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Information for Tenderers

1) Volunteers are a vital and key part of our workforce. We currently have approximately 100 volunteers in our workforce who play a valued and critical role in helping us to achieve our charitable aims. However, there is a perception that over recent years the numbers of volunteers has fallen; both in terms of the absolute number and the amount of time they give to the Institution. More specifically, we are finding it increasingly difficult to find volunteers willing and able to take on ‘convenor’ roles (organising talks and events) and ‘management’ roles; for example we recently had to use the services of a head-hunter to find a new Treasurer as no one in our existing workforce was interested or willing to take on the role. We also have struggled to diversify our workforce, which remains predominantly white and over 65. Additionally, the number of women in senior roles is still too low.

2) Volunteer roles within BRLSI are extremely varied. Positions range from front desk to digital marketing, from curatorial roles through to Chair roles across a variety of committees. Recruitment & successful retention requires a range of approaches across the roles.

3) As a result of these challenges, there is increasing pressure to recruit paid staff to fill critical roles within BRLSI. These paid staff inevitably increase our cost base and make achieving breakeven more and more difficult.

4) This may in part be due to a macro change in working practices – with less middle managers retiring early with defined benefit pension schemes, looking for volunteer roles that can provide fulfilment and keep minds active.

5) Going forward therefore, if we wish to increase the size of audiences and range of activities, we will need to underpin these aspirations by increasing the size of our volunteer pool significantly and develop approaches to aid management succession.

6) To achieve this we are specifically looking at recruitment, role specification, volunteer satisfaction and day to day management of the volunteer workforce. A professional contractor is now sought to help us enhance our approach to recruiting and retaining volunteers (and roll out this approach) by undertaking:

a) A full audit of current volunteers and their roles and satisfaction across the volunteer workforce

b) Researching other charity volunteer schemes to establish best practices and useful initiatives

c) Reviewing the current approach to recruitment and retention of volunteers and workforce needs to identify current gaps and weaknesses

d) Setting out recommendations on how we can improve our approach to recruiting and retaining a more diverse pool of satisfied, committed & fulfilled volunteers

e) Undertaking a two month pilot, working with our current staff to build the proposition & recruit additional members to our volunteer pool; including:

i) Creating materials and resources using desktop publishing platforms such as Carva that can be used to attract a diverse pool of volunteers

ii) Reviewing and revising our online and other promotional approaches and resources (e.g. the volunteer webpage) to make sure we have the right systems and resources in place to attract more volunteers

iii) Drafting detailed volunteer specs and promoting them widely on various platforms inc. volunteer bureau, universities and any websites attracting volunteers and / or trustees.

iv) Visiting major companies, universities, and institutions to talk about what we do and how people there might want to get involved; forge partnerships with organisations e.g. some may grant day release to people wanting to volunteer, or some may want to help with digital marketing etc.

v) Work with Bath Spa University to identify and brief a student intern to continue work of pilot for a further three months.

7) Using learnings from the pilot project the contractor will advise on or develop tools and guidance that enable continuation the Volunteer Recruitment & Development project. Specifically;

i) Advising on and developing recruitment strategies for the variety of volunteer roles at BRLSI.

ii) Developing the proposition for volunteers at BRLSI including induction, benefits, social activities, partnerships with other charitable organisations

iii) Assessing & advising on tools that could be used to help ongoing coordination & management of volunteers

iv) Creating a ‘best practice’ handbook outlining the BRLSI volunteer proposition and providing clear written guidelines for staff to ensure long term success of the programme

v) Implementing guidelines & training staff to enable the long term development of the Volunteer proposition by BRLSI staff

To train the staff and / or volunteers as needed and produce a guidance note on approaches to be followed in future

Volunteer Proposition & Development Contract




6 month contract (Flexibility on time)

Contract Type:



Hybrid: Bath & Remote Working

Close Date:

Thursday, 30 May 2024

Email Contact:

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