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By Definition Polices

By Definition Polices

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By Definition Polices by Linda Graff
By Definition Polices by Linda Graff

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Published by: mpriceatccusa on May 23, 2013
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The relationship between salaried and unsalaried staff within an organization is critical to volunteer

satisfaction and to the success of the entire volunteer program. In fact, Nora Silver (1988) suggests this

can be `the single biggest pitfall unless steps are taken early to encourage teamwork.'

It is impossible to legislate trust, respect and cordiality; however, defining boundaries, roles, and

expectations can encourage their development.

Sample Statements:

Volunteers and paid staff are considered partners in implementing the mission and programs of

the agency, with each having an equal but complementary role to play. It is essential [to] the

proper operation of this relationship that each partner understand and respect the needs and

abilities of the other.

(adapted from McCurley, 1990: 9)

The presence of volunteers in a service is a privilege not a right. Staff must demonstrate a

willingness to work effectively with volunteers before they are permitted to apply for volunteer


(MacKenzie, 1990: 21)

Policies For Volunteer Programs

Page 38

Linda L. Graff



This chapter presents a sampling of the main areas in which policies may be required regarding volunteer

involvement. Examples of policies and issues for consideration appear throughout.

Most certainly, there will be other aspects of involvement that need to be covered by policy statements

which are not mentioned here. Thus every organization that involves volunteers in any capacity ought to

thoroughly examine that involvement for possible risks and liabilities, and for other areas that warrant

policy or position statements. Consultation with both legal and insurance experts is advisable.

Deciding on the best policy for one's program may have little or nothing to do with risk or liability. It may

have as much to do with values, beliefs, and the larger mission of the agency. Consulting existing

documents can be helpful - look at the personnel policy manual; the staff manual; the board of director's

manual. In some (if not many) instances, the policy can be the same for paid and unpaid staff.

Once policies are developed, procedures, guidelines and standards should also be implemented to ensure

the most effective, productive, and safe participation of volunteers. For example, the policy may be to

support continuing education for volunteers and to at least partially reimburse cost where appropriate. The

procedure might include mention of:

posting notices of related educational opportunities

facilitating time off, locating substitutes

bringing in speakers on relevant topics

rules about approval, when, by whom, etc.

For the most part, discussions in this manual are confined to policy issues and statements, and rarely cover

the specific procedures needed to implement the policy.

The policies in this chapter are presented in an order which generally follows the `volunteer retention

cycle' (MacKenzie, 1988: 7) - the tasks in volunteer management from planning and job descriptions

through recruitment, interviewing, placement, training and review to reassignment.

Any idea, phrase, or quotation which appears in bold and italics is one which has the potential to be - or

to be a part of - a policy. Watch for these elements in attempting to construct policies and statements.

Policies For Volunteer Programs

Page 39

Linda L. Graff

The specific policy issues covered in this chapter are:

Paid Versus Unpaid Work - Who Should Do What Work?

Job Design/Job Descriptions

Health and Safety - Working Conditions For Volunteers




Background Check

Criminal Record/Community Service Order

Certification Of Qualification



Acceptance Of Appointment



Continuing Education

Volunteer Recognition


Attendance Records


Leave of Absence

Performance Review

Evaluating Board Members

Volunteer Dismissal

Grievance/Complaint Procedure

Volunteer Records

Volunteer Program Evaluation

Dress Code





Policies For Volunteer Programs

Page 40

Linda L. Graff

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