Part 6 - Volunteers and Board of Directors


Hot Docs, the Canadian International Documentary Film Festival, partnered with WorkInCulture and the Toronto Fringe Festival to develop general resources to support volunteer management in arts and culture. Their program includes in-person and online training as well as volunteer recruitment sessions. On the Hot Docs website you’ll find an extensive and detailed manual, Guidelines for Volunteer Management. That’s a great place to start and it offers resources, templates and tips that illuminate the whole Volunteer Cycle for the arts and culture sector:

  • planning and preparation
  • recruitment
  • orientation and training
  • feedback and evaluation
  • retention and rewards

Of course, you’ll be aiming to establish a full (and fully inclusive) volunteer program over time, but in this section we’ll provide some tips around particular areas of volunteer and board management.

As always, you want to begin with time for self-reflection:

  • What do diversity and inclusion mean to you in your volunteer program?
  • Why is it important now?
  • What are the benefits and the risks not just for your organization but also for new potential volunteers?
  • Are you ready to broaden your recruitment? Are your policies up to date and are your vision and goals clearly articulated?
  • Is your organization and volunteer leadership on board with the notion?
  • Have you reviewed your organization and its practices, and thought about how to address possible barriers within your organization or systemically?

This is where a business case to put forward proposed changes to your volunteer program and to win support for these changes is extremely helpful.  Apply the business case planning tools from Section 2 - Making The Case and from WorkInCulture’s online eLearning to your volunteer management.