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The Nordic Academy for Volunteer Management - Nordplus Adult NPAD-2018/10162

Project: Research


  • Nordic Center of Heritage Learning and Creativity (NCK)
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Previous projects like the Nordplus-funded „Pride, Joy and Surplus Value: Volunteering at Cultural Heritage Institutions“ (2014-2015) and „Level Up: Securing Quality in Managing Volunteers“ (2016-2018) have shown that volunteering in heritage institutions encourages active citizenship, lifelong learning and supports well-being by diminishing stress and social isolation. The largest groups of volunteers are persons over 50 years and in particular pensioners. For many museums volunteers add value through their knowledge, creating a welcoming atmosphere and reaching out to wider audiences. However,
the „LevelUp“ survey has shown that many museums are unfamiliar with best practice in managing volunteers and the legal frameworks in their countries.
This project seeks to develop courses and networks for knowledge exchange for persons working or planning to work with volunteers at Scandinavian museums. It will be carried out in collaboration between museums and adult learning professionals from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. We will design tailor-made volunteer management courses on an introductory and advanced level that
can be offered in each Scandinavian country (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland). Moreover, we will provide online solutions for the dissemination of relevant material and explore the transferability of the results to other heritage sectors like archives. The result will be a „Nordic Academy for Volunteer Management“ with an online presentation and links to the project’s museum partner organisations in
each Scandinavian country that serves as a basis for the exchange of knowledge, experience and ressources in the Nordic-Baltic area also after the end of the project period.

Key findings

The project stated the following goals in the project applications:
1.Provides introductory and advanced courses for adult persons working with volunteers at Scandinavian museums.
2. Create knowledge exchange opportunities and learning material for volunteer managers with tailormade solutions for the legal frameworks in the different Scandinavian countries.
3. An archive professional will give feedback in order to explore the compatibility of results between the different heritage sectors.
The first goal was completely met. We created a conceptual framework of material that can be applied to different contexts - different forms of museums, as well as museums at different levels of experience with volunteer management (at both introductory and more advanced levels). The conceptual framework
consists of two parts: a toolbox and a guide. It also includes a template which can be added to over time, meaning that the conceptual framework can be updated over time, assuring sustainability and that it can be updated in accordance with new developments. However, when testing and evaluating the material
produced we noted that it may be less fitting for people with no previous experience at all of volunteer management. We addressed this through adding a better background to volunteer management in the Nordic countries to the course material as well as a more detailed introduction to the material.
The second goal was mostly met. We created knowledge exchange opportunities through two transnational meetings as well as two national meetings and when piloting the material to volunteer managers at Museums in Sør-Trøndelag (MiST) and Jamtli museum. The conceptual framework included information about the legal frameworks in different Nordic countries. Discussing different policies for volunteer management was one of the most important points when piloting the material.
The third goal was completely met. We benefited from a project partner from the Associations Archive in Östersund, who participated in the activities and wrote an internal document concerning the transferability between the museum and the archive sector. This document will prove very useful when developing future projects oriented more towards the archive sector.
Effective start/end date01/09/201801/12/2020

Research outputs

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ID: 225344643