Volunteer FAQs

Who can be a volunteer?

  • To work solo, a volunteer must be 18 or over.
  • Volunteers must have a genuine concern to help the general public, are capable of learning and imparting accurate information, can respond respectfully to the needs of MPM visitors, are available on the days/times needed, and have a willingness to use a computer to access the internet for scheduling and record-keeping functions.

Can volunteers be under 18?

  • Teenagers 13-17 are welcome to volunteer when accompanied by a parent/guardian for their entire shift. A parent may volunteer with two of their children ages 13-17: all three would work together. It’s the responsibility of the parent to (1) keep the teen(s) focused on the tasks at hand; (2) teach their children welcoming skills; (3) how to engage museum patrons in the activity assigned; (4) be the responsible decision-maker in handling issues/questions; and (5) know what to do in emergency situations (e.g. where the emergency exits are or how to handle a person who faints). We encourage the volunteerism of teenagers, but ask their parents to keep them focused and safe.

How do I become a volunteer?

  • View the available volunteer opportunities and prioritize your first two choices.
  • Fill out and return the volunteer application, drug-free environment form, and background check paperwork.
  • Attend a 40-minute interview and a 1½-hour New Volunteer Orientation. The interview must be scheduled via volunteeroffice@mpm.edu. The dates for the New Volunteer Orientation are on this website.
  • Training for your prioritized volunteer opportunity takes place on a separate date.

What's the commitment level to volunteer?

  • Inability to make a commitment or less than 3 months restricts you to Date-Specific Opportunities.
  • Short-term minimum commitment is six 4-hour shifts over 3-4 months. (Ask Me! Desk)
  • Mid-term commitment is 5-6 months with twelve 3-4 hour shifts. (Nickelodeon, Bug Patrol, Stop Spot carts, Window Interpreter, Traveling Exhibit carts)
  • Long Term minimum commitment is at least one 4-hour shift per month for 12 months or longer. (Docent and Curatorial Assistance)
  • All calendars are accessible via the internet program Volgistics, so you can schedule yourself and record hours from your home computer. (Training sessions are coordinated by volunteer trainers and are not on the Volgistics calendar.)

What if I don't have an email address or a computer?

  • You must be capable of using a computer at MPM. Training will be provided. For those who don't know how to use a computer, please bring a computer-literate person with you to orientation. All calendars and record-keeping will be done via our online system.
  • You are encouraged to get a free email address at your local library.

What are the benefits of volunteering at MPM?

  • Satisfaction of giving back to your community.
  • Satisfaction of enhancing our visitors' experiences.
  • Discounts for our café and coffee kiosk.
  • Reduced parking in the MacArthur Square parking garage.
  • Annual recognitions and continuing education.
  • Volunteers completing 40 hours of service by August 31 will be eligible to receive an MPM Volunteer (single) Membership for the coming year and will receive emailed invitations to recognition events.