Call for speakers: volunteer development event

Volunteering offers people opportunities to learn new skills, build their confidence, network with sector professionals and try new things. Volunteer organisers can ensure that volunteers get the most out of their experience by talking with them about their motivations for volunteering and then drafting a development plan.

The Volunteer Organisers Network (VON) is looking for speakers for an upcoming event they’re organising on volunteer development. VON is a peer-to-peer support network of volunteer organisers within Scotland’s heritage sector. VON is part of the Make Your Mark campaign, which aims to increase the number and diversity of heritage volunteers in Scotland.


26 April, 2pm – 3pm.


We’re looking for contributions from people who manage volunteers within Scotland’s heritage sector. We ascribe to a wide definition of ‘heritage’, including but not limited to:

  • Organisations that work with the natural and built environment
  • Organisations that preserve and celebrate intangible heritage (oral histories, dialects, memories, cultures, local lore)
  • Volunteer-led organisations
  • National museums
  • Civic trusts
  • Local heritage and history groups
  • Museums and galleries
  • Historic houses and castles
  • Libraries and archives
  • Buildings and monuments
  • Development trust associations

The event will last 1 hour, and take the format of a round-table discussion between volunteer managers with different approaches to volunteer development. We anticipate a total of 4-5 speakers will give a brief overview (5 minutes) of their volunteer development approach, and then we will open up the event to a wider discussion with attendees.

We’re looking for speakers who fall into these broad categories:

  1. Light touch: Volunteer organisers collect information about volunteer motivations on an application form and discuss volunteer motivations at the interview. Beyond this, there is no formal plan, and volunteer development will consist of on-the-job training and shadowing.
  2. Basic plan: In conversation with the volunteer, the volunteer organiser creates a basic development plan to ensure that the volunteer has a fulfilling, varied experience and develops key skills.
  3. More thorough training programme: Volunteer organiser works towards the volunteer reaching a required level of competence (but not a qualification) in a particular role. This would include a timeframe, shadowing, practice, check-in chats, etc.

We’d also ask you to bring along one of your volunteers to share a bit about their motivations for volunteering and their development.


Interested in contributing? Please email Erin Burke, Make Your Mark Communications Officer ( with a brief description (50-100 words) of your volunteer development approach & which above category applies to you

The deadline for responses is 20 March at 11.59pm.

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