A Volunteer Agreement sets out the things that you expect from your volunteer and what they can expect from you. It will give you and your volunteer a fantastic starting point in your working relationship that clearly outlines how you intend to commit to one another.
When a volunteer begins their new role with you, they will bring their enthusiasm and eagerness but also expectations of what they will be doing and how you will look after them. Likewise, they will have responsibilities to you and your organisation just as you will carry responsibilities to them. Understanding this relationship is the key to building a safe arrangement between you and your volunteer.
Your responsibilities to your volunteer
You are responsible for letting them know:-
- what you expect them to do
- when you expect them to do it – how much time you would like them to commit
- where they will be doing it
- what training you will give them
- what support you will give them
- that they are safe and insured when working for you
- how they will be supervised
- will they get expenses
- what to do if they are unhappy or if there are problems
Your volunteer’s responsibilities to you
Your volunteers are responsible for:-
- doing what you ask them to
- working with your policies and practices
- showing up when they say they will
- attending training and support sessions
When writing up your Volunteer Agreement, think about the language you use. Shy away from you using words such as ‘will’ and ‘must’. It is also a good idea to explicitly state in a disclaimer at the bottom of the final version that explains that the agreement is a not a contract of employment.