn also said that the meetups allowed out-of-town volunteers to connect more regularly with the museum—an unexpected bonus of the new program. “I’ve seen more of our volunteer Megan than ever before,” she said. “She’s a devoted volunteer, but she lives two hours away and has a school-age child, making it challenging for her to volunteer onsite on a regular basis. The meetups have enabled volunteers like her to be more connected to the museum, even in this time of social distancing.”

The museum thanks all of our volunteers for their ongoing, enthusiastic support. Whether virtual or in-person, their presence means the word to us.


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