1.Before you do anything else, determine how much time you want to or are willing to give to the museum. An hour a month? Twenty hours a week?
2.Short term or long term help? The museum needs to know your volunteering plans. Is this a one-time thing, something to last a summer, or are you planning on volunteering for several years?
3.Why do you want to help? Think about what you want to accomplish by volunteering. Do you want to help the museum finish a specific project? Help the museum get funds? Earn college credits for you? Learn something?
4.Choose a museum. If you are volunteering for a special project, you have probably already chosen a museum. If not, choose a museum that will best help reach your objective above. You might have to call several museums before you narrow it down.
5.What can you offer the museum? Are you a warm body they could put to any task or do you have an expertise or talent for a particular job? Figure out (before you contact the museum) some positions you would like to hold.
6.When you know the answers to the questions above, call the museum. Tell them you are interested in volunteering; they will likely transfer you to a volunteer coordinator.
7.Don't expect the museum to bow down and kiss the ground you walk on. They will likely thank you for your interest but be skeptical of your reliability.
8.The volunteer coordinator will probably ask you in for an informal interview. Like all interviews, dress nicely (perhaps not as formally - depends on the museum) and be on time.
9.Sometimes a resume or application is recommended / required. This is not meant to scare you off; instead, it is meant to help the museum best match your skills and expectations with a position in the museum.
10.Just as the museum is examining you, you should examine the museum. Does this museum have a position that would suit you? Will you be happy volunteering here?
11.Once you have started, make sure you are always on time and act professionally. Though you are not getting paid, you should respect your position and the museum you are helping.
12.Be honest with the person in charge of volunteers. Are you happy in the position you were given?
13.Volunteering is a wonderful thing. Enjoy your new responsibility of helping others.