Volunteer Bill of Rights
The right to feel safe
Being a volunteer gives you the freedom to leave your comfort zone and routine in order to try new things and experience new challenges, but it is important that you always feel safe. As a volunteer, you have the right to be kept informed of any potential risks you may face and to expect that safety measures are in place to protect your physical and emotional well-being.
The right to information about your volunteer role or project
Your service and time are valuable, and you have the right to clear expectations and support in your role. It is important you are able to ask questions every step of the way as a volunteer and have access to the “who, what, when, why, and how” of your volunteer position.
The right to a suitable assignment
Every volunteer has special gifts that they offer to the community, and while organizations may be in demand of your skills, you have the right for your personal preference, temperament, life experience, education, and employment background to be taken into account. If you find yourself in a positon that isn’t working for any reason, you have the right to talk to your volunteer manager or supervisor to discuss ways to shift your role or move into a different position.
The right to feel valued
Volunteering is a significant commitment and contribution to your community that you choose to make. In return, you have the right to feel that your service and effort are valued by your organization. It is your right to be valued for the difference you make and be recognized for the impact of your service.
The right to guidance, support, and feedback
A volunteer is not an employee or free worker and should not be treated as such, but it is important that you have direction and guidance in your role. It is important that you are comfortable with asking your supervisor or volunteer leader questions about expectations or seek instructions for a task. Training, support, supervision, and feedback should be available to you from the worksite staff so that you can continue to serve at the highest level.
The right to be a part of the team
You are making a commitment to the organization you are working with, and you are having an impact on their mission. Therefore, you have the right to be considered a member of the team and have your suggestions and concerns taken seriously. It is your right to be trusted and respected by the worksite staff, be heard, and be a part of planning your tasks.
The right to leave
Should you ever become unhappy with your volunteer position, you have the right to stop volunteering there. You shouldn’t make this decision lightly, but if, after conservations with your supervisor and volunteer coordinator, you feel unhappy, then another volunteer assignment should be made. Volunteering does the most good for both the organization and you when you are fulfilled and happy with your position. Be polite and professional when leaving and don’t give up on volunteering, just acknowledge that it is time to move on.