Volunteers organisations and service groups are at risk of becoming a distant memory, the Ararat and District Historical Society president said.
Gerry Bolt, incumbent president for the past five years, said the demand for volunteers is high in Ararat, but the pool of volunteers is low.
"It's a case of too little butter and too much bread," Mr Bolt said.
"Ararat has a massive demand for volunteers - it feels like every organisation in town needs a band of volunteers to run.
"But the Council can't wave a magic wand and create more volunteers.
"We (the Historical Society) are strapped for members ... we have too few staff and no resources.
"Our geology person retired after many years of service; she was amazing and she will be a huge loss to our organisation."
Mr Bolt said the problem is exacerbated by the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced older community members, who are the bulk of volunteers, to give up their vocations.
Situated at the Langi Morgala Museum at 48 Queen St, the society displays Ararat's agricultural, religious, economic, cultural, sporting and military history.
This museum holds a vast collection of items, including Indigenous artefacts, thousands of photographs, and features collections of significant locals such as botanist Stan Kelly, artist Mary Norman-Bail, and Olympian Shane Kelly.
"The Ararat council have been fantastic by providing us with a building," Mr Bolt said.
"We do a lot of searching for members of the community; recently, we had an enquiry about whale bones found in Ararat.
"There's quite an art to finding old records.
"Unfortunately, most of our records have been destroyed by silverfish.
"We have a lack of high-quality storage - it would require millions of dollars to upgrade.
"We rely on outside resources, such as the Ararat Advertiser and the Library.
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