BY DEFINITION

:
POLICIES FOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS
A Manual For Executive Directors, Board Members, and Managers of Volunteers

By Linda L. Graff

Published By LINDA GRAFF AND ASSOCIATES INC. Second Edition - Revised

BY DEFINITION:
POLICIES FOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS
A Manual For Executive Directors, Board Members, and Managers of Volunteers

By Linda L. Graff

Published By LINDA GRAFF AND ASSOCIATES INC. Second Edition - Revised

© LIND A GRAF F AN D ASSOCIATE S INC. , 1997 This manual, or iginally published by Volunteer Ontario, is now being published by: LINDA GRAFF AND ASSOCIATES INC. 167 Little John Road Dundas, Ontario, Canada. L9H 4H 2 Tel/F ax: (905) 627-8511 e-mail: LL . GRAFF@sympatico.ca

Canadian Cataloguing in Publication Data Graff, Linda L. By Definition: Policies For Volunteer Programs: A Manual For Executive Directors, Board Members, and Managers of Volunteers 2 nd ed. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 0-9684760-0-7 1. Voluntarism– Management. I. T itle. HN 110. Z9V64 1998a All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited except for sample forms and policies which may be reproduced for direct application. 364. 3' 7' 068 C99-900030-6

PLEASE NOTE:
Inclusion of sample policy/position statements or procedures in this document does not mean endorsement by either the author or the publisher. Adapt, alter, and/or amend any sample policy, position or procedural statements to suit your own organizational needs and mission.

FOREWORD TO THE LINDA GRAFF AND ASSOCIATES INC. REVISED SECOND EDITION

This publication was originally written by Linda L. Gr aff, under contract for Volunteer Ontario. The production of By Definition was supported by funds from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, and it was first published in 1992 by Volunteer Ontario. The manual met with immediate success across North America and the first edition sold out in only eight months. It was revised only slightly and reprinted as a second edition later in 1992 by Volunteer Ontario which continued to distribute the manual until 1997. In 1997 Volunteer Ontario ceased to exist and the copyright to By Definition was purchased by Linda Graff, Senior Associate of LINDA GRAFF AND ASSOCIATES INC.. LINDA GRAFF AND ASSOCIATES INC. is now the publisher of the manual. This revised second edition has been produced as an electr onic version only. While prepar ing it in this format, we have taken the time to fix a few small error s, but in substance it remains identical to the second edition published by Volunteer Ontario.

Linda L. Graff LINDA GRAFF AND ASSOCIATES INC. January, 2003

i

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Citizenship provided funding to help to defray the costs of researching and producing this publication. Their support is gratefully acknowledged as it makes this manual more accessible throughout the voluntary sector where r esources are always so limited. Mar garet Stanowski, E xecutive Director of Volunteer Ontario, deserves a great deal of credit for the existence of this document. She pursued funding, supervised the production of drafts, and answered seemingly endless questions with cheer. H er support was unfailing. Marg' s dedication and untiring effor ts to build suppor t for the voluntar y sector and for Volunteer Ontario present a great example to all of us in this field. Mar ilyn MacKenzie of Partners Plus shared her great wisdom and experience at the very beginning of this document. As always, she gave me the courage to go on. Sheilagh Hagens, Agency Services Coordinator at the Volunteer Centre of Hamilton and District, edited three successive versions of this manual. She is as good an editor as I have ever had the privilege to work with. Sheilagh helped to translate ideas to a practical level since she always has the interests of the Manager of Volunteers in focus. The forms and figures in chapter VIII are her idea and largely her design. Lorr aine Street, Volunteer Ontario Vice President, contributed the final edit and helped gather details on AIDS policy, police checks, and the applicability of the Ontario Human Rights Code to voluntary activity. Lorr aine' s input always makes for a more clear, more comprehensive, and better written document. Many M anagers of Volunteers have spent time discussing issues and sharing their own policies and manuals. In particular, I offer sincere appreciation to the following for their willingness to support me and this project: Deborah Gibson Daphne Payne Shirley Gignac Heather Baker June Smith Kathleen Douglass Canadian Red Cross Society - Ontario Division St. Peter' s Hospital, Hamilton Psychiatric Rehabilitation Progr am, St. Joseph' s Hospital, Hamilton Elizabeth Fr y Society, Hamilton Branch Home Support Program, Family Services of Hamilton-Wentworth The Arthritis Society - Area Coordinator, Region Office

Appreciation is also extended to the following Volunteer Centres which responded to requests for information and assistance: The Volunteer Centre of Hamilton and District Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau Central Volunteer Bureau of Ottawa-Carleton Volunteer Bureau - United W ay of Sault Ste. Marie The Volunteer C entre of M etropolitan Toronto Cambridge Volunteer Bureau Volunteer London

Linda L. Graff, Consultant. Hamilton, Ontario. May, 1992.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
FOREWORD TO THE SECOND EDITION ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS PAGE i ii

I.

INTRODUCTION - A GUIDE TO THIS MANUAL To The Manager Of Volunteers To Boards And Senior M anagement Structure Of This Manual On Using This Manual

1 1 1 2 3

II.

VOLUNTEERING IN THE 1990'S - WHY Policy-making HAS BECOME CRITICAL Volunteerism And Change Value And Complexity Management And Liability

4 4 5 6

III. POLICY Definitions of Policy and Procedure Benefits of Policies Types of Policy Levels Of Policy The Team Appr oach To Policy Development Direction Of The Policy Development Pr ocess

7 7 9 10 13 14 15

IV.

THE ROLE OF BOARDS AND SENIOR MANAGEMENT Ultimate Responsibility - The Board of Directors The ` Age Of Suits' Boards and the Volunteer Program Executive Directors - The Importance of Leadership Per sonal And Organizational Liability Additional Benefits Of Policy Development 1. A Mor e Effective Program 2. Effectiveness Can Be Contagious 3. The Principle of Reciprocity - Boards Too Can Be Mor e Effective

16 16 16 17 17 18 19 19 19 19

V.

GENERAL POLICIES FOR THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM Philosophy Of Involvement - Why Are Volunteers Her e? The Right To Volunteer Definition Of ` Volunteer' The Importance Of Language Special Case ` Volunteers' - Students, C ourt Referrals, Loaned Executives Clients As Volunteers Employees As Volunteers

20 21 22 23 25 25 26 26 ..../

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TABLE OF CONTENTS - Page 2
PAGE V. GENERAL POLICIES FOR THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM - cont'd . Allocation of Resources Representation In Decision-Making Policies About Policies Multiculturalism/ Anti-Racism AIDS And Other Communicable Diseases Sexual Harassment Access To Information Confidentiality Conflict Of Interest Use Of Organizational Affiliation Speaking On Behalf Of The Organization Alcohol/Drugs Volunteer - Client Relationships Right of Refusal Volunteer - Paid Staff Relations

26 27 27 29 30 32 32 33 34 35 35 36 36 37 37

VI.

SPECIFIC POLICIES WITHIN THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM Paid Versus Unpaid Work - Who Should Do What Work? Job Design/Job Descriptions Health and Safety - Working Conditions For Volunteers Recruitment 1. Community Representation 2. Discrimination 3. Affirmative Action 4. Special Needs Volunteers 5. Recruitment Of Minors 6. The Importance Of Recruitment Interviewing Screening Background Check 1. Police Check 2. Personal/Professional Reference Checks 3. Permission To Divulge Sources Criminal Record/C ommunity Service Order Certification Of Qualification Placement Probation Acceptance Of Appointment Orientation Training Continuing Education

38 40 40 42 43 43 43 43 44 45 45 45 45 46 46 47 47 47 48 49 49 50 50 50 51 ..../

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TABLE OF CONTENTS - Page 3
PAGE VI. SPECIFIC POLICIES WITHIN THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM - cont'd. Volunteer Recognition 1. Volunteer Awards 2. Reimbursement - Enabling Funds 3. ` Perks' 4. Recognition of Volunteers By Paid Staff 5. Volunteer Mobility 6. Recognizing Paid Staff Who Work With Volunteers Supervision Attendance Records Absence Leave of Absence Performance Review/Evaluation Evaluating Board Members Volunteer Dismissal 1. Progr essive Discipline 2. Immediate Dismissal Grievance/Complaint Procedure Volunteer Records Volunteer Program E valuation Dress Code Identification Unions Strikes 1. To Involve Volunteer s? 2. What Work? 3. Which Volunteer s? 4. Picket Line 5. Volunteer Supervision During A Strike Insurance

51 52 53 54 54 55 55 55 56 56 56 56 58 58 58 59 60 61 62 62 62 63 63 63 64 64 64 64 65

VII. THE SEVEN STEPS IN POLICY DEVELOPMENT FOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS Step 1. Volunteers? Here? Step 2. Volunteer s? So What? Step 3. You Want What? Board Time? Step 4. Volunteers? Why? Step 5. Develop Policies Step 6. Develop Procedural Guidelines, Standards Step 7. Monitor Review, Revise Diagram: The Seven Steps in Policy Development

67 67 68 68 69 69 70 70 71

..../ v

TABLE OF CONTENTS - Page 4
PAGE VIII. THE HOW TO'S OF WRITING POLICY 1. Get Some H elp 2. What Policies Do We Need? 3. Prioritizing 4. The D evelopment and Approval Pr ocess 5. Tracking Policies Through Development 6. Writing Policies 7. Policy Review FORMS Figur e 1. Figure 2. Figure 3. Figur e 4. Figure 5. 72 72 72 73 74 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82

Policy Checklist Priorities For Policy Development Policy Form Tracking The Policy Development Process Review Schedule

IX.

CONCLUDING COM MENTS

83

X.

ENDNOTES

84

XI.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

87

XII. POLICY MANUALS CONSULTED

91

vi

I.

INTRODUCTION: A GUIDE TO THIS MANUAL

"Insofar as volunteer administration continues to see itself as derivative, passive and dependent, others naturally see us in the same way. Beginning to define ourselves as powerful, active and autonomous is the first step in becoming so." (Ivan Scheier, 1988:29)

This manual is about policies and policy development for volunteer programs. It is written for two key groups of readers - partners in the policy-making process: a) managers of volunteers, and b) boards/senior management in organizations which operate volunteer programs.

To The Manager of Volunteers: Managers of volunteers may be unfamiliar or uneasy with policy, what it means, what it does. Some may think that consideration or development of policy is beyond their mandate - that policy is typically the responsibility of boards and senior management. In fact, the manager of volunteers is a vital link in successful policy development for volunteer programs. She may need to take the initiative, define the need, provide the drive and share her expertise about volunteering. This manual is written as a guide to all of those functions. It offers plenty of help to both the novice and the experienced manager of volunteers. While we mention this again later on, it is worth emphasizing here: as a manager of volunteers you may be pulled to explore Chapters V and VI right away - these are the chapters on policies for and within the volunteer program. If you choose to look there first, you will get a very clear picture of exactly what kinds of policies are needed around volunteering, and see, immediately, the relevance and importance of policymaking to your position and department. Do not, however, concentrate on the specifics to the exclusion of the background, definitions, types and levels of policies which are detailed in Chapters II, III, and IV. This framework around policy development and the players who need to be engaged in policy development are equally important.

To Boards and Senior Management: Boards of directors and senior management have a duty regarding policies. They need to be involved in policy development and implementation. Only they have the authority to put into place the most broad organizational values and beliefs. They also need to oversee and give input into more specific levels of policy, ensuring that all are congruent with the agency' s mission. While this manual concentrates its specific examples on policies for volunteer programs, most of what is written here is equally applicable to other aspects of agency governance and operation. In many cases, what applies to unpaid staff is transferrable directly to paid staff. What works for direct service volunteers works for administrative and board volunteers. There is a great deal here for board members and senior managers.

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Structure Of This Manual
This manual has been compiled in a manner that roughly follows the policy-making process.

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Why? We start with a section (II) on why policy-making has become so important to volunteer programs at this point in time.

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What? Next is a section (III) on policy itself - definitions of what it is and how it differs from procedures.

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Who? Since general policies usually come first and require board/senior management involvement, we look at the roles of boards and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) in policy-making (Chapter IV).

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General Policies This is a chapter (V) on the general policies about the volunteer program that will most likely need board input.

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Specific Policies The most specific level, policies within the volunteer department, are discussed in chapter VI.

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The Steps in Policy Development Having explored the policy issues and questions, Chapter VII presents a seven-step model of policy development specifically for volunteer programs. It explores in more detail the roles of the respective players in the policy development process.

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How to Write Policies The manager of volunteers will ultimately want and need to get down to writing policies. Chapter VIII provides detailed information on how to actually write policies. It includes forms and charts to facilitate the identification, prioritizing, approval and tracking processes of policy-making.

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Concluding Comments Section IX summarizes key statements about the team approach to policy development, risk management, and the role of the manager of volunteers.

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Reference The last three chapters (X, XI, and XII) are reference sections: footnotes (endnotes), bibliography and a list of policy manuals or statements consulted in the preparation of this manual.

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On Using This Manual
Different readers will want to concentrate on different areas of this text. Board members may want to focus on the chapters about their own role and the general policy issues that will draw most heavily on their input. Managers of volunteers may want to go immediately to the section on specific policies about operating a volunteer program (Chapter VI). If you do skip around in your reading, at some later time you should read the rest of the manual in sequence for a more complete overview of policy and its development.

Footnotes, or in this case, endnotes, are found in their own section starting on page 84.

Sample policy statements have been included as illustrations throughout chapters V and VI. A variety of positions and perspectives on policy questions is included wherever possible.

A WORD OF CAUTION K Simply lifting policy statements from this or any other source can result in dangerous omissions and oversights. Because well developed policies make a unique statement about your agency, it is important that you work through the process of policy development. K Identify, design, and implement statements that both `feel right,' and cover all possible contingencies for your organization. This process offers the benefits of team involvement, greater investment and ownership in the outcome, and heightened awareness about the volunteer program throughout

Marlene Wilson offers us this reminder: There is no one right plot or design for an organization or a volunteer program. Each must be flexible enough to respond to their own realities of persons, funding, community needs and vision. (1976: 193)

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II. VOLUNTEERING IN THE 1990'S: WHY POLICY-MAKING HAS BECOME CRITICAL

"All of this is a far cry from the days when an agency staff member would pick up the phone periodically and call in some friends and neighbours to help with the task at hand." (Nora Silver, 1988: 86)

Volunteering has been around for decades. Why is it so important to attend to policies now? There are some elements about volunteering itself that suggest that now is the critical time for organizations to make sure policies are in place.

Volunteerism and Change
The voluntary sector has undergone remarkable change over the last three decades. 1 Within the voluntary sector, volunteerism, itself, hardly resembles what it was as recently as 1970. 2 Volunteerism has grown to enormous proportions. It was not all that long ago that organizations needed to be encouraged just to consider involving volunteers at any level beyond the legally necessary board of directors. Now, it is difficult to identify not-for-profit organizations which do not involve volunteers at all organizational and program levels, in both administrative (board/committee) and direct-service positions. Volunteers, themselves, are busy people who will offer their time and skills but who expect respect, rewarding work, thorough training, and responsible management in return. As Nora Silver (1988) has noted from her research on what makes successful volunteer programs, these new volunteers need new management techniques, yet many agencies are still not employing these practices.

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Further, the work done by many volunteers has become complex, responsible and sophisticated. It often demands both skilled management and significant resource allocations. Volunteers are not only in board rooms making critical financial and service decisions. They are also on the front lines, often side-by-side with paid staff, working directly with clients and program participants. What we are just beginning to realize is that as our communities grow and the problems increase and become more complex, helping one' s neighbour becomes more complex as well. (Wilson, 1976: 15)

Value and Complexity
Volunteering in Canada has been valued at $13.2 billion annually. (Ross, 1990) Yet, despite its value and importance, volunteering can go unrecognized by society and even by the administrators of agencies in which volunteers work. Many myths still abound about volunteering: that volunteering includes only monotonous or routine tasks; that volunteering is unimportant make-work; that volunteering is women' s work, and that mostly women volunteer. 3 These could hardly be further from the truth, yet they persist and help to perpetuate old images of volunteering. Like the work that volunteers do, the task of managing volunteers is also undergoing rapid change. It is a relatively new occupation and few recognize the essential skills it requires. Managers of volunteers often report stories such as this one: "My board of directors decided to introduce a new program and told me to go out and find 20 volunteers and have them working by next Tuesday." It is as if appropriate, skilled and completely trained volunteers are lining up to work for that very organization! The fact is that successful volunteering does not come from spontaneous combustion. Most of our organizations today are already rather complex and, unless we develop clear ways for volunteers to participate in our activities, people really do not know how to become involved. (Ellis, 1986: 3) More frequently now, as the economic situation worsens, management is pushed to reduce costs by ` tacking on' the responsibility for managing volunteers to another job description. This suggests that management of the volunteer department is a task anybody can do in his or her spare time. It reflects how lightly these positions are regarded. Still, many volunteer programs have developed into models of superb management. They are testaments to the skill and commitment of their managers. In other cases, however, the rapid expansion of volunteer programs has resulted in gaps. Trying to do so much, with so little, for so long has meant that managers of volunteers have had insufficient time to address the larger issues of policy development.

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Management and Liability
Rapid change and growth, combined with chronic under-funding to volunteer programs, has produced a gap between the real complexity of volunteer involvement and the ability of organizations to understand and manage the valuable resource they have mobilized. The more complex and direct the work of volunteers, the greater the liability to the volunteer, the client, the organization, and its management.

Consider these actual examples: K K volunteers are transferring wheelchair patients in and out of vehicles without training volunteer counsellors staff a crisis line with little training, including how to deal with potential suicides, and they have no professional backup a volunteer friendly visitor carries his ` client' up and down a flight of stairs each week to take her shopping a pharmacist volunteers as a befriender for a mental health organization and is giving advice to clients about which of their prescription medications they should and should not bother to take an elderly woman who has been a volunteer porter at the hospital for over two decades is beginning to lose her faculties. Last week she took a patient in a wheelchair to the wrong clinic where the patient waited for three hours before staff were able to locate him female volunteers are sent out to do home visits with male ex-offenders - some of whom have been convicted of violent crimes. The volunteers go alone, with no briefing on the nature of the offence high school students volunteer at a home for the aged, helping to feed residents, but they are not told what to do if the resident begins to choke volunteers drive individuals to medical appointments and receive a mileage reimbursement towards the cost of gas. They have not been informed that accepting even this minimal reimbursement may be sufficient to void their own personal automobile insurance policy

K

K

K

K

K

K

Volunteers are engaged in work that can bring them into contact with potential hazards. The field of managing volunteers is relatively new. Management principles and standards have yet to be adopted in many settings. Changes in volunteering have resulted in remarkable productivity gains, but they have also generated gaps and risks. This document is about those risks. It is also about one type of action that will help to ensure safe, meaningful, and responsible volunteer management practices - the development of general and specific policies for volunteer programs.

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III. POLICY

"The future of community organizations, and the independent sector as a whole, depends on the future of our volunteers. Right now that future is at risk. It is not for want of volunteers. It is not for want of good organizations providing good services. It is for want of the capacity of these good organizations to utilize people well." (Nora Silver, 1988: 1)

Definitions of Policy and Procedure
The word ` policy' is one with which we are all familiar, yet for most of us, it is difficult to identify exactly what it means in the context of our agencies and programs. It is difficult to sort out what a policy is, how it differs from a procedure, and the respective roles of each. The very word ` policy' can be intimidating. Few people work with policies on a regular basis. Most do not have the opportunity to understand policy or to feel at ease with it. There are a variety of perspectives on what policy is or should be. A number of definitions of policy are presented here since each offers different elements of what policies are about, what they can achieve. All are accurate and none is complete. Draw from these whatever makes sense in your own application.

Webster' s New World Dictionary (Second College Edition) defines policy as "a principle, plan, or course of action." Two distinct interpretations follow:

-

Policy, in the sense of a principle, implies that some kind of position is being taken, a value or belief is being stated.

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Policy, in the sense of a plan or a course of action, would include specific steps, procedures, or perhaps, a method.

Organizations need to articulate their values through missions and position statements; organizations also need to have procedural guidelines in place to instruct staff (paid and unpaid) on what to do or not to do.

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Shaw (1990) adds some thoughts on the nature of policies:
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they apply to everybody associated with the organization - its directors, staff, volunteers and clients. a policy states a boundary: inside the boundary, things are acceptable; outside the boundary, things are not. it is also in the nature of a policy that violations make one liable for consequences; in that sense, a policy is tough.

‘

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Paula Cryderman, who has written a manual on how to write policy manuals, helps clarify the difference between policies and procedures. She says policies tell people what to do: Policies form the written basis of operation secondary to legislation and the organization' s bylaws. They serve as guidelines for decision making; they prescribe limits and pinpoint responsibilities within an organization. Policies can be viewed as rules or laws related to the facility' s overall mission, goals and objectives. They are usually broad statements that are general in content. Despite this, policies may be detailed and particular if appropriate to the subject matter. Policies can exist at a corporate or board level, reflecting the overall objectives and affecting everyone in the organization, or they can exist at a lower level and be relevant to a specific department or unit. (Cryderman, 1987: 10)

On the other hand, procedures tell people how to do what they must do: Procedures give directions according to which daily operations are conducted within the framework of policies. They are a natural outgrowth of policies, supplying the ` how to' for the rule. Procedures describe a series of steps, outline sequences of activities or detail progression. Thus the procedure manual is operational and is usually best expressed in a directive tone. (Cryderman, 1987: 10)

Cryderman says that the terms ` policy' and ` procedure' should not be confused - yet sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between types of policies, or between policies and procedures. Perhaps it is wise to follow the pragmatic advice of John Carver (1990): it really is all policy - it just appears at different levels of specificity - so what you call it doesn' t matter all that much. What is most important is that policies and procedures are designed and implemented - regardless of what they are called.

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Benefits of Policies
Many organizations simply have not had the time to attend to defining the values and policies within which volunteering takes place. Given the current situation wherein everyone is trying to do more and more with less and less, this is understandable. Yet, this is an area must be attended to. This is not to say that policies will resolve all problems and eliminate all hazards. However, policy development and implementation will go a long way to reduce the dangers and risks which currently exist in the field of volunteering. There are many other good reasons to define policies for volunteer programs. Here are some examples:
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All organizations make policy decisions regularly. They just do not call them policies, and they often do not write them down. So, writing your policies can be a simple matter of formalizing decisions which have already been made.

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Writing decisions in the form of policies and distributing them to paid and volunteer staff can lend them greater import and perhaps better ensure compliance.

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Many policies are developed because of crises or problems. When something goes wrong, it becomes apparent that a position or policy is needed, either to decide what to do now, or to prevent the situation from recurring. So policies determine action and set boundaries beyond which one cannot go.

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Policies clarify responsibilities and define lines of communication and accountability.

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Policies provide a structure for sound management. Since they often identify the ` what' and sometimes even the ` how,' they can bring about program improvements and increase effectiveness.

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Policies ensure continuity over time and from staff to staff. In this sense, policies endure. They promote equity and standardization.

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Policies establish values, beliefs and directions for volunteer involvement. They connect the volunteer program to the larger organization and its mission.

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Policies can be a source of pride and satisfaction for managers of volunteers in a well-run program. They articulate the importance of volunteers and form an important, concrete, ongoing element of volunteer recognition. Policies thereby contribute to increased volunteer satisfaction and productiveness, and enhance volunteer retention.

Principles of sound and professional volunteer program management4 are equally important. In fact, policies and good management inform and support one another. Both are critical to successful, responsible, and safe voluntary action.

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Types Of Policies
In looking at the benefits of policies, and in considering the various definitions and descriptions of policies outlined above, four general purposes or types of policies emerge as central to our work in volunteer programs:
' ' '

policy as a statement of belief/position/value policy as a method of risk management policy as a rule policy as an aid to program effectiveness

'

POLICY AS A STATEMENT OF ' BELIEF ' POSITION ' VALUE

It is often useful and sometimes necessary for an organization to formalize its system beliefs and values about how it sees the world, what it holds to be important, how ` things are done around here. ' Statements of this nature often appear as policy statements. They can be very broad, having to do with the overall agency, such as this:

The Volunteer Centre of Metropolitan Toronto is committed to ensuring that its mission and operations embrace the community. It actively encourages the community to participate fully and benefit fully from its services. the Volunteer Centre ... is committed to racial equality and the elimination of racism in Metro Toronto. It strives to reflect the community in its structure (volunteer and staff) and to promote equal access to its services.

These types of policies can be more specific, focusing on a specific element of a department or service, such as this: Volunteers have the right to be fully prepared to perform their volunteer duties as assigned. The organization has the responsibility to provide the necessary training for satisfactory volunteer performance.

In both of these examples the organization is writing policy to articulate what it believes, what it holds to be important in its structure and its operation.

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POLICY AS ' RISK MANAGEMENT

Policies can serve as a mechanism of risk management since they can be used to clarify what will and will not be done, what is and is not acceptable in order to ensure safe, quality services. Through policies, an organization is able to establish the boundaries beyond which its paid and unpaid staff cannot go. Here are some examples of policies that will reduce risks to the agency, staff, volunteer, and/or client:

All volunteers may/will be required to submit to a criminal record/police/reference/check prior to acceptance as a volunteer. Individuals who refuse to comply with this request may not/will not be accepted as a volunteer. Volunteers will be required to inform their own insurance company of their volunteer driving activity to ensure continuance of protection. All new clients must sign a liability release form as a standard component of the ` application for service' procedure. It is important that all direct service volunteers have backup from the agency in the event that they encounter trouble in the course of their volunteer duties. An identified staff member or other agency representative will be on duty and accessible at all times when agency volunteers are on assignment.

Any possible conflict of interest on the part of a director shall be disclosed to the board. When any such interest becomes a matter of board action, such director shall not vote or use personal influence on the matter, and shall not be counted in the quorum for a meeting at which board action is to be taken on the interest. The director may, however, briefly state a position on the matter, and answer pertinent questions of board members. The minutes of all actions taken on such matters shall clearly reflect that these requirements have been met. Here is another example of policy as a rule: Volunteers may not use their organizational affiliation in connection with partisan politics, religious matters, or community issues contrary to positions taken by the organization.

POLICY AS ' RULE

Policies can be employed as rules to specify expectations, regulations, and guides to action. The following excerpt from Conrad and Glenn (1976:16) is a good example:

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POLICY AS AN AID TO ' PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

Sometimes policies can be used to ensure that a program operates smoothly or to improve the effectiveness of a program or service. For example, funders are increasingly demanding proof of program activity and service standards. For volunteer programs, statistics on hours contributed, clients served, miles driven, meals delivered, and so on have become important data. An organization might consider a policy such as: Volunteers will mail or deliver their activity logs to the manager of volunteers within five working days of month-end.

Here is another example of a policy that can improve program effectiveness or client service: Volunteers are expected to work within the parameters of their own volunteer job description while on duty with the agency. However, regular contact with clients can allow volunteers to make important observations about changes in the health and well-being of clients. Volunteers are expected to report such observations to the manager of volunteers who will take appropriate action. Implementing a policy that speaks to the operation of the program does not, of course, guarantee compliance, but the weight or import of stating an expectation in the form of a policy can help. It will also provide a basis for pursuing consequences in the case of non-compliance.

Keeping these four types of policies in mind will not only help to clarify what policies are, but will also help to identify where policies are needed in your agency or program. Consider the volunteers who work for your organization and the work they do. Ask these questions of your program. 5
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Are volunteers engaged in activities that may pose some risk to themselves, their clients, or other (volunteer/paid) staff? Could the implementation of policies reduce or even eliminate that hazard? Would a policy clarify rules and expectations? Would it help to ensure appropriate behaviour or excellence in work performance? Would a policy bring about a service enhancement? Are there unwritten beliefs or values that agency personnel should know about or that will set the context for agency operations, staff performance, or other more specific policies?

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Levels of Policy
There are many ways to conceptualize policies and to distinguish among different kinds of policies. For our purposes, it may be most useful to think about three basic levels of policy which range in degree of specificity from the most to the least general. To illustrate:

Organizational Policies

These are the most general, broad statements - the beliefs, values, mission of the organization as a whole.

These are general statements and beliefs about the volunteer program itself why it exists, what constitutes a ` volunteer,' etc.

General Policies About The Volunteer Program

These are the detailed policies within the volunteer department that specify what to do.

Specific Policies Within The Volunteer Program

The first level of policies above are the most general policies within any organization. They have to do with the philosophy, beliefs, values, mission of the agency as a whole. They will be primarily the duty of boards, with some input from senior management. Input from staff, direct-service volunteers and other organizational stakeholders may be invited, but the board is the key player in this kind of policy-making. Since this level of policy will have little (if anything) to do with volunteer involvement, it is outside the mandate of the manager of volunteers. It is also outside the scope of this manual and will not be addressed further.

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Ideally, the second level of policies - the general policies about the volunteer program - will be developed by senior management (paid and unpaid) together with the manager of volunteers. There will be valuebased decisions and positions needed here and so the board needs to be involved. Since these decisions are about the volunteer program, specific information about volunteering will be essential, requiring the involvement and expertise of the manager of volunteers. The third kind of policies - that dealing with the operation of the volunteer program - will be primarily the responsibility of the manager of volunteers. It deals with the details of what gets done in the volunteer program, and how it gets done. Board approval of this kind of policy is necessary. Board input into this policy design is desirable. But the main responsibility for its identification and development will most often fall to the manager of volunteers.

The Team Approach To Policy Development
Policy development is within the mandate of the board of directors and the most senior paid staff Executive Director, Administrator, Chief Executive Officer (CEO). These are the individuals who have ultimate responsibility for liability and risk management. It is equally important that the manager of volunteers also be involved in the policy-making process - at least as it relates to her department/program. Indeed, she may be largely responsible for ensuring that the need for policy is brought to the attention of senior management and the board. But in the same way that boards do not have the day-to-day knowledge or experience to design detailed policies, managers of volunteers rarely have the mandate to develop or approve organizational policies. They may risk overstepping their authority when they independently step into policy development. Senior management and the manager of volunteers need to work together in the development of policies for the volunteer program. Neither can do this alone. While all of these partners have a role to play in policy-making, their primary responsibilities vary. That is, they concentrate their efforts in different areas. Certainly, there will be some variation among organizations, but the levels of policies and the respective responsibilities of the two key players in policy development, typically, will look like this:

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WHO IS RESPONSIBLE

LEVEL OF POLICY

ü ü ü ü ü ü ü ü

Organizational Policies

BOARD/SENIOR MANAGEMENT , , , , , , , , ,

MANAGER OF VOLUNTEERS , , , , , , , , ,
ú ú ú ú ú ú ú ú ú

General Policies About The Volunteer Program

Specific Policies Within The Volunteer Program

LEGEND:

û û û û û û , , , , , ,

= Primary Responsibility For Development = Shared Responsibility For Development

Direction Of The Policy Development Process
The ideal policy development process moves from the most general level to the most specific level. The broad values of and beliefs about the organization as a whole will be established first, setting the context for all other policies. Policy development then proceeds through department-specific values and positions to the very detailed policies within each department, of which the volunteer department is one. While, in reality, policy development may not always follow such an orderly path, a movement from the general to the specific is advisable.

GENERAL

SPECIFIC

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IV. THE ROLE OF BOARDS AND SENIOR MANAGEMENT

"Power not used is power defaulted on and, ultimately, power irresponsibly used. " (John Carver, 1990: 16)

Ultimate Responsibility - The Board of Directors
There are many reasons to attend to policy development for volunteer programs. For boards of directors and senior staff, the most pressing reasons may be based in risk management and personal and organizational liability. While there is great debate among authors in the not-for-profit management field about the division of responsibilities between paid staff and boards, there is consensus that ultimate responsibility and accountability lies with the board of directors. (O' Connell, 1985; Ross, 1983; Ellis, 1986; Silver, 1988; Schoderbeck, 1990; United Way/Centraide Canada, 1990; Shaw, 1990) The board needs to look out for the interests of all who are involved in the service - not just the interests of the recipients of the service, and the paid staff, but also for the interests and well being of unpaid personnel. 6

The ` Age of Suits'
There is a growing acknowledgement among boards of directors that the increasing prevalence of legal action in Canada has implications for the degree of care exercised by boards in not-for-profit management. There is not only a greater risk of legal action against organizations, but also against volunteer board members as individuals. (Conrad and Glenn, 1976: 14) Murray Ross lists a number of examples in the not-for-profit field where responsibility has been placed by the courts with the board: I think of a few recent cases that involve the Board in lawsuits; (a) in a hospital where a paraplegic fell out of bed and broke an arm, (b) in a hospital where a baby may have been murdered, (c) in a university where a black worker was not promoted while a white co-worker was, (d) in a university where a foreign student is suing because his doctoral thesis was rejected, (e) in a Big Brothers organization where parents are suing because their son was sexually abused by a ` Big Brother.' In all these cases it is the Board, the responsible unit, that is being sued and not the individuals most closely associated with the incident. (Ross, 1983: 143)

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Perhaps one of the greatest errors board volunteers make is simply not ensuring that they know what is going on throughout the organization they serve. There have been several legal cases where board members were held legally accountable, largely because they had failed to exercise reasonable oversight and objectivity......the trustees had not taken responsibility for knowing what was going on. (O' Connell, 1985: 20)

Boards And The Volunteer Program
In the same way that the board is ultimately legally responsible for the organization as a whole, it is also responsible for the volunteer component. (Silver, 1988: 115) Susan Ellis, in From The Top Down, explores what administrators need to know about volunteer programs. She notes that decision makers make a point of knowing about salaried workers, but the same does not hold for unsalaried personnel. Nora Silver, in her research on what makes volunteer programs successful, echoes the same point: Boards of Directors have the positional authority to empower volunteer programs in their agencies or, conversely, to model an attitude which can be described as ` benign indifference. ' By their actions, boards establish an attitude toward volunteerism in their organizations. Even by doing ` nothing,' they are saying something. In this situation, neutrality is akin to indifference and promotes the message that volunteerism is unimportant in the organization. (1988: 116)

Believing that ` not knowing' is an adequate defence is a common error that boards can make, and the volunteer activity of organizations is often an area about which boards could be more informed. In fact, many boards have virtually ignored the volunteer component of their agencies. If for no other reason than out of concern for personal and organizational liability, boards need to begin to inform themselves of the risks and policy issues operating around volunteer involvement.

Executive Directors - The Importance of Staff Leadership
Senior management - typically Executive Directors, Chief Executive Officers, Administrators - share, with their boards, a significant degree of responsibility for agency and program operation. It is the responsibility of senior staff to bring issues to the attention of the board as well as to oversee all aspects of the-day-to day operation of the organization. But senior staff, like senior volunteers, can sometimes take volunteer involvement for granted. After years of training and consulting with so many leaders of volunteers, I have become convinced that many of their concerns stem directly from a lack of substantive support from their agencies' top administrators. This lack of support is not due to malice or unwillingness to be of help, but is rather due to the failure of executives to understand what is really needed from them. (Ellis, 1986: 1)

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To be fair, and as Ellis (1986: 1) reminds us, executives are not often taught anything about volunteers in their formal schooling. And sometimes managers of volunteers do not pass along information about the volunteer program. Often opportunities are missed to bring volunteer activities to the attention of boards and senior staff - opportunities to remind, to educate, to advocate. Managers of volunteers are in the pivotal position to stimulate change in this regard.

Personal and Organizational Liability
Volunteers are no longer just stuffing envelopes. They also perform complex and responsible work sometimes without proper training, supervision, or guidelines about what is and what is not appropriate. The potential for accidents and injury is frightening. Here are a few more illustrations:
K

a young man, accused, but not convicted, of arson in his last two volunteer positions is now volunteering at the art gallery - the gallery didn' t bother to check his references before accepting him as a volunteer a teen, who leads an exercise class for the city parks and recreation centre Tuesday nights must walk alone through an unlit parking lot on her way home - and in the winter it' s long past dark by the time she puts the equipment away and locks up volunteers working with frail and sometimes confused elderly in a daycare setting are distributing medications without supervision volunteers, who have received no training in lifting or transfer techniques, are going to clients' homes, giving baths a man who is known to have sexually abused young boys is coaching a minor hockey team

K

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Boards are often unaware of the kinds of risks that are being taken in the name of the organizations they are supposed to be managing. They are not fulfilling their duty to inform themselves and look out for the interests of the individuals involved. And, of most relevance here, boards have not taken the steps to determine appropriate policies and ensure the development of procedural guidelines that would reduce risks and ensure more effective voluntary participation. Such negligence could be interpreted in the courts as mismanagement, non-management, and/or breach of good faith constituting a violation of the fiduciary duty of board membership. (United Way, 1990) Boards and senior management can no longer leave volunteer programs to operate in isolation from the rest of the agency. Volunteer programs have developed to the level of legitimate, indispensible, ` productive' departments. As such they both deserve and require full managerial attention. Not tending to the very real risks and hazards inherent in volunteer program operation is courting disaster. It places the agency and all of its paid and unpaid staff and clients at risk. In the courts, in the press, in the public mind, boards can be, and are being, held accountable for mistakes, accidents, or negligence on the part of volunteers acting as agents of the organization. ` Not knowing' simply is not a good enough excuse - legally or morally.

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Additional Benefits Of Policy Development
Many benefits of policies were outlined earlier. Here are three more that have particular relevance to boards and senior management. 1) A More Effective Program The setting - and then the enforcing - of policies involving volunteers are two of the most visible ways you can demonstrate commitment to the integration of volunteers into your organization. (Ellis, 1986: 17) Boards and Executive Directors can make an enormous difference in the success and productivity of volunteering within their organizations. They can set an example by the importance they attach to volunteerism within their own organizations and within the not-for-profit sector. The board, through policy development, can create a supportive philosophy of volunteer involvement, demonstrating understanding and appreciation which are critical to the success, effectiveness and credibility of the volunteer department. (Moore and MacKenzie, 1990; Silver, 1988; Ellis, 1986; Pearce, 1983)

ii)

Effectiveness Can be Contagious

Attention to the volunteer department and its personnel can set the right kind of example and precedent for the rest of the organization. The most effective ways to support volunteers are also the best ways to work with salaried staff - not the other way around. The organization that creates a positive working atmosphere for its volunteers usually also benefits from the high morale and productivity of its salaried staff. (Ellis, 1976: 90) In a related point, examining the volunteer department can lead to good questions of equal relevance to paid staff. For example, rules about speaking on behalf of the organization, progressive discipline or immediate dismissal, confidentiality, conflict of interest and so on can be identical for paid and unpaid staff.

iii)

The Principle of Reciprocity - Boards, Too, Can Become More Effective

If the board can learn about activities, issues, and accomplishments in the volunteer department, it may very well become more effective itself. Beginning to acknowledge the significance of service volunteering can stimulate boards to understand, more thoroughly, their own role and accompanying responsibilities. As senior staff begin to recognize and appreciate the management principles required to operate the volunteer program, they may begin to utilize those same principles in working with their board and administrative volunteers. Many of those principles are completely transferrable, and make for much more effective and productive boards and committees wherever they are implemented. If CEOs recognize the great skills and expertise demonstrated by managers of volunteers, they might also see how much help the latter could be in recruitment, training, orientation and retention of board and committee volunteers.

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V. GENERAL POLICIES FOR THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

"You must have the conviction that volunteers are important...that they are the ` nonsalaried personnel' of the agency. Volunteers are not ` added spice' to your organizational mix. Instead, they are one of the main ingredients.. . Articulating the reasons for involving volunteers is an executive level responsibility... and it forms the foundation on which your organization will build its volunteer participation." (Susan Ellis, 1990: 4)

Creating policies will often, if not always, involve making value-based decisions. Policies set the context and perspective within which other, more specific policies will be framed. Often these kinds of values, beliefs, and positions remain unwritten. They are clear and widely understood nonetheless. With respect to the volunteer department, clarifying and communicating such policies can send a very clear message about just how valued and appreciated volunteers are. An organization needs to ask, for example: ` Why are volunteers invited to participate here (in both administrative and service capacities)?' ` What are the broad goals of volunteer involvement?' ` How important is volunteer participation in terms of its position in the organizational structure, resource allocations, management attention, staff resources?' This section on general policies for the volunteer department/program provides some examples of how organizations can speak to values and perspectives. It will be useful to set some of these policies early since they establish a context and philosophy within which other policies can be developed. A reminder on text style - 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. Here is a list of the general policy areas covered in this section: Philosophy Of Involvement Definition Of ` Volunteer' The Importance Of Language Special Case Volunteers Clients As Volunteers Employees As Volunteers Allocation Of Resources Representation In Decision-Making Policies About Policies Multiculturalism/Anti-Racism AIDS Sexual Harassment Access To Information Confidentiality Conflict Of Interest Use Of Organizational Affiliation Speaking On Behalf Of The Organization Alcohol/Drugs Volunteer - Client Relationships Right Of Refusal Volunteer - Paid Staff Relations

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The Philosophy of Involvement - Why Are Volunteers Here?
There are many reasons to articulate why volunteers are involved in an organization. A statement of this sort sets the framework within which all volunteering in the organization will be built. The American Red Cross articulates the following reasons for a philosophy statement: A basic philosophy is a source of strength because it gives a shared sense of meaning and values to the members of the organization. It also provides the organization itself with an image that determines how it is perceived by those outside it.

Ellis (1986) lists a good number of what she calls ` first choice' reasons for volunteer involvement from which you might choose to form your own philosophy of involvement: • • • • • • volunteers have credibility because they are unsalaried receiving assistance from a volunteer makes a difference to the recipient volunteers are valuable as objective policy makers volunteers may feel more free to criticize volunteers will approach their assignments with less pressure and stress ` private citizens' are free to contact legislators, newspapers, and therefore can be powerful advocates volunteers can experiment with new ideas and service approaches volunteers can focus intensively on a particular issue or client volunteers provide: extra hands diversity skills that augment those of staff access to the community

• • •

Sample Statements: The achievement of the goals of this agency is best served by the active participation of citizens of the community. To this end, the agency accepts and encourages the involvement of volunteers at all levels of the agency and within all appropriate programs and activities. ... (Steve McCurley, 1990: 2)

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Our agency encourages the teamwork of salaried staff and volunteers so that we can offer our consumers the best services possible. Volunteers contribute their unique talents, skills and knowledge of our community to provide personalized attention to consumers, enable the salaried staff to concentrate on the work for which they were trained, and educate the public about our organization and its cause. (Susan Ellis, 1988: 14)

Volunteers are an integral part of our team. Without them, we would be unable to offer the outstanding quality of programming that we provide to our clients. (Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program, St. Joseph' s Hospital, Hamilton)

This one from the Burlington, Ontario Parks and Recreation Department is put into use as an impressive part of their recruitment publicity and surely helps prospective volunteers to feel that volunteering for this organization would be both worthwhile and appreciated: Volunteers, and the contributions they make through volunteering, significantly enhance the quality of life, community spirit, and leisure time opportunities in Burlington. Volunteers are a valuable human resource requiring and warranting support and encouragement to maintain and develop their skills and to ensure their continued involvement in the provision of leisure opportunities throughout the City. The Parks and Recreation Department will continue to develop and provide support for volunteers and volunteer groups to ensure their continued involvement in leisure services and to develop this resource to its fullest.

The Right To Volunteer
It has been argued, although not always successfully, that volunteers have a right to volunteer. As the argument goes, it follows that agencies have some responsibility or obligation to accept the efforts of volunteers who offer their services. The American Red Cross clarifies its position with regard to this suggested obligation: Volunteers are secondary only to the mission of the American Red Cross. It is a well understood principle that volunteerism for its own sake is not what the organization is about. The organization does not exist to provide opportunities for volunteer involvement, but rather volunteer participation is valued because it helps the Red Cross to accomplish its mission and reach out to provide services in the most cost-effective and compassionate manner possible.

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Gail Moore and Marilyn MacKenzie note that while volunteers should be perceived as important, the service to the client must remain in focus: ...you must create a volunteer program that better serves the needs of the client (customer) in a way that enhances existing service or provides a broader range of services. You will note that this focus is mission-driven - meeting the needs of the organization to achieve its mandate first rather than focusing first on the needs of volunteers. (1990: 21)

There may be wider acceptance of the volunteer' s right to volunteer when it is framed in the sense of citizen participation, meaning that individuals have a right to be involved in the decisions which affect their lives. This echoes the values inherent in community representation, and sensitivity of services to the needs of consumers. Organizations may choose to include some of these themes as part of their philosophy and strive to involve community representatives in various aspects of administration and agency service delivery. Clearly articulating agency respect for its volunteers sends a message to both paid staff and volunteers about the esteem with which volunteers should be regarded. Ideally this will be embodied in the philosophical basis for volunteer involvement, and can be extended to a statement regarding volunteer rights and responsibilities. 7 Perhaps nearer the other end on a continuum of the kinds of messages an organization can convey about how important volunteer involvement is, Steve McCurley offers the following policy which carries a much different tone and message: The agency accepts the service of all volunteers with the understanding that such service is at the sole discretion of the agency. Volunteers agree that the agency may at any time, for whatever reason, decide to terminate the volunteer's relationship with the agency. (1990: 3)

Definition of ` Volunteer'
One might think that the meaning of the term ` volunteer' is clear and commonly understood, ie. that a volunteer is simply someone who does work for which s/he does not get paid a wage. However, there are some important challenges to the definition. Hence, it is advisable that each organization spend some time defining what it means by the term ` volunteer,' and what it will not include in the definition.

Typically, ` volunteer' implies a number of different elements: * uncoerced behaviour * no wage * for a charitable cause * service to others

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Since some individuals are engaged in unpaid work under special circumstances - some of which challenge the traditional definition - policy statements that clarify meaning and intent of the term may be in order. Sample Statements: A ` volunteer' is anyone who without compensation or expectation of compensation beyond reimbursement performs a task at the direction of and on behalf of the agency. A ` volunteer' must be officially accepted and enroled by the agency prior to performance of the task. Unless specifically stated, volunteers shall not be considered as ` employees' of the agency. (McCurley, 1990: 2) Any individual who gives service through the organization without receiving payment from the Red Cross for the service (American Red Cross, Volunteer 2000: III-3)

In its Volunteer 2000 study, the American Red Cross explored many of the current challenges to the term ` volunteer' and then suggested the following new definitions:

- as a generic definition of a volunteer Volunteers are individuals who reach out beyond the confines of paid employment and normal responsibilities to contribute time and service to a nonprofit cause in the belief that their activity is beneficial to others as well as satisfying to themselves.

- as a definition of a Red Cross Volunteer A Red Cross volunteer is an individual who, beyond the confines of paid employment and normal responsibilities, contributes time and service to assist the American Red Cross in the accomplishment of its mission.

The authors of the Volunteer 2000 study suggest that both of these definitions incorporate the basic values of volunteerism: - service to something larger than, or beyond, oneself - a commitment of personal time or effort beyond the scope of normal responsibilities - a commitment of personal time or effort beyond a formal for-pay relationship Volunteers might also be considered as co-workers or team members working along side paid staff in fulfilling the agency mission.

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The Importance Of Language
Organizations might consider how the word ` volunteer' is used, and the relative value that (often unintentionally) can be implied through its (mis)use. Sample Statement: ...greater policy direction be given and attention be paid, in both speech and the written and printed word, to the appropriate and accepted vocabulary in describing the Red Cross work force. This is always ` paid and volunteer staff' or ` paid and volunteer consultants' or ` paid and volunteer instructors' etc., and never ` professional staff and volunteers,'....The entire organization, including volunteers themselves, are to be encouraged to think of volunteers as staff members, with all the organizational support and personal responsibilities which this implies. Such phrases and attitudes as "I am just a volunteer' or ` he is just a volunteer' are to be strongly discouraged. (American Red Cross, Volunteer 2000)

Special Case ` Volunteers' - Students, Court Referrals, Loaned Executives
Many organizations accept involvement of persons referred from schools (student placements), the criminal justice system (community service orders), or the workplace (loaned executives) - persons who work for non-financial remuneration paid by a third party. While these participants may not be volunteers in the strictest sense, it is often most practical to have them placed and supervised by the volunteer department. Steve McCurley suggests that a new category be developed for those individuals who do not quite fit the typical definition. He calls them ` special case volunteers.' Sample Statement: The agency also accepts as volunteers those participating in student community service activities, student intern projects, alternative sentencing or diversion programs, corporate volunteer programs, and other volunteer referral programs. In each of these cases, however, a special agreement must be in effect with the organization, school, or program from whom the special case volunteers originate and must identify responsibility for management and care of the volunteers. (McCurley, 1990: 2)

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Clients as Volunteers
Depending on the nature of the work of the organization, consideration may need to be given to whether consumers or ex-consumers will be accepted as volunteers, and if so, under what circumstances. Steve McCurley (1990: 3) suggests clients may be accepted as volunteers where such service does not constitute a conflict in service provision for the volunteer or the client. Some organizations may find it inappropriate to accept clients as volunteers or may find it valuable to institute a waiting period between the time that a client stops using the service and the time s/he can be accepted as a volunteer.

Employees as Volunteers
This area can get very confusing. For example, is a paid staff engaging in ` volunteer work' when s/he performs unrecognized overtime? Not likely. If a paid employee volunteers for another organization during regular work hours and makes up the lost time to his or her employer at a later point, is that volunteering? Probably. Some may find such distinctions difficult to keep clear. Organizations may choose to clarify and even limit volunteer roles for paid employees in other ways as well. Sample Statements: Paid employees may not serve in a governing, policy-making or advisory role - while employed by the organization, or within one year of terminating their paid employment with the organization. Paid employees may, however, serve in direct-service volunteer roles which are outside the scope of their paid work within the organization and which take place outside of usual working hours. (adapted from Canadian Red Cross - Ontario Division)

Family members of employees are allowed to volunteer but they may not be placed under the direct supervision or within the same department as other members of their family who are employees. (adapted from Canadian Red Cross - Ontario Division)

Allocation Of Resources
Volunteers bring many benefits to the programs they serve. But these products of volunteer involvement are not free - despite the fact that volunteer labour is not paid in monetary terms. Volunteers necessitate expenditures that organizations must both acknowledge and be willing to bear. 8 Articulating a commitment to provision of adequate resources and support to the volunteer program is a very concrete way for organizations to demonstrate the value placed on volunteer involvement. Susan Ellis' book, From The Top Down presents a good overview of the ways in which organizations and executives should attend to the resource needs of volunteer programs.

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Representation In Decision-making
There are many ways - some policy-related, other structural - to reflect the value placed on the volunteer program and volunteer involvement in decision-making. The manager of volunteers, as a department head, can be part of the management team and consulted about any matter that might affect the volunteer program. She might be invited to attend board meetings, to offer input on all matters of administrative and direct service volunteering. Boards and administrative committees can seek to have volunteer management expertise represented within their membership in the same way that boards often include directors who have personnel management skills, accounting or legal expertise. The board itself can commit itself to regularly addressing issues relating to volunteer policy. Boards and CEOs can ensure that objectives relating to volunteer involvement will be a part of all organizational planning wherever appropriate. Organizations can develop policies specifically about volunteer input. Sample Statements: Volunteers are considered an integral part of the team. They are expected to offer input, regarding their assignments, to their supervisor. Volunteers are to be treated as equals to the paid staff, in terms of respect and dignity. They are to be valued for their input, and called upon for their opinions. Volunteers have the opportunity to effect change in the programme, through their suggestions and input. (Psychiatric Rehabilitation Programme, St. Joseph' s Hospital, Hamilton) Volunteers will be consulted on all decisions that would substantially affect the performance of their duties. No major initiative will go forward at any level of the organization without an assessment of its implications for volunteers and without appropriate and timely volunteer input.....this recommendation is not meant to imply that volunteer considerations should always be determinant, but only that they be carefully and appropriately considered. (American Red Cross, Volunteer 2000)

Policies About Policies
Some discussion of policies about policies is in order. Policies about volunteers may very closely parallel policies about staff. If not, distinctions should have a sound basis. Borrowing from a principle developed by Marilyn MacKenzie, a general rule about policies might be: Policies should fit the organization's mission and mandate and contribute to the ethical and safe involvement of volunteers.

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Certain other elements about policies should be in place: Policies must comply with all federal, provincial, and other legislation and regulations as well as other stipulations such as might apply under collective agreements. Unless specifically stated, these policies apply to all non-elected volunteers in all programs and projects undertaken ... on behalf of the agency, and to all departments and sites of operation of the agency. (McCurley, 1990: 2) It is likely, however, that most policies pertaining to volunteer involvement will be of equal relevance to all kinds of volunteers - direct-service, administrative (committee), and board volunteers - and hence, ` nonelected' may be deleted from the preceding example.

Any of the following elements might be added: • • policies are designed for internal agency use previous policies not contained in the current document/manual are henceforth considered null and void the organization expects compliance with all policies note of who approves policy note of who has the responsibility to review and update policy, and how often

• • •

Sample Statements: Volunteers must sign an acknowledgement form denoting their familiarity with all pertinent organizational policies. Volunteers may/will be required to sign a certification indicating that they have read and understood and will comply with all/certain policies. Staff/management/union input regarding the development of policies for the volunteer department is desirable. Amendments to these policies are subject to ratification by the Board of Directors which has final responsibility for such amendments, and reserves the right to amend these policies in any way at any time. Any questions volunteers may have regarding policies or their interpretation should be directed to the manager of volunteers or the immediate supervisor All policies and practices pertaining to volunteers will be fully documented and clearly communicated to volunteers and paid staff.

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Multiculturalism/Anti-Racism
This kind of policy may be part of an organization' s approach to recruitment, or it may reflect the organization' s broader aims to eliminate racism within its own boundaries and promote racial equality in the community. If an organization pursues multicultural volunteer involvement, it will be essential to adopt a clear antiracist policy for the agency, supported, where necessary with education and sensitivity training for all board and direct service volunteers, and paid staff. It is simply not ethical to recruit volunteers into a setting that is not culturally sensitive, or worse, that is racist. (c.f., Galvin, 1988; Martin and Galvin, 1988) The Volunteer Centre of Metropolitan Toronto offers this strong statement: The Volunteer Centre of Metropolitan Toronto is committed to ensuring that its mission and operations embrace the community. It actively encourages the community to participate fully and benefit fully from its services. The Volunteer Centre ... is committed to racial equality and the elimination of racism in Metro Toronto. It strives to reflect the community in its structure (volunteer and staff) and to promote equal access to its services.

The United Way of Greater Toronto (1991) has taken a strong stand on anti-racism. It has developed the following policy guidelines and is pressing its member agencies to follow its example by making compliance a consideration in the United Way allocations process. • • • Volunteers and paid staff are reflective of the community they serve Services are sensitive to the needs of culturally and racially diverse groups Programs seek to eliminate systemic barriers to full participation and promote positive race relations and attitudinal change Discriminatory or racist incidents or behaviour are not tolerated Communications present a positive and balanced portrayal of racial and cultural minorities.

• •

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AIDS And Other Communicable Diseases
The recent attention to AIDS/HIV pushes us to consider policy development not only in these but in other areas of communicable disease. It is critical that agencies institute policies before they are confronted with disclosure by a client, volunteer, or paid staff. Because AIDS is frightening and often surrounded by ignorance and irrationality generated by fear, an educational emphasis may be important in policy on this topic. Preambles about transmission and myths may be advisable.

Sample Statements: It is recognized that, to be effective, an education program for employees on the subject of HIV infection needs to be ongoing and needs to be updated regularly to reflect new developments. Included in the education program will be details on where to access more information on HIV infection. (adapted from Canadian AIDS Society, p. 47) Policies regarding AIDS need to be guided by a commitment to the protection of the individual's right of privacy and confidentiality. AIDS is considered a handicap to which the organization will make reasonable accommodation. These objectives need to be balanced against due regard for public health.

Here is a more comprehensive series of short, easy to read sentences which can form the basis of an organization' s policy on HIV, adapted from Canadian AIDS Society (pp. 45-46): The organization recognizes that HIV infection is a life-threatening illness, like cancer or heart disease, and that employees with HIV infection will be treated like those with other lifethreatening illnesses. Employees with HIV infection have the right to: - continue working as long as their condition permits; - receive the same benefits coverage as is accorded other employees; - be accorded complete confidentiality concerning their HIV status. Other employees have the right to: - a safe and healthy working environment; - education on the subject of HIV infection. The employer has an obligation to make reasonable accommodations to the work schedule or duties of an employee with HIV infection when the employee's condition so requires.

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Clients and others outside the company have the right to receive services without discrimination based on illness or perceived illness. The organization undertakes: - to avoid discriminating against any employee or client on the basis of HIV infection; - to refrain from the use of testing to detect the presence of HIV when hiring, transferring, or promoting employees; - to refuse to tolerate discrimination or harassment of employees with HIV infection; - to ensure that employees with HIV infection are given information on where they can access counselling and support; - to develop and implement an educational program on HIV infection for employees. Discriminatory acts by managers or fellow employees against an employee, volunteer or client with HIV infection are unacceptable and my be subject to disciplinary action.

There may be cause to institute other more general policies on health or human contact that have come into focus because of AIDS but which have broader application to many other communicable diseases. Sample Statements: All staff (paid and volunteer) will maintain confidentiality regarding medical information and health status of all persons connected with the organization including colleagues, peers, and clients. All human contact is to be treated as if the person is HIV positive. Many organizations are developing further guidelines about infectious disease transmission. These are mostly procedural statements concerning how to handle contact with body fluids, disinfection of contaminated surfaces, and the appropriate contents of first aid boxes. Local AIDS committees or public health departments will be of assistance in designing comprehensive procedures.

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Sexual Harassment
Including policy on this issue will reflect the organization's intent to provide a work environment that is both safe and supportive of the dignity and self-esteem of all paid and unpaid staff. As with other grievances/complaints, a clear procedure must follow any policy on sexual harassment or the policy will remain hollow and meaningless. There is confusion among many regarding what behaviours might constitute sexual harassment so a definition of what your organization means will be important. Sample Statements: Sexual harassment can be called an unwarranted intrusion upon the sexual dignity of a person. It can include: jokes, innuendoes, insults and sexist remarks, displaying derogatory or pornographic pictures, leering, touching, and kissing. (YWCA, no date: 3) Sexual Harassment - any conduct, comment, gesture or contact of a sexual nature, whether on a one-time basis or in a continuous series of incidents, a) that might reasonably be expected to cause offence, embarrassment or humiliation to any employee, or that might reasonably be expected to be perceived by the employee as placing a condition of a sexual nature on employment or on any opportunity for training or advancement.

b)

Sexual harassment may be directed at members of the same or opposite sex... It is essential to secure the mutual respect, co-operation and understanding of all employees and volunteers. It is incumbent upon both the Society and the staff not to condone or tolerate behaviour which constitutes harassment in the work place. The Society is committed to affording every staff member a work environment free of harassment. (Canadian Red Cross - Ontario Division, 1992)

Access to Information
Sample Statements: Volunteers have the right to have access to all information relevant to and necessary for the satisfactory performance of their assignment. Volunteers will have access to all appropriate written and verbal communication and information pertinent to their work for the organization, including items such as minutes, memoranda, correspondence, and case notes.

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Confidentiality
It has been argued, in the past, that volunteers pose a greater risk for breach of confidentiality than paid staff. This rationale was used to explain why volunteers were not involved in some positions. More recently, it is argued that in fact, volunteers are less prone to speak about a case outside of the agency than are salaried staff. Susan Ellis (1986: 107) states that while confidentiality is a serious issue, it is a training issue, not one tied to salaried versus voluntary employment. Since a breach of confidentiality by a volunteer is no different from a breach by a paid employee, there seems to be no basis for difference in the confidentiality policies for paid versus unpaid staff. Sample Statement: Volunteers are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of all proprietary or privileged information to which they are exposed while serving as a volunteer, whether this information involves a single staff, volunteer, client, or other person or involves overall agency business. (McCurley, 1990)

This next sample, from a medical setting, specifies different kinds of information, and speaks to both the information to be divulged and the information to be sought. Sample Statement: All information - verbal, written, or computerized - concerning clients and their families will be held in strictest confidence and shared only within the team to the degree necessary to offer appropriate assistance with rehabilitation. This includes medical, personal, social and psychological information....Only the individual client information necessary to provide comprehensive rehabilitative services shall be sought out. (Psychiatric Rehabilitation Programme, St. Joseph' s Hospital, Hamilton)

McCurley suggests that failure to maintain confidentiality could "result in termination of the volunteer's relationship with the agency, or other corrective action." (1990: 4) Susan Ellis (1986: 107) has argued that violation of confidentiality should be stated as cause for immediate dismissal. Sample Statement: Volunteers are required to sign a confidentiality agreement/pledge of confidentiality and compliance with that agreement is a condition of their participation in our programs.

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It may be necessary in some settings to specify certain exceptions to the confidentiality rule. Here is a sample from Operation Springboard in the field of criminal justice: Sample Statement: No communication made by a client to the Society or information about a client from any source is to be disclosed, other than the following exceptions: When there is a Court Order requiring us to do so. This would include a search warrant, subpoena, etc. When a client has given his or her permission { in writing} for us to do so When a set of conditions and circumstances exist that would lead a reasonable person exercising reasonable care and concern to believe that failure to disclose information would constitute a danger to the community or the client Where at program level, we have a contractual obligation to release information to a specified authority

Conflict Of Interest
Conflict of interest most often arises as an issue for board volunteers who may encounter a conflict while fulfilling their role of decision-makers on behalf of the organization. All boards should have a policy to cover such occurrences. Conrad and Glenn (1976: 16) offer a sample: 9 Any possible conflict of interest on the part of a director shall be disclosed to the board. When any such interest becomes a matter of board action, such director shall not vote or use personal influence on the matter, and shall not be counted in the quorum for a meeting at which board action is to be taken on the interest. The director may, however, briefly state a position on the matter, and answer pertinent questions of board members. The minutes of all actions taken on such matters shall clearly reflect that these requirements have been met. It is conceivable that conflicts of interest may also arise for direct-service volunteers and/or around issues other than financial ones. For example, individuals may be volunteers for more than one organization; volunteers with one organization may be paid staff of another. The policy could perhaps use more inclusive language to cover such possibilities. Sample Statement: All employees and volunteers shall immediately disclose any business, commercial or financial interest where such interest might be construed as being in real, potential or apparent conflict with their official duties of the organization. (adapted from the Canadian Red Cross - Ontario Division, 1992)

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McCurley' s example recognizes that all agency personnel can be in a conflict-of-interest situation, but it sets a more rigid tone: No person who has a conflict of interest with any activity or program of the agency, whether personal, philosophical, or financial shall be accepted or serve as a volunteer with the agency. (1990: 4) Every organization has the prerogative to make its own decisions about: • • • who needs to be included in the statement what the process of declaration will be whether continued connection in any form with the agency is allowable throughout or following the conflict.

Use Of Organizational Affiliation
Sample Statement: Volunteers may not use their organizational affiliation in connection with partisan politics, religious matters, or community issues contrary to positions taken by the organization.

Speaking on behalf of the Organization
It is important to note the limits of the volunteer' s mandate, and when it comes to representing or speaking on behalf of the organization, limits must be clearly articulated. Sample Statements: Prior to any action or statement which might significantly affect or obligate the agency, volunteers should seek prior consultation and approval from appropriate staff. These actions may include, but are not limited to, public statements to the press, coalition or lobbying efforts with other organizations, or any agreements involving contractual or other financial obligations. Volunteers are authorized to act as representatives of the agency as specifically indicated within their job descriptions and only to the extent of such written specifications. (McCurley, 1990: 4) While on assignment for the organization, volunteers will not represent themselves as other than a volunteer with the organization.

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Alcohol/Drugs
Some organizations may see fit to articulate a policy regarding the (ab)use of alcohol or drugs by volunteers. Sample Statements: While on Red Cross property and/or while performing corporate business, you are prohibited from: 1) being under the influence of, using, possessing, selling or otherwise being involved with illegal drugs; 2) 3) abusing alcohol; abusive use of controlled substances.

You are further prohibited from use, involvement, or abuse at anytime of illegal drugs and/or alcohol to the extent that it violates laws or negatively affects Red Cross activities or undermines public confidence in the organization. (American Red Cross, 1990: IV-8)

Volunteer - Client Relationships
The character and extent of policy in this area will be determined by the nature of the work in which volunteers are engaged, and the kind of service offered to clients or program participants. The following is an interesting example, adapted from a program which serves vulnerable participants with whom relationship lines need to be clear. Sample Statements: Volunteers in this program are considered as non-paid, part-time staff and it is expected that volunteer relationships with clients will have the same boundaries as those of paid staff. Our role is therapeutic in nature. It is not appropriate to become friends with clients. This is not to say that volunteers cannot be friendly, caring or supportive. On the contrary. The reason that relationships with clients should not lead to friendships is because the relationship is not equal. Volunteers are privileged to far more information about the client than the client is to the volunteer. Volunteers are also privileged to more power by virtue of their position with the organization. Hence, clients are in a more vulnerable role. It is normal for clients to want to establish friendships with volunteers. They perceive volunteers to be caring individuals who pay attention. When ` turning a client down' in terms of a friendship role, volunteers will do this in a supportive manner, giving the basis of this policy as the reason. Volunteers will notify the manager of volunteers whenever the nature of the relationship with a client is in question. (adapted from Psychiatric Day Program, St. Joseph' s Hospital, Hamilton)

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Right Of Refusal
Generally, the status of being a volunteer (as opposed to a paid staff member) implies certain differences in contractual obligations. Volunteers, generally speaking, are, and should be, more free to accept or refuse any given assignment. However, what happens if a volunteer refuses to work with a client because the latter is a member of a visible minority? What happens if a client refuses to accept the services of a volunteer because the latter, in the eyes of the client, is too old, too young, the wrong gender? Boards must make value judgements and delineate policy in this area, in conformity with current human rights and other pertinent legislation. Here are some questions boards might ask in the process: • • • • What is the policy of the agency regarding racism and other ` isms?' Will the volunteer be dismissed for refusing to deliver services to eligible clients? Will the client be denied service? Is it part of the mandate of the organization to educate regarding tolerance, acceptance, equality? Would it be better to quietly reassign someone to find a better match?

Volunteer - Paid Staff Relations
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 assistance. (MacKenzie, 1990: 21)

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VI. SPECIFIC POLICIES WITHIN THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

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.

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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 Recruitment Interviewing Screening Background Check Criminal Record/Community Service Order Certification Of Qualification Placement Probation Acceptance Of Appointment Orientation Training Continuing Education Volunteer Recognition Supervision Attendance Records Absence Leave of Absence Performance Review Evaluating Board Members Volunteer Dismissal Grievance/Complaint Procedure Volunteer Records Volunteer Program Evaluation Dress Code Identification Unions Strikes Insurance

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Paid Versus Unpaid - Who Should Do What Work?
For many reasons, determining what should be paid work and what should be assigned to volunteers is increasingly complex:
-

the work done by volunteers is itself more complex relationships between paid and unpaid staff can be the source of tension there are no absolutes to appeal to in the field - what is paid for in one organization is done by volunteers in another; what used to be volunteer is now paid; what was paid is now volunteer the recessionary economy has increased the potential for misuse or exploitation of volunteer resources

-

There is plenty of room for policy development, some of which will focus a spotlight on agency ethics, values and priorities. Sample Statements: Volunteers will enhance the work of paid staff, never replace or supplant it. 10 It is unethical and unacceptable to displace paid staff with unpaid staff. The availability of volunteer resources will never be a factor in the consideration of staff layoffs, terminations, or loss through attrition. 11 Volunteer resources will never be called on to replace paid staff./Volunteer resources will be called on to replace paid staff shortfalls only when all attempts to secure funding for paid staff have been exhausted. Volunteer jobs must be part-time - small enough in scope to be productively completed in a few hours a week, or else designed to be shared among a group of volunteers. Anything beyond this may very well need to be done on a paid basis. Paid staff input into volunteer job design is welcomed and encouraged. The work of the organization will be extended through volunteer service into areas that, otherwise, could not be considered due to fiscal constraint.

Job Design/Job Descriptions
Designing volunteer jobs "is not just a more sophisticated way of saying ` writing job descriptions,' for by definition DESIGN means ` to plan and fashion artistically and skilfully.' " (Marlene Wilson, 1976: 107) Hence, job design implies an approach, a philosophy, an intent to develop meaningful ways for volunteers to participate, not simply a list of what has to be done.

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Sample Statements: This organization will define the roles and functions of volunteers, including supervisory relationships, with the same degree of precision as for paid staff. Volunteer positions will be sufficiently flexible to allow the best fit with the talents, skills, gifts and limitations of each volunteer. Where possible and appropriate, the job will be changed to match the volunteer's skills and interests rather than the other way around. To reflect volunteer and client lifestyles, opportunities for volunteer involvement will include early mornings, evenings, weekends, shifts, and job-sharing wherever possible. The work in all volunteer positions will be meaningful and significant, to the organization, program participants, and volunteers. Paid staff and volunteers are invited to offer suggestions regarding volunteer job design or changes to current volunteer positions. The very term ` job description' has come under some criticism recently since it seems to suggest, or draw attention to the fact that volunteers are doing ` real work. ' In some settings, this may make paid staff and/or unions uncomfortable or suspicious. However, the reality is that volunteers are doing real work, and in many programs, the line between paid and unpaid labour , is increasingly blurred. One simple strategy has been to use an alternate term such as ` position description,' to make the activity sound less like paid work in an effort to try to avoid tensions. However, it may be more effective in the long run to clarify honestly and directly with paid staff and their bargaining agent, where volunteer labour will and will not be used. Will volunteer labour be used to replace or displace paid staff? Will volunteers ever do the work done now or previously by paid staff? These are the real issues, not the label applied to the description. Sample Statements: Job descriptions will be in place for every volunteer position. Volunteer job descriptions will be comprehensive, honest, and current. Volunteers will be introduced to their job descriptions in advance of assignment. Every volunteer should be familiar with his/her job description and feel comfortable in offering suggestions for changes in the position or its description. Job descriptions will state both volunteer responsibilities and the limits beyond which volunteers must not go without (written) authorization from the Manager of Volunteers/immediate supervisor. Every job description will specify standards of performance and the measures to be used in evaluating successful volunteer performance. Volunteer job descriptions will be reviewed at least annually by the Manager of Volunteers (and the immediate supervisor) and updated as necessary.

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Health and Safety - Working Conditions For Volunteers
The health and safety of paid employees has become a commonly-accepted management responsibility, backed by legal accountability. Unfortunately the same consideration is not always extended to volunteers. The presence of a clear policy statement may help to reinforce, to all staff, the importance of looking out for the comfort, safety, and well-being of unpaid personnel. Each agency should examine all work sites for potential risk and hazards, perhaps with the assistance of insurance or legal counsel, or occupational safety experts to ensure the well being of all personnel - paid and unpaid - and clients. Policies must be enforced, and backed by clear procedures and performance standards. The risks to health and safety can vary a great deal, depending on the nature of the work and the volunteers' role. Ask these questions: • • • • • • • Are there hazardous materials present? Is there a risk of exposure to communicable disease? Is the work site poorly lit, isolated? Is the work physically demanding? Might there be exposure to abuse or violence? Do volunteers ever work alone or out-of-contact with others? Do volunteers ever conduct home visits alone?

Do not overlook particular dangers to at-risk program participants or special needs volunteers. Where risks are known to exist, this policy should be in place: Volunteers will be informed of any hazardous material, practice or process that they may encounter while engaged in agency business. Standards of efficiency can sometimes be allowed to decline simply because volunteers are involved. For example, equipment may not be updated, systems may not be improved or streamlined, technology may not be adopted - just because the workers are unpaid. It does not seem to matter so much if the task takes twice as long to accomplish. An organization may wish to put a policy in place that clarifies its position regarding volunteer working conditions. This policy might include reference to equipment, tools or machinery found at the work site, or typically used in the performance of volunteer assignments. Sample Statement: As appropriate, volunteers shall have access to agency property and materials necessary to fulfil their duties, and shall receive training in the operation of any equipment. Property and materials shall be utilized only when directly required for agency purposes. This policy includes { does not include} access to and use of agency vehicles. (Steve McCurley, 1990: 12)

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Recruitment
A number of different aspects of volunteer recruitment may require coverage by policy.

1. Community Representation Volunteer recruitment efforts will target broad community involvement ensuring representation of majority and minority populations, and client groups.

2. Discrimination The policy can be very specific: Volunteers will be recruited without regard to gender, handicap, age, race, sexual orientation, or other condition. The following example from the Volunteer Centre of Metropolitan Toronto uses the provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights as its reference point and takes a firm stand against discrimination: The Centre will not permit discrimination against applicants or employees (paid staff/volunteers) on the basis of race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socio-economic background or ethnicity. This applies to all areas of employment (paid staff/volunteers) including recruiting, hiring, promotion, assigning of work.. . provided the individual is qualified and meets the requirements established by the Centre for the position. There may be volunteer positions, just as in paid positions, where the nature of the work requires the worker to bring certain necessary characteristics such as age (senior peer counselling) or gender (working with male batterers). It may be sufficient to implement a broad-based policy such as this one: The sole qualifications for volunteer recruitment will be ability and suitability to perform a task on behalf of the organization. (adapted from Steve McCurley, 1990: 5).

3. Affirmative Action Sample Statement: Equal opportunity practices and affirmative action techniques relative to minority involvement, training, development, recognition, and retention will be incorporated in volunteer recruitment efforts. Established affirmative action targets will be met within a specified time frame, tailored to local demographic realities, and include formalized, periodic evaluation. (adapted from the American Red Cross, Volunteer 2000)

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4. Special Needs Volunteers More frequent attempts are being made to integrate various ` special needs' populations in volunteering (youth, seniors, ethnocultural populations, individuals who are unemployed, physically disabled or psychiatrically/ developmentally disabled, and so on). 12 This trend is a function of at least two movements - organizations attempting to be truly representative of their communities and consumers, and more thorough integration of various minority and disabled populations in mainstream community life. Organizations may articulate their position on special needs volunteering: - is special needs volunteering to be encouraged - is the recruitment of special needs volunteers an integral part of the agency's goal to be fully representative of the community It is important to acknowledge, however, that the service recipient/client must remain as the clear focus of agency efforts, and that in most instances, volunteers are a means to service delivery, not an end in themselves. Thus, a policy might include an element on limitation of the organization's ability to provide for special needs volunteers, like this one from the American Red Cross (VII-29): Sample Statements: Reasonable accommodations must be made for handicapped and elderly volunteers in such areas as physical access and transportation. (American Red Cross, Volunteer 2000)

The Red Cross can accept individuals as transitional volunteers. ... Such volunteers can, with sufficient training and supervision, provide useful community service and support Red Cross goals, BUT, it is important to remember, the Red Cross is not a centre for psychiatric care. i) The referring agency must have a therapist available for the transitional volunteer whenever necessary. The Red Cross cannot supervise medication, nor can it give therapy. The special needs and treatment plan of each volunteer must be on record with the Red Cross, as well as ` the need to know' background of the volunteer. (American Red Cross, 1990: A-121)

ii)

Marilyn MacKenzie wisely offers this reminder: You have a responsibility to protect the clients you serve, and to uphold the reputation of the agency you represent. Don't lose sight of these responsibilities in an effort to place a volunteer who is ` needful. '

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5. Recruitment Of Minors Sample Statement: Volunteers who have not reached the age of majority (19 years of age in Ontario) must submit written consent from their parent or guardian prior to volunteering.

6. The Importance (And Difficulty) Of Volunteer Recruitment Sample Statement: Efforts to attract volunteers will be given similar attention and support as efforts to attract qualified staff, financial resources and donors of money.

Interviewing
Sample Statement: All persons applying for volunteer positions have a right to be interviewed in person by the manager of volunteers, or her delegate. If the position applied for is to be supervised by a staff person other than the manager of volunteers, then that staff person will be involved in the volunteer interview process. The interview will offer the prospective volunteer the opportunity to learn about the organization, its mission, and available volunteer positions. There continues to be uncertainty in the field around the applicability of the Ontario Human Rights Code to volunteering, and around what can and cannot be asked during an interview. In fact, the Ontario Human Rights Code does protect the rights of individuals in regard to their paid employment (and several other grounds) but it has not yet been applied to unpaid work. 13 Thus, technically, it may not be illegal to ask questions about marital status, age, religion, race, sexual orientation and so on, but it is advisable not to do so for many other reasons. In fact, it is highly advisable to develop policy that is fully compliant with the Ontario Human Rights Code in the interviewing and selection of volunteers (and other aspects of volunteer management too).

Screening
Sample Statements: The purpose of the initial interview will be to determine the qualifications, ability and suitability of the individual to perform work on behalf of the organization.

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Prospective volunteers will be informed in advance that the interview process is designed so that each party can screen the other, and that acceptance as a volunteer is not automatic. Here is a sample that could cover screening and a number of other topics at the same time: The determining factors in the selection, promotion or termination of employment shall be skill in performance, training, educational background, experience, personal suitability, and responsibility. (Operation Springboard)

Background Check
These kinds of measures may be necessary for all volunteers, or only some, depending on the nature of the work of the organization, the degree of vulnerability of the consumer, or other reasons such as security or financial management. Such procedures may seem overly cautious, but keep in mind that some client populations are very vulnerable to exploitation, 14 and such checks can be a protection to the volunteer and the organization as well as to the service recipient.

1. Police Check The police check is formally known as a Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) check. Sample Statements: (All) volunteers may/will be required to submit to a criminal record/police/reference check prior to acceptance as a volunteer. Individuals who refuse to comply with this request may/will not be accepted as a volunteer. A signed consent for release of information must be obtained from the prospective volunteer prior to a request for a CPIC check. It may be sufficient to restrict this policy to only those volunteers who will be attending to the medical and/or personal needs of vulnerable clients. Organizations need to be aware that in some municipalities there will be a charge by the police department for the check. 15 This is a good example of a cost to the agency of involving volunteers that may not have been anticipated. A police check will not provide information about driving records. That is within the purview of the Ministry of Transportation.

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2. Personal/Professional Reference Checks Sample Statement: (All) volunteers may/will be required to submit personal and/or professional references prior to acceptance as a volunteer with the organization. Individuals who refuse to comply with this request may/will not be accepted as a volunteer.

3. Permission To Divulge Sources Upon occasion, a person submitting a reference about a prospective volunteer may not want to be identified as the source of negative or critical information. This presents a dilemma for the manager of volunteers. If the manager does not take the negative comments into consideration, she may place her program, clients, organization at risk. If she does heed the cautions from the referee, but she agrees not to divulge the source, she may risk damaging the reputation of the volunteer or denying his/her right to volunteer without apparent cause. Either way, having information of this sort is problematic. Sample Statements: Anyone willing to provide a reference also must be willing to be identified as the source, or the reference will not be accepted. The Manager of Volunteers will maintain records of background checks as part of each volunteer's file.

Criminal Record/Community Service Order
Keep in mind that a police check, or even a record of criminal offence, presents only one aspect about a prospective volunteer. Take care to interpret and use this information carefully. Do not make too much or too little of it. In fact, in some circumstances such as volunteering in the criminal justice system, volunteers with some experience of the system may make great volunteers for public education or for peer support/self-help programs. Perhaps the question to ask then, is not ` Does this person have a criminal record?' but rather, ` How will the prospective volunteer's background relate to the volunteer work s/he will perform and the potential vulnerability of the agency or client population?' Someone who has a history of theft might not be appropriate for counting money at the bingo games. Someone with a history of sexual abuse should not be working, unsupervised, with children. This sample policy deals with violence: The Volunteer Centre will not serve an individual required to perform volunteer work under a Community Service Order if they have been charged with any violent offence including any form of assault or any other offence that would reasonably raise a concern in the minds of the staff/volunteers interviewing the prospective volunteer as to issues of safety or the well-being or security of the agency's personnel, clients, or property. (Volunteer Centre of Metropolitan Toronto)

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This one sets limits around the seriousness of the crime: No person convicted of a felony can be accepted as a Red Cross volunteer. A felony is a serious crime for which punishment, under federal law, may be imprisonment for more than one year. Examples of felonies are rape, murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, etc. (American Red Cross, 1990: A-120)

Certification of Qualification
If volunteers are engaged in work that demands some kind of professional or technical expertise, an organization may want to have proof of the appropriate credentials. There are other reasons why written verification of ability may be needed: volunteers sometimes perform physically demanding tasks; positions can be stressful or emotionally taxing; there can be questions about whether volunteers are well/able/healthy/strong enough to volunteer (` volunteer ready' ); volunteers' health, strength and so on can decline over the course of a placement, calling into question whether they should continue. Sample Statements: Volunteers may be required to submit proof of professional/technical ability/qualification/ experience/licence/membership prior to acceptance as a volunteer, or from time to time thereafter. Prior to acceptance as a volunteer, or from time to time thereafter, volunteers may/will be required to submit written verification from their physician as to their physical/emotional/ psychological suitability for their volunteer position. The Manager of Volunteers will maintain copies of licences/certificates/verification as part of each volunteer's file. Any volunteer who, after acceptance and assignment by the agency, enters a course of treatment which might adversely impact upon the performance of their volunteer duties should consult with the Volunteer Program Manager. (McCurley, 1990: 6)

Sometimes the faculties of a volunteer will decline over the course of their placement, calling into question their ability to continue volunteering. You may need to request written proof from a family physician regarding the ability/wellness of a volunteer to perform assigned duties. While this can be an unpleasant process, it will undoubtably be easier, more gentle, and more appropriate to apply this policy than it would be to apply the progressive discipline/immediate dismissal policies outlined below.

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Placement
A wide range of policies and position statements can be designed for the placement process. Organizations need to choose the elements that match their values and setting. Sample Statements: In determining suitable placements for volunteers, equal attention will be given to the interests and goals of the volunteer, and to the requirements of the agency and of the position(s) in question. No volunteer will be placed in a position for which s/he is not fully qualified or for which the organization could not provide adequate training. Volunteers will be fully and honestly informed of the expectations and responsibilities of their volunteer position along with any risk or liability which the position might entail. Volunteers will be made to feel comfortable in declining a suggested placement or in requesting changes to the position expectations at any point in their involvement with the organization. Volunteers have the right to expect work that is meaningful and satisfying to them. No position is too high in the organizational structure or too skilled for a volunteer, assuming appropriate background and time commitment. No position should be considered too tedious or unskilled as long as volunteers are given a clear understanding of the nature and importance of the work to be performed.

Probation
Sample Statements: (All) volunteer placements begin on a trial basis for a period of 30/60/90 days. At the end of the probationary period, an interview with the volunteer will take place to evaluate the extent to which the objectives of both the organization and the volunteer are being satisfied. Terms of the position such as expectations and job description may be renegotiated to bring about a more satisfactory placement for both parties. Other options such as reassignment, referral to another organization or to the local volunteer centre, or placement termination may be appropriate.

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Acceptance and Appointment
Sample Statement: Service as a volunteer with the agency shall begin with an official notice of acceptance or appointment to a volunteer position. Notice may only be given by an authorized representative or the agency, who will normally be the Volunteer Program Manager. No volunteer shall begin performance of any position until they have been officially accepted for that position and have completed all necessary screening and paperwork. At the time of final acceptance, each volunteer shall complete all necessary enrollment paperwork and shall receive a copy of their job description and agreement of service with the agency. (Steve McCurley, 1990: 6)

Orientation
The opportunity to grow and learn through orientation and training activities related to volunteering can be very attractive to prospective volunteers. It is therefore both an aid to recruitment and an important retention and recognition tool. Sample Statement: All volunteers will receive an orientation to the organization and its mission, all pertinent safety procedures and policies, and to the work to which the volunteer has been assigned.

Policy about orientation may also specify: • • • when orientation takes place the need to minimize delay between volunteer acceptance and orientation who takes responsibility for, or part in, designing and delivering orientation, including paid staff and/or experienced volunteers

Training
While organizations seek appropriate and well-qualified volunteers in their recruitment efforts, volunteers will surely need additional information or skills to take on their assigned duties. Sample Statements: Volunteers have the right to be fully prepared to perform their volunteer duties as assigned. The organization has the responsibility to provide the necessary training for satisfactory volunteer performance.

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All volunteers will receive complete, current, and timely training to ensure they are fully qualified to perform their assigned duties. Volunteer training may/will include on-the-job training and/or a buddy system of support and education. The volunteer training program is an integral part of volunteering with this organization. All volunteers are required to complete the volunteer training program before/within (a specified period) of the start of their volunteer placement. Policy about training may also specify: • • • when training takes place the need to minimize delay between volunteer acceptance and training who takes responsibility for, or part in, designing and delivering training, including staff and/or experienced volunteers

Continuing Education
Volunteers may need to upgrade, enhance, or keep current their position-related skills. At minimum, ongoing training is a clear way to demonstrate the importance and value assigned to volunteers by the organization. Sample Statement: Additional learning and skill development opportunities will/may be made available to volunteers throughout their placement. This training may be delivered by the organization, or the volunteer may be (partially) reimbursed for the cost of receiving organization-approved, position-related training from other sources such as workshops and conferences.

Volunteer Recognition
There is probably no more important element in the volunteer management process than effective volunteer recognition. There are many ways to demonstrate appreciation to volunteers. Special recognition events are often first to mind, but there are a variety of other methods that may be less obvious but just as meaningful. For example, the development of policies and procedures will illustrate to volunteers that the organization really does care for them and their well-being.

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Many aspects of volunteer recognition provide material for policy statements. In a general sense, the most important may be that recognition must be ` appropriate and meaningful to the volunteer.' It may seem obvious, but what is enjoyable or meaningful for one type of volunteer is neither enjoyable nor meaningful for others. 16 Criteria for volunteer recognition need to be fair, but they also need to be flexible. A committee member who attends a monthly meeting or who helps with a special event may be giving work of equal value to a volunteer who serves in a regular, weekly shift. The fulfilment of a commitment and the quality of the work are better bases for volunteer recognition than the number of hours served. Above all, recognition must be real, not superficial. It must be earned, not automatic. (American Red Cross, 1990: III-19)

1. Volunteer Awards There are different approaches to awards for volunteers. Some suggest that awards such as ` Volunteer of the Year' may imply losers through the selection of winners. Others argue the opposite: that the acknowledgement of a few volunteers spills over to demonstrate how important all volunteers are. If an organization chooses to run an awards program, it will need policy on:

-

what will be honoured - different kinds of awards - number of hours contributed; fulfilment of contract - outstanding accomplishments - years of service - regular intervals - extended - different areas of service - work with specific client populations; work in a particular department - at the community level - different sectors such as health, education, criminal justice, recreation, arts - length of service

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who is eligible - all agency volunteers - from all branches, work sites - administrative and/or direct service volunteers

-

the selection criteria - service for how long, at what intervals - what constitutes ` volunteer' for this process - what constitutes ` outstanding'

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the selection process - who will judge - do nominations need to be submitted - by whom - by when - what does the nomination form include - do nominators need advance approval of the nominee - how can the nominee's name, story be used, by whom or what media - what happens in the event of a tie or a dispute - can someone win twice, under what circumstances

2. Reimbursement - Enabling Funds Sample Statement: ...determinations about what type of support to provide should not be based on whether an individual is paid or volunteer staff but rather on what is required to accomplish the job, retain competent personnel, and develop staff to maximum potential. Support needs include both the tools necessary to complete a given job and what might be termed personal ` enabling provisions' that remove potential barriers to volunteering. (American Red Cross, Volunteer 2000) This comprehensive concept of enabling funds is relatively new. It is based on the aim of making volunteering more accessible to a wider range of persons. Without enabling funds, "too many programs will have as volunteers only those people who can afford the ` luxury' of volunteering." (Ellis 1986:31) Sample Statements: Volunteers are/may be eligible for reimbursement of expenses incurred while fulfilling assigned duties. Volunteers are eligible for reimbursement of pre-approved expenses incurred while fulfilling assigned duties. The following items may be reimbursable, when approved in advance by the manager of volunteers/immediate supervisor: • mileage at the rate of $ .xx/km or the cost of public transportation for travel to/from assignment parking expenses meals free uniforms or cleaning services refreshments child care...

• • • • •

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• • • • •

telephone or postage for work done at home special clothing needs (aprons, work gloves etc) money spent on clients - movie, art supplies fees for seminars related to volunteer assignment additional personal automobile insurance premiums necessitated solely by volunteer involvement

3. ` Perks' There are all kinds of little ways to say ` You are important to us. ' Sample Statements: All volunteers are entitled to free coffee, tea or other beverages available to our clients and paid staff free of charge. There is no limit placed on this privilege per shift. Volunteers are invited to staff parties (i. e., Christmas get-togethers, Summer BBQ's, etc.) as a form of recognition for their input on the team. Birthdays will be recognized in the form of a card. Anniversaries (of work) and other special occasions (marriage, graduation, etc.) may also be recognized. (Psychiatric Day Program, St. Joseph' s Hospital, Hamilton)

There may be some ` not so little' ways to express recognition to volunteers. While this is obviously out of range for most organizations, the American Red Cross considered piloting subsidized or free, on-site, child care and elder care services for volunteers to remove potential barriers to volunteering.

4. Recognition Of Volunteers By Paid Staff Sample Statement: Paid staff, especially those who work directly with volunteers, are encouraged to offer appreciation and recognition to volunteers on an on going basis. All opportunities for informal recognition should be taken.

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5. Volunteer Mobility Sample Statements: Any volunteer who wishes to develop personal or employment-related skills through their volunteer work will be encouraged and supported by their supervisor and/or the manager of volunteers wherever possible and appropriate. Promotion to different areas, or to positions of increasing responsibility, will be supported by methods such as volunteer goal identification and review, notification of opportunities for change or advancement, and the maintenance of accurate records of volunteer accomplishments. Up is not the only way. Volunteers will not be pushed to take on increased responsibility against their wishes. It is entirely acceptable for a volunteer to remain in a volunteer position as long as his/her needs and those of the organization are being met.

6. Recognizing Paid Staff Who Work With Volunteers In haste to thank volunteers - to point out how wonderful they are - paid staff can be overlooked, or made to feel second best. It may help to have a policy which gives credit where it is due. Sample Statement: Volunteer supervision and support requires special skills and expertise and paid staff who work well with volunteers will be acknowledged for their contributions and abilities. This acknowledgement can take different forms such as: staff awards program, merit increases, pay bonuses, or special mention in organization publications.

Supervision
Working with volunteers takes specialized skills and knowledge. It should not be assumed that all staff know how to work effectively with volunteers, or that previous (paid) staff supervision experience will guarantee successful volunteer supervision techniques. Sample Statements: Supervision of volunteers will address the needs of both the volunteer and the organization. Every volunteer will have a clearly identified supervisor who will be responsible for day-to-day consultation, support, and direction. The immediate supervisors of volunteers will liaise with the manager of volunteers, providing progress reports, notice of any problems or concerns, and/or input regarding volunteer work performance on a regular basis/as needed/on request. Immediate supervisors of volunteers, and other staff who work regularly with volunteers, will receive training on the principles of effective volunteer management, including motivation, supervision and recognition.

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Attendance Records
In some programs, volunteer hours are important in evaluation. Volunteers must therefore be attentive to keeping accurate records. Sample Statement: All volunteers will complete and initial their attendance logs as provided by the manager of volunteers and submit these regularly/monthly/etc. to the volunteer department.

Absence
Attendance and punctuality can be as important with volunteers as with paid staff. High expectations in this regard can reflect and reinforce the importance of the role that volunteers occupy. Sample Statement: Volunteers are expected to be reliable in the performance of their volunteer duties. Volunteer attendance is expected to be dependable and punctual. Volunteers will inform the manager of volunteers/their supervisor/the organization of any impending absence as far in advance as possible so that alternate arrangements can be made for the completion of the work.

Leave of Absence
Sample Statement: Volunteers may apply to the manager of volunteers for a leave of absence, giving as much advance notice as is possible. Volunteers may miss one programme (14 weeks) and be considered on leave of absence. If a volunteer misses more than one programme, s/he must re-apply to the manager of volunteers. If accepted, the volunteer will have to re-register with the Volunteer Department. (Psychiatric Day Program, St. Joseph' s Hospital, Hamilton)

Performance Review/Evaluation
Some managers of volunteers have suggested that volunteer evaluation formalizes the program too much and ` scares off' prospective volunteers. Others see performance reviews as a reflection of the importance of volunteers to the mission of the organization, and as a significant aspect of volunteer recognition. Those of the latter camp say there should be consequences if productivity is low or work is not done properly; if some volunteers show poor attendance or resist instructions. (c.f. Ellis, 1986: 83)

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Sample Statement: Evaluation procedures should be non-threatening, constructive, supportive, flexible, and empowering. They should motivate the volunteer to aim for the highest standards and pinpoint where the organization can help the volunteer to achieve his/her goals. The performance review should offer the opportunity for volunteers to give input and to negotiate change. If the organization chooses to conduct evaluations of volunteer performance, certain policies should be in place. It may be useful to articulate the purpose of performance reviews for volunteers, and there are many to choose from. For example: • • • • • • • • to ensure satisfactory work performance to identify areas for improvement to identify areas where the organization can assist the volunteer to improve to identify the need for continuing education to express appreciation for volunteer contributions to allow both the volunteer and the organization to suggest changes in the job description to determine the interest of the volunteer in continuing in the present position to discuss volunteer goals and how they might be met

There are other policies which can be developed around volunteer evaluation Sample Statements: The organization has the right to regularly monitor and evaluate the work performance of all volunteers. Volunteers have the right to receive regular/timely/periodic constructive feedback on the performance of their assignments. Evaluation of the work of volunteers will be based on the performance standards specified in the volunteer's job description. The manager of volunteers and/or the immediate supervisor will schedule and conduct/participate in the performance review. A written record of evaluations will be maintained as a part of the file for each volunteer, and referred to for references purposes.

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The policy should speak to the need for change as a possible outcome of the evaluation process. Sample Statement: Where appropriate, corrective action may be called for following an evaluation. Examples of corrective action include changes to the job description, renegotiation of agency expectations or volunteer goals, the requirement of additional training, re-assignment of a volunteer to a new position, suspension of the volunteer, or dismissal from volunteer service. (adapted from Steve McCurley, 1990)

Evaluating Board Members
Board members are often omitted from the performance review process. After all, the most likely paid staff candidate to conduct the review - the Executive Director - would be in the awkward position of reviewing his/her employer. However, the work done by boards is vitally important and performance standards should be correspondingly high. There may be no reason other than discomfort or awkwardness to justify exemption of board volunteers from the performance review policies applicable to other volunteers in the organization. Perhaps, peer review is the method of choice in board volunteer performance review, to (not) include input from the C.E.O.

Volunteer Dismissal
The policy for terminating the involvement of volunteers can closely parallel that for paid staff. Volunteers deserve the same respect and treatment, including the right not to be wrongfully dismissed. Since this is such a difficult area for all concerned, policies need to be particularly comprehensive, well-understood, and backed by clear procedures. Sample Statement: Volunteers who do not adhere to the rules and procedures of the agency or who fail to satisfactorily perform their volunteer assignment are subject to dismissal. (McCurley, 1990: 10)

1. Progressive Discipline Progressive discipline is a process through which a volunteer is warned or disciplined before being faced with the penalty of dismissal. It is called ` progressive' because each step is more serious. A common pattern of progressive discipline is: • verbal warning • written warning • disciplinary suspension • dismissal.

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Sample Statements: Dismissal of volunteers will be a last resort, applied only when other available and appropriate approaches have been attempted and failed. Dismissal, wherever possible, will take place only after consultation among the immediate supervisor, the manager of volunteers (and the volunteer him/herself). Dismissal of volunteers will normally follow the agency's progressive discipline process that: • is based on performance standards established for each position, and the results of the performance reviews of all volunteers includes a sequence of verbal and written warnings can involve progressive disciplinary action can, ultimately, result in the termination of the volunteer's placement with the organization.

• • •

Volunteers have the right to expect: • • • supportive and constructive criticism clear details regarding inappropriate or unsatisfactory performance/behaviour suggestions regarding what and how to improve; time and opportunity to demonstrate improvement after each stage written record of unsatisfactory performance

2. Immediate Dismissal Sometimes a volunteer' s behaviour is so dangerous, harmful or otherwise inappropriate that termination must take place immediately, bypassing the normal sequence of progressive discipline. Sample Statements: Volunteers may be discharged without warning for just cause. The agency has the right to request a volunteer to leave immediately. Grounds for immediate dismissal may include, but are not limited to: • • • gross misconduct or insubordination being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while performing volunteer assignment theft of property or misuse of agency funds, equipment or materials

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• • • • • •

lies or falsification of records illegal, violent or unsafe acts abuse or mistreatment of clients or co-workers failure to abide by agency policy or procedure failure to meet physical or mental standards of performance unwillingness or inability to support and further the mission of the organization and/or the objectives of the program

Immediate dismissal will take place only in the most serious of circumstances. When a volunteer placement is terminated immediately, the agency representative will need to be aware of the possibility of violent, irrational, destructive or vengeful behaviour. Procedures should cover personal safety, retrieval of keys, accompaniment from the premises, and other security measures to protect persons and property. Notification of all appropriate agency personnel regarding the severance of the volunteer' s relationship with the agency must be dealt with quickly.

Grievance/Complaint Procedure
Having a policy about complaints is important to set the context and tone for how grievances will be processed within the organization. Sample Statements: The grievance policy is based on the fundamental values of respect for the individual, and fairness. A grievance procedure exists so that members of the organization can air problems and have an avenue to solve them.

Since the actual steps in the grievance procedure are often part of the policy, a few examples are presented here. Sample Procedure: Every effort should be made to solve problems cooperatively and informally before presenting them in writing as a formal grievance. Every effort should be made to achieve speedy and effective resolution at the lowest levels of supervision. All complaints and questions will receive thoughtful consideration and will be discussed with the individual who raises them.

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If a volunteer has a complaint or a grievance, s/he will convey this directly to his/her immediate supervisor. This can be done verbally. Appropriate action will be determined by the supervisor. If the complaint involves another person - a paid or unpaid staff member or a client - the volunteer is encouraged to deal directly with the person(s) involved. The volunteer may request the presence of their supervisor in this process. If the complaint involves the immediate supervisor/manager of volunteers, the volunteer may speak with the manager of volunteers/program supervisor [next in command]. The latter will determine appropriate action. All complaints will be treated as confidential.

Volunteer Records
Certain information must be maintained concerning volunteers, their background, and their work for the organization. Policies may be in order about the maintenance of this information. Volunteer records may include: • • • • • • • • • application form record of interview(s) offer of acceptance, agreement to serve contract training record medical, licensing, professional, certification current job description letters of reference about and written for the volunteer performance reviews written warnings and records of progressive disciplinary action

Volunteer records will be kept in a secure location, accessible only to the manager of volunteers. All requests for information about volunteers must be through the manager of volunteers who will consider volunteer files as confidential. Inactive files will be maintained for a minimum of two years, after which time they will be destroyed in a responsible manner. Upon reasonable notice, and while accompanied by the manager of volunteers or her designate, volunteers may examine the contents of their own file.

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Volunteer Program Evaluation
As with any program or service, the volunteer program needs to be monitored and evaluated regularly. The volunteer program will be evaluated on an annual/regular basis. The policy may specify who is responsible for ensuring that the evaluation takes place: The manager of volunteers will be responsible for the implementation/completion of the volunteer program evaluation. The policy may specify who will be involved in the evaluation process: Input into the evaluation of the volunteer program will be sought from volunteers, paid staff and clients. Choosing the most effective measure of program success is difficult. Often the number of hours contributed by volunteers is used as the main, or even only - measure. However, volunteer hours do not capture the full significance of the program. They describe how much work is involved, but not the outcomes of the work, its impact, its efficiency, or its effectiveness. These other aspects of volunteer involvement are important to consider in program evaluation, although some may be hard to track. 17

Dress Code
Sample Statement: As representatives of the agency, volunteers, like staff, are responsible for presenting a good image to clients and to the community. Volunteers shall dress appropriately for the conditions and performance of their duties. (McCurley, 1990: 4)

Identification
Sample Statements: Volunteers will wear/carry with them, their volunteer identification (photo I.D.) while engaged in the business of the organization/on the organization's premises.

Our volunteers are not expected to wear their I.D. photos while at the programme as this tends to intimidate the clients by ` advertising' difference between staff and clients....Our volunteers are expected to carry their photo I.D's with them while on the premises, and wear them if within the hospital. (Psychiatric Rehabilitation Programme, St. Joseph' s Hospital, Hamilton)

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Unions
Unions are increasingly found in the voluntary sector and since volunteers often work along side paid staff, unions need to be considered. 18 The presence of a union in the work place will make policy development both more exacting and more necessary. Ideally, all job design-related policies will be acceptable to management, staff, unions, and the volunteer department. Sample Statements: All new volunteer positions will be presented to the union for input/information. The manager of volunteers will ensure that the roles of management, paid staff, their bargaining agent(s), and volunteers are documented and clearly understood by all volunteers. Volunteers will be familiar with all sections of the collective agreement which are relevant to their role and work in the organization. Volunteers will never be assigned work covered by the collective agreement or work typically performed by members of the bargaining unit.

Strikes
If a union is present in the work place, it is vital that the organization clarify the role volunteers will/will not play during a strike or work stoppage. This needs to be done well in advance since rationality often becomes less prevalent as negotiations break down and a strike becomes imminent. Ideally, the policy will be developed by and acceptable to labour, the volunteer department and management. Whatever it says, it needs to be rigidly enforced. (Graff, 1983: 38) What will volunteers do in a strike? Here is a range of samples and questions from which to craft a policy: 1. To Involve Volunteers? Sample Statements: The involvement of volunteers will never be used to prolong a strike or work stoppage. Volunteers will/will not be asked to consider volunteering if a strike is called. During strikes, a volunteer's proper position should be as neutral bystander...This neutral stance is dictated both by humanitarianism and rationality. (quoted in McCurley, 1979: 16) The best services a would-be volunteer can render in a strike is to do whatever he or she can to END THE STRIKE. Not only does a strike settlement mean restoration of the best possible services for the consumer, but it also means that volunteers can return to their proper ADJUNCT role in the institution. (Laarman, 1979: 21)

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If volunteers are asked to consider volunteering in the event of a strike, the choice to do so will be left to the volunteer. No pressure, coercion, or judgement will be placed on the volunteer by the organization regarding this decision. A decision not to be involved will not be penalized in any way; the hours/days of service lost because of a strike will not be subtracted from a volunteer's record when determining eligibility for service awards.

2. What Work? Volunteers will perform only those duties as were assigned to them prior to the strike. During a strike, volunteers will not/may be asked to take on additional duties. Only work having to do with the maintenance of comfort and quality of life of residents/clients will be considered as appropriate for volunteers during a strike. Only work which can be performed ` off site' and which does not involve the crossing of a picket line will be considered as appropriate for volunteers during a strike.

3. Which Volunteers? Will the organization consider bringing on new/additional volunteers during a strike? Will the organization draw upon the assistance of only new volunteers, ensuring that current volunteers remain completely uninvolved? Youth under the age of majority will not be permitted to volunteer under any circumstances during a strike.

4. The Picket Line Will volunteers ever be expected to cross a picket line? Under what circumstances? Are policies in place to ensure volunteers' safety and protection of property? Will volunteers be escorted/by union representatives? Can written proof of union approval be obtained to ease the crossing?

5. Volunteer Supervision During A Strike Questions of volunteer safety and liability will be re-explored in the circumstance of a strike since normal routines are likely to be disturbed and risk may be higher. What is the role of the manager of volunteers during a strike? Is she a member of the bargaining unit? If she is, who will supervise the work of volunteers during a strike.

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At minimum, who will keep in touch with volunteers if they do not continue their involvement with the organization during the strike? May the union monitor the level/nature of volunteer involvement during a strike as a demonstration of good faith and to ensure compliance with guidelines?

Insurance
As Ellis (1986: 120) states, When a volunteer acts, under your control, to further the work of the organization, s/he may be seen as your legal representative or ` agent.' In terms of torts law, your organization may be liable for acts committed by volunteers who are handling assignments under your control and direction, and are therefore legally ` servants' of your organization as ` master.' There are two types of precautions to take. The first, called ` risk management,' involves a thorough examination of where hazards might exist, and the implementation of management practices which help reduce the chance of accidents ever occurring. 19 This is one of the strongest reasons for establishing clear policies and procedures. The second type of precaution is to purchase insurance which will pay for the damage in the event an accident does occur. The topic of insurance for volunteers is complex. This section is included simply to illustrate some of the areas which organizations may wish to pursue. This should not be seen as comprehensive, or authoritative. It should not serve as the basis for decisions concerning risk, liability, or insurance protection requirements. Each organization should seek advice from both legal and insurance experts in determining its own pertinent issues and polices. A number of good reference works on risk management and insurance for volunteers and voluntary organizations exist to aid the process. (c.f. Pope and Bielak, 1983; Olson, 1982; Kemp, 1976; Ontario Hospital Association Task Force on Volunteer Services, 1991; Henson and Larson, 1988; Tremper and Babcock, 1990. Also, the Office For Seniors' Issues, Ontario Ministry of Citizenship will soon release a manual on volunteer transportation services, including a section on automobile insurance for volunteer programs.) Policy about insurance might specify: • • • the types of insurance to be carried by the organization the minimum amounts of coverage in each type who will be covered.

It is recommended that volunteers be clearly named as insureds in the insurance policy to be certain they are covered.

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Here are some of the main areas in which an organization may seek insurance coverage: Comprehensive General Liability • Personal Injury Liability • • • • Bodily Injury Liability Property Damage Liability Defence, Settlement, Supplementary Payments Medical Payments

Non-owned Automobile

Contractual Liability

Employer's Liability

Crime Insurance

If volunteers drive as part of their assignment for an organization, a number of issues arise for both the volunteer and the organization. The organization may wish to insist that the volunteer carry a minimum amount of personal automobile insurance. The organization may require proof of insurance and proper vehicle registration along with proof of valid and appropriate driver's licence. Some insurance companies have considered that driving as a volunteer, and particularly when receiving some form of reimbursement for volunteer driving, may be sufficient to alter or even void the terms of the automobile insurance policy. Such activity may also require higher premiums. Thus, it may be wise to develop a policy such as: Volunteers will be required to inform their own insurance company of their volunteer driving activity to ensure continuance of protection. As noted above, the organization may reimburse volunteers for any additional personal automobile insurance premiums necessitated by volunteer driving.

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IV. THE SEVEN STEPS IN POLICY DEVELOPMENT FOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS

"The volunteer manager who ignores the board, or who considers that the board is beyond her scope of interest, is failing to engage those powerful allies in the development of credibility for her program." (Gail Moore and Marilyn MacKenzie, 1990: 28)

For some organizations, the process of policy development and implementation may require all seven of the following steps. For others, the starting point may be at step two, three, or even four, which would both simplify and shorten the process. It is important to emphasise that policy-making is a process that never really ends. Neither the community nor the volunteer environment is static, and policies constantly need to be developed and revised to stay relevant and comprehensive.

STEP 1.

Volunteers? Here?

The first step for many boards, and even Executive Directors, is to recognize that direct service volunteers are actually involved in the organization. Many boards are aware that volunteers are present in the organization but have no information on why or what they do. Here lies a key role for the manager of volunteers. Take every opportunity to remind management about volunteering in the organization. Send articles, press clippings to the Executive Director and offer to make copies for the board. Submit a short report even if it has not been requested. Send copies of your volunteer department newsletter or other outreach material to the board or to board members. Meet your board members in person; introduce yourself and your volunteers. There are many techniques to impress upon the board the presence of service volunteers in the organization.

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STEP 2.

Volunteers? So What?

The second step is be for senior management (paid and unpaid) to understand what volunteers do, and the importance of that work to the organization and its clients. Again the manager of volunteers has a key role in supplying information such as what follows. Reviewing statistics such as these may help:
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the number of volunteer hours contributed the number of clients served or tasks completed the cost to the organization if it had to replace volunteers with paid workers.

Descriptive reports can also be helpful:
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what kind of quality of life differences volunteers make how the lives, health or other circumstances of clients might change without volunteer involvement which current programs would not exist but for the pioneering work of volunteers in problem identification or pilot programs what would happen if volunteers were to go on strike for a month how does volunteer involvement support or even contribute toward the accomplishment of the organization' s mission

-

-

STEP 3.

You Want What? Board Time?

Once senior personnel have come to understand that volunteers' presence is significant, then they need to understand that volunteers merit senior management attention. One would hope that board attention will result from an acknowledgement of the importance of volunteer involvement. At minimum, it should follow from the recognition that inattention and volunteer mismanagement can place both the organization and its (paid and unpaid) management personnel at considerable risk. As a manager of volunteers you could buy a copy of Susan Ellis' From The Top Down for your Executive Director and ask him/her to read it. Examine your own program for risks and liabilities and take your findings and recommendations, in writing, to the attention of the Executive Director. Place a copy in your own personnel file to document your actions.

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STEP 4.

Volunteers? Why?

It is often assumed that the main or only reason that volunteers are involved is because they save money. Susan Ellis, who suggests that this immediately makes volunteers a ` second choice,' devotes a good deal of attention to what she terms ` first choice' reasons for involving volunteers in service provision. She suggests that boards and senior management need to engage in an exercise in values clarification regarding the volunteer department. It can be both fun and useful to play Susan Ellis' ` Utopia' game. Present the board with the following circumstance and record their responses to the questions.
-

What if a philanthropist donated to the organization, enough money for complete staffing now and for whatever programs it might develop in the future? Would the organization still involve volunteers? Why? To accomplish what? To bring what special gifts?
-

-

To contribute what unique perspectives?

Responses to these questions can form the basis of the ` philosophy of involvement' statement (or the basis for a board motion to discontinue the volunteer program). As noted earlier, this kind of values and belief statement - broad policy - will provide a context for all other policy statements regarding the volunteer department.

STEP 5.

Develop Policies

Only when the first four steps are in place can a board really get down to developing policies. It is true that staff - probably the manager of volunteers - can work independently to develop program policies and guidelines, but she will rarely have the authority to implement or enforce them. Working independently will mean a missed opportunity to educate senior management as discussed above. And, if the board has not, at least, approved policies and apprised itself of volunteer activities, it still may run the risk of liability in the event of injury or damage. The process of developing a complete policy package for a volunteer program can be slow and long - it can take two or three years of fairly steady work just to develop the full set. It can be daunting. Take it one step at a time and keep in mind that each new policy is an important addition in and of itself. Chapter VIII presents very specific information on how to identify policy needs, how to write policies, how to track them through the development and approval process and offers a sample method for reviewing them on an ongoing basis.

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STEP 6.

Develop Procedural Guidelines, Standards

Once policy statements have been written and received board approval, more detailed tasks regarding day to day work, operating procedures, performance standards and so on can take place. Normally, this level of activity is delegated by the board to senior staff, and is usually further delegated by administrators to middle management or front line staff - depending, of course on the size of the organization. There is most often a significant role here for the manager of volunteers. Increasing attention is being paid in the literature to standards for volunteer programs, along with principles of effective volunteer program management. 20 Managers of volunteers no longer need to feel like they are operating in isolation when working in this area.

STEP 7.

Monitor, Review, Revise

The policy process never really stops. Once policies and procedures are ` on the books,' they need to be implemented, monitored for compliance, reviewed regularly for relevance and revised as needed. Gaps in policy will continually surface as factors in the volunteer environment change. Careful and regular attention is required, and in most circumstances, this responsibility is a shared one - board, management and service staff, and perhaps particularly the manager of volunteers, all need to participate - although again, ultimate responsibility will probably continue to rest with the board.

The following diagram outlines the seven steps in policy development for volunteer programs:

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The Seven Steps in Policy Development For Volunteer Programs

STEP 1

RECOGNIZE THAT VOLUNTEER INVOLVEMENT ACTUALLY TAKES PLACE WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION

STEP 2

ACK NO W LED GE T HAT VO LUN TE ER IN VO LVE ME NT IS IMPORTANT

STEP 3

ACKNOWLEDGE THAT VOLUNTEER INVOLVEMENT WARRANTS THE ATTENTION OF SENIOR MANAGEMENT

STEP 4

BEGIN TO GIVE CONSIDERATION TO THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM - FIND OUT WHAT GOES ON THERE, DEVELOP A PHILOSOPH Y ABO UT W HY VO LUNTE ERS SHOU LD PARTICIPATE IN PROGRAMS OR SERVICES

STEP 5

DEVELOP POLICIES ABOUT VOLUNTEER INVOLVEMENT

STEP 6

DEVELOP OR DELEGATE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR DEVELO PME NT OF O PERATION AL GUIDELINES, STANDARDS, AND PROCEDURES FOR VOLUNTEER INVOLVEMENT

STEP 7

ENSURE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM EVALUATION, COMPLIANCE WITH ESTABLISHED POLICIES AND STANDARDS, AND REGULAR POLICY REVIEW

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VIII.

THE HOW TO'S OF WRITING POLICY

Setting out to write a policy manual for a volunteer program can be a daunting task. Relating to the board or other senior administrative staff can be unfamiliar and maybe even intimidating. Issues of turf are important, and sorting out responsibility from authority is not always easy. One step at a time is the approach to take. Small course corrections in the present can result in large and rewarding program changes in the future.

1. Get Some Help
It may be wise to form a Policy Committee which can initially concentrate on development of new policies and later focus on regular review and revision to existing policy. The membership on such a committee can vary widely depending on the nature of the organization, its structure and its mission. You might consider representation from any of the following: • • • • direct service volunteers board union legal counsel • • • • staff consumers/clients/program participants community at large insurance advisor

There is no ` right' formula for committee membership. A range of perspectives is always useful. Keep the number of members to a manageable size and emphasize when recruiting members that it will be a working group.

2. What Policies Do We Need?
A question often asked by managers of volunteers is: "Where are policies needed?" Policy issues can arise nearly anywhere, and be identified by nearly anyone - although it may not be immediately apparent that policy is what is needed. Staff, volunteers, even clients sometimes, will notice issues which require policy decisions, or at minimum, procedural guidelines. It is critical that everyone appreciates the importance of bringing such items to the attention of the appropriate person - the manager of volunteers, the staff supervisor, the Executive Director - ultimately the board.

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As a general rule, policies within organizations are needed:
‘ ‘ ‘ ‘

where any element of risk exists where values and beliefs need to be articulated where positions need to be taken and communicated where the program is not effective: where planning or direction is needed where volunteer productivity is low where volunteers are not satisfied where volunteer turn over is high

Use this manual as a reference point - there are roughly sixty policy questions covered here. More reference texts are listed in the bibliography. Look at policy manuals developed by your colleagues and peers in other organizations. Explore your organization' s board manual, staff manual, personnel manual for ideas. Figure 1, ` Policy Checklist,' is a form that might be of some assistance here. It helps you to make a list of all of the policy questions that may be relevant at this time. You might distribute this checklist to others - board, staff, policy committee, volunteers - ask them to create their own list or add to yours. Once you have generated the list of possible policy questions, you will need to decide which are not applicable, which need to be developed, which are in progress and which are already in place.

3. Prioritizing
Make a list of all of the items that were consistently rated on the Policy Checklist as ` To Do.' These you have consensus on. Any items that were checked as ` To Do' by only some participants need to be discussed. Some items may turn out to be not applicable at this time, and others will receive wider agreement about their priority status upon discussion. Once you have a list that is agreeable to your committee, you need to prioritize - and the list of priorities can then act as your agenda through the process. What variables do you consider in prioritizing? In most cases the questions you asked to determine where policies are needed will double as the questions you need to ask to determine which are to be developed first. a) Where does risk or liability exist - these are the urgent ones that should be addressed first b) What beliefs and values need to be articulated - this will set the framework for other policies c) What positions need to be taken and communicated? what rules need to be clarified? d) Where is the program least effective - are there some policy statements that might help?

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Figure 2, ` Priorities For Policy Development, ' will assist you in prioritizing your work. List the policy questions/issues (the ` To Do' s' from the Checklist) down the left side. Add to the list of variables across the top. Assign a rating of 1 to 5 on a scale of urgency for each variable. Total the ratings across for each policy. Those with the highest scores are the policies to work on first. From the Policy Checklist, you will also have a list of policies that have been developed but that will need review. You can either set these aside for attention later, or integrate them into your action plan, depending on their own urgency.

4. The Development and Approval Process
The specific process used in policy development will vary from organization to organization. Some organizations, as suggested above, will have a special committee to draft and submit policies. In some organizations, the Executive Director, once apprised of a policy issue, may develop and submit a draft to the Board or Executive Committee. In others, background about the item may be passed to the board or its Executive Committee for discussion and from there it may be resolved, or passed back to a committee or staff for further information or development. 21 You need to find out how things work in your organization and follow those rules carefully. Certainly it is your duty to bring policy or liability issues to the attention of your supervisor. Whether you are in a position to do more - for example, to prepare documentation, draft policy statements, appear before, or present material to, a policy committee or the board itself - will need to be determined. It is advisable that you do as much as possible. Standardizing the structure and appearance of policies can be helpful. Figure 3 offers a sample format for policy statements and their associated procedures. This is a framework to document the subject and number of a policy statement, when it became effective, when it was last reviewed, what parts were revised, and who approved it.

5. Tracking Policies Through Development
Different policies will be at different points in the development and approval processes. As some get finalized you will need to begin to work on others while still others may be scheduled for their annual review. Figure 4, ` Tracking The Policy Development Process,' will help you keep track of each policy as it moves through its various steps. A page like this is needed for each policy. Make note of the policy name and then record who does each step and the deadline associated with each step in the process.

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6. Writing Policies
Paula Cryderman (1987) has written a manual on how to write policy and procedure manuals. While written for the health care sector, her manual is an excellent resource for any volunteer program. Briefly she says:

Tone Policies need to be written in a directive (imperative) tone. They should sound like a command.

Tense Policies should be written in the present tense. The future tense is acceptable, but less clear.

Voice Policies should use the active (rather than passive) voice. That is, the sentence structure should have the subject performing the activity. Cryderman says this is usually more concise, direct and vigorous than the passive voice. ie. the manager of volunteers conducts the performance review (rather than: the performance review is conducted by...)

Policies should use clear language, and be as concise as possible. While it is recommended that policies be authoritative, you will need to use your own judgement, remembering we are dealing with a volunteer work force. Some managers of volunteers believe volunteering should be unfettered and unhindered. They may equate policies with rules, and perceive the presence of rules as overly formalizing volunteering. In fact, the presence of supportive and enabling policies can provide the encouragement and recognition that volunteers require to maximize their potential. Policies can demonstrate just how important the work is, and the very real consequence of error when standards are not attained or guidelines are not followed. As Rick Lynch (1983) points out:

We should never be surprised at the lack of results we get from volunteers if we never give them results to achieve.

However, it is not always easy to find a balance between organizational responsibility, program costeffectiveness and personal safety on one hand, and volunteer satisfaction and maintenance of the humane and personalized character (Silver, 1988: 100) - the ` heart' - of volunteering and charitable giving, on the other. Wherever possible, policies and guidelines should enable, motivate and inspire. They should articulate outside limits, perhaps, leaving as much room within them for flexibility and creativity.

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7. Policy Review
As each policy is completed, you will need to insert it into a review schedule. It is probably best if different policies come due for review at different points throughout the year. You can even plan to review more during your less busy months. Establish a filing system of the months of the year. As a policy gets reviewed and revised, make a copy of the revised version and put it into the appropriate month file, ten months from now. As you open these month files, you have a record of all policies that were approved ten months ago that need to be examined, and possibly revised and re-approved. The ten month cycle allows you two months to review, consult with others, redesign and send for approval so that the policy is ready to file again at the twelve month mark. Figure 5, ` Review Schedule' is a form that will give you an overview of the review process. summarizes the date every policy was established and the date each is due for revision. It

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FORMS
FIGURE 1. Policy Checklist FIGURE 2. Priorities For Policy Development FIGURE 3. Policy Form FIGURE 4. Tracking The Policy-Development Process FIGURE 5. Review Schedule

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Figure 1 POLICY CHECKLIST POLICY DEVELOPED Date of Last Review IN PROGRESS TO DO NOT APPLICABLE

1. Policy about policy 2. Paid versus unpaid work 3. Job design 4. Job descriptions 5. 5. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

ADDITIONAL POLICIES OUR ORGANIZATION SHOULD CONSIDER 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

SUGGESTION: Develop the top list of policies from those which exist in your organization, from this manual, from other sources. Then, use this form as an exercise for Board, staff, volunteers... Have each person check off which policies are needed in the organization, which they think are not applicable, and have them add other policy issues to the list.

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Figure 2 PRIORITIES FOR POLICY DEVELOPMENT

Page ___ of ___ <–Assign Ratings* –>

Policies to Develop

Level of Risk

Need Value Statement

Need Rule

Need To Improve

Other

Totals

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

*

Rate on a scale of urgency: 1 = can wait .....

5 = urgent

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Figure 3

POLICY FORM

Subject: Effective Date: Revision Date: Page No.: ___ of ___ Approved By:

Number: Section:

- All Revisions Marked With Asterisk (*) POLICY STATEMENT:

PROCEDURES:

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Figure 4

TRACKING THE POLICY-DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

POLICY ISSUE: POLICY NUMBER:

WHO WILL BE INVOLVED IN DRAFTING: Manager of Volunteers Staff Department Head Staff Volunteers [ [ [ [ [ Other [ ] ] ] ] ] ] Board of Directors Executive Director Policy Committee Legal Counsel Insurance Advisor Other [ [ [ [ [ [ ] ] ] ] ] ]

VERSION

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE

DUE DATE

CHECK WHEN COMPLETED

FIRST DRAFT

SECOND DRAFT

THIRD DRAFT

APPROVED DRAFT

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Figure 5

REVIEW SCHEDULE *
Page - BEGIN REVIEW Date of First Approval Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec of

Policies 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. *

This system presumes an annual review. If your schedule is different, you will need to put the years in each cell, under the appropriate month, and complete a new form for each year.

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IX.

CONCLUDING COMMENTS

The volunteer movement has changed and grown rapidly in the last two-to-three decades. Increased risks to organizations, volunteers, paid staff and service recipients are a natural consequence of increasing complexity and responsibility in the work done by volunteers. The management of such risks and the reduction of liability falls squarely within the mandate of boards of directors and senior management. Policy development is perhaps the most significant strategy in risk reduction, and it is the duty of boards and senior management to ensure that comprehensive and appropriate policy is in place. The benefits of well-thought-out and comprehensive policies stretch beyond risk reduction. Policies help to ensure productive, effective, well managed programs in which volunteers are satisfied and volunteer retention is high. Boards and senior management often have little information about volunteering in their own organizations. A process of education may need to precede or accompany the policy initiation, development and implementation processes. Managers of volunteers must play a key role in the policy-making process, particulary since it is unlikely to be initiated spontaneously by boards and management. Managers of volunteers need to: * * * * * identify risks and areas of liability help to educate management encourage and stimulate management action identify and draft policy options participate in policy implementation, evaluation and revision

One cannot assume that the presence of policies will solve all problems or eliminate all risks associated with volunteering. However, policy development will help, and its frequent absence in the field makes it an excellent target for immediate action.

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X.

ENDNOTES

1.

To illustrate the rate of growth: - at the beginning of 1970, there were 359 voluntary social service organizations in Metropolitan Toronto. By the end of 1980, 30 of these had ceased to exist but the total number had grown to 617. The net growth was 288 organizations, or nearly 72% in just 11 years. (Tucker, 1983) Leighton (1983) speaks of a similar explosive growth in arts organizations in virtually the same period. He says the consequence has been severe strain on the management of these institutions.

2.

Marlene Wilson, with great insight, identified the beginnings of major shifts in voluntary action and the role of managers of volunteer programs in her 1976 publication entitled The Effective Management of Volunteer Programs. She devoted the first chapter to documenting some of those changes. The volunteer movement has continued to shift and grow at a similar pace over the 15 years since her observations. In fact, the National Survey of Voluntary Activity found that men make up well over 40 % of all volunteers in Canada. (Ross and Shillington, 1989: 9) There is a growing body of literature on the principles of volunteer program management as a field apart from personnel management in either the private or not-for-profit sectors. Excellent written resources are increasingly available. Check the Bibliography and Resources sections at the end of this manual. Professional development opportunities for managers of volunteers are also offered through most community colleges, many local Volunteer Centres, and organizations such as the Ontario Association for Volunteer Administration, The Provincial Training Program in Volunteer Management sponsored by the Government of Ontario - Office For Seniors' Issues, Volunteer Ontario, and Volunteer Canada.

3. 4.

5.

Figure 2 in the FORMS section at the back of this manual provides a practical and concrete tool to integrate this concept of ` type of policy' into the policy development process. A description of how to use Figure 2 is located in Chapter VIII, Section 3 - Prioritizing. A note on use of terms may be in order here. Throughout this document, the terms volunteer, unpaid staff, and unpaid personnel are used interchangeably. For examples of Statements of Rights and Responsibilities, see: McCurley, 1990: 3; Ontario Association of Volunteer Bureaux/Centres 1988: 12; Wilson, 1976: 186. Most local Volunteer Bureaux/Centres will also have copies of these kinds of documents. For good discussions of the costs to the organization associated with volunteering, see Ellis (1986: 25-40 - ` Budgeting and Allocating Resources' ) and the American Red Cross Volunteer 2000 study (pp. VII-2 to VII-7)

6. 7.

8.

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9.

This sample reflects many of the specific aspects of the "Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, 1983." See Boards of Directors' Resource Binder edited by Ginette Johnstone and published by Volunteer Ontario (1990) for details of the Act. The old standards ` volunteers will supplement, not supplant' and ` volunteers' roles will be complementary to those of staff' are of little use any more. They sound good, but are of little practical value in actually deciding what should and should not be volunteer work. (Duncan, 1982) See Graff (1983) for a detailed discussion of replacement and displacement of paid staff by volunteers. See the Directory Of Special Needs Programs In Canada, published by Volunteer Ontario (Graff, 1992) for examples and discussions of special needs volunteering for a variety of populations. In fact, Susan Joanis, Analyst, Policy Unit of the Ontario Human Rights Commission has indicated* that the Commission would take seriously any complaint of discrimination lodged by a volunteer, since volunteer work may not necessarily be seen to be ouside of the jurisdiction of the Commission. Hence, while a test case is needed to establish jurisdiction for certain, it is even more advisable than ever that volunteer programs follow the guideleines of the Human Rights Commission in their selection and management practices.
*

10.

11. 12.

13.

Reported by Lorraine Street, North Halton Volunteer Centre, from a conversation between Ms. Joanis and the North Halton Volunteer Centre, February, 1992. 14. 15. ` Vulnerable client' might be defined, for example, as children (under the age of 16), seniors, individuals with disabilities, and, in some cases, women. Since the institution of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, many police forces have become more formal about how information is released, and what charges are levied for the service. There is no uniformity in these decisions from municipality to municipality and Managers are encouraged to contact their local police forces to determine what process is in place, what paper work will be required, and what, if any, the fee will be. Jone Pearce (1983: 88-89) offers a great illustration of an organization that sponsors an ` inappropriate' type of recognition event, is surprised by the poor turnout, and concludes that the volunteers are ` apathetic.' Susan Ellis and Katherine H. Noyes discuss the ` hard to track but nonetheless important' data that should be reported and recognized. (1990: 33) See Graff (1983) for more details on volunteer/staff/union relations. Henson and Larson (1988) have written a manual on risk management for managing volunteer programs. They say policies and procedures facilitate decisions about the four means of risk management: avoid, assume, transfer or reduce. This is a useful manual for understanding where risk might exist and for choosing the right risk management strategy in volunteer programs.

16.

17. 18. 19.

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20.

For examples of standards for volunteer programs in agencies, see "Guidelines for Volunteer Involvement in Health Care Facilities" (O.H.A., 1991). For examples of standards for Volunteer Centre programs, see "Standards For Volunteer Centres" (The National Volunteer Centre Advisory Council, 1991). The following publication includes standards for both agency programs and Volunteer Centre programs: "Standards and Criteria For Excellence for the Voluntary Sector for the Province of Ontario" (Ontario Association of Volunteer Bureaux/Centres, 1988). There is a great deal of literature and virtually no agreement about the policy-making process, who the players ought to be, and who should do what. See, for example, Conrad and Glenn (1976) who devote an chapter to ` Board Policy Process' and cover items such as board/staff responsibility, steps, authority, accountability, formulation process, variables of influence, power and control; John Carver (1990) who takes a rather new look at policy, boards and staff; Paula Cryderman (1987: 13-18) who diagrams, through flow charts, different approval processes for different kinds of manuals.

21.

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XI. BIBLIOGRAPHY

AMERICAN RED CROSS. Volunteer 2000 Study. Washington, D.C.: American Red Cross. 1988 . Volunteer 2000 Study - Administration Manual. Washington, D.C.: American Red Cross. 1990

CANADIAN AIDS SOCIETY. Managing HIV and AIDS In The Canadian Workplace. Canadian Aids Society.

Ottawa:

CARVER, JOHN. Boards That Make A Difference - A New Design for Leadership In Nonprofit And 1990 Public Organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

CONRAD, WILLIAM R. AND WILLIAM E. GLENN. The Effective Voluntary Board of Directors. 1976 Athens, Ohio: Swallow Press.

CRYDERMAN, PAULA. Developing Policy And Procedure Manuals. (Revised edition) Ottawa: 1987 Canadian Hospital Association.

DUNCAN, SANDY. "Complementary to What?" Involve - Journal of the Volunteer Centre. 1982 Spring (17). p. 6.

ELLIS, SUSAN J. From The Top Down: The Executive Role in Volunteer Program Success. 1986 Philadelphia: Energize Associates.

ELLIS, SUSAN J. and KATHERINE H. NOYES. Proof Positive - Developing Significant Volunteer 1990 Recordkeeping Systems. Philadelphia: Energize. Revised Edition.

GALVIN, NAIRN. Voluntary Action and Multiculturalism: Phase II Study Report. Hamilton: The 1988 Volunteer Centre of Hamilton and District.

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GRAFF, LINDA L. Special Needs Volunteering: A Directory of Programs in Canada. Etobicoke: 1992 Volunteer Ontario.

. Volunteer For The Health Of It. Etobicoke: Volunteer Ontario. 1991

1983

. Volunteer/Paid Staff/Union Relations: A Discussion Paper. Hamilton: The Volunteer Centre of Hamilton and District.

HENSON, SARAH, AND BRUCE LARSON. Risk Management: Strategies For Managing Volunteer 1988 Programs. Walla Walla, WA.: Macduff/Brunt.

KEMP, GERALD. The Legal Status of Volunteer Workers and Voluntary Organizations. Calgary: The 1976 Volunteer Centre of Calgary.

LAARMAN, PETER. "Volunteers and Strikes: Good Motives Should Not Be Exploited." Voluntary 1979 Action Leadership. (summer) pp. 20-21.

LEIGHTON, DAVID S.R. "Canada's Cultural Resources: Where Are The Managers?" in Managing 1983 Voluntary Organizations. Mel S. Moyer (editor). Toronto: York University Faculty of Administrative Studies.

LYNCH, RICK. Developing Your Leadership Potential. Downers Grove, Il: VMSystems - Heritage 1986 Arts Publishing.

. "Designing Volunteer Jobs For Results." Voluntary Action Leadership. (Summer). 1983

MACKENZIE, MARILYN. Curing Terminal Niceness....A Practical Guide To Healthy Volunteer/Staff 1990 Relationships. Downers Grove, Il: VMSystems - Heritage Arts Publishing.

1988

. Dealing With Difficult Volunteers. Downers Grove, Il.: VMSystems Heritage Arts Publishing.

MARTIN, DUNCAN, AND NAIRN GALVIN. Voluntary Action and Multiculturalism: Report On A 1988 Preliminary Study. Hamilton: The Volunteer Centre of Hamilton and District.

MCCURLEY, STEVE. Volunteer Management Policies. Downers Grove, Il. VMSystems - Heritage Arts 1990 Publishing.

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1988

. Volunteer Management Forms. Downers Grove, Il. VMSystems - Heritage Arts Publishing.

MCCURLEY, STEPHEN H. `Volunteer-Union Relations: Thoughts and Warnings." Voluntary Action 1979 Leadership. (summer) pp. 15-16.

MCMULLEN, LORIE. "The Board Staff Workbook." Excerpts reprinted in Boards of Directors' 1990 Resource Binder. Ginette Johnstone (editor). Etobicoke: Volunteer Ontario.

MOORE, GAIL AND MARILYN MACKENZIE. Building Credibility With The Powers That Be. 1990 Downers Grove, Il.: VMSystems - Heritage Arts Publishing.

O'CONNELL, BRIAN. The Board Members' Book: Making a Difference In Voluntary Organizations. 1985 New York: The Foundation Centre.

OLSON, HEATHER. Volunteers And The Law. Edmonton: Volunteer Action Centre of Edmonton. 1982

ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF DIRECTORS OF HEALTHCARE VOLUNTEER SERVICES. Volunteer 1991 Services Management Manual. (Second Edition). Don Mills: Ontario Hospital Association.

ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF VOLUNTEER BUREAUX/CENTRES. Standards & Criteria For 1988 Excellence For The Voluntary Sector For The Province of Ontario. Etotobicoke: Ontario Association of Volunteer Bureaux/Centres (now Volunteer Ontario).

ONTARIO HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION TASK FORCE ON VOLUNTEER SERVICES. Guidelines For 1991 Volunteer Involvement In Health Care Facilities. Don Mills: Ontario Hospital Association.

PEARCE, JONE L. "Labour That Is Worth Nothing: The Paradox of Volunteers." in Managing 1983 Voluntary Organizations. Mel S. Moyer (editor). Toronto: York University Faculty of Administrative Studies.

1978

. Something For Nothing: An Empirical Examination Of The Structures And Norms Of Volunteer Organizations. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Yale University.

ROSS, DAVID P. Economic Dimensions of Volunteer Work In Canada. Ottawa: Minister of Supply 1990 and Services Canada.

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ROSS, DAVID P. AND E. RICHARD SHILLINGTON. A Profile Of The Canadian Volunteer - A Guide 1989 To The 1987 Survey Of Volunteer Activity in Canada. Ottawa: National Voluntary Organizations.

ROSS, MURRAY G. "The Non-Profit Board." in Managing Voluntary Organizations. Mel S. Moyer 1983 (editor). Toronto: York University Faculty of Administrative Studies.

SCHEIER, IVAN. "Empowering a Profession: Seeing Ourselves as More than Subsidiary." The Journal 1988 of Volunteer Administration. Fall.

SCHODERBEK, PETER. "The Board and its Responsibilities," for United Way/Centraide Canada. 1990 Excerpts reprinted in Boards of Directors' Resource Binder. Ginette Johnstone (editor). Etobicoke: Volunteer Ontario.

SILVER, NORA. At The Heart: The New Volunteer Challenge To Community Agencies. Pleasanton, 1988 CA.: Valley Volunteer Centre.

SHAW, ROBERT C. "Strengthening the Role of the Voluntary Board of Directors." Excerpts reprinted 1990 in Boards of Directors' Resource Binder. Ginette Johnstone (editor). Etobicoke: Volunteer Ontario.

TEMPER, CHARLES AND GEORGE BABCOCK. The Nonprofit Board's Role in Risk Management: 1990 More Than Buying Insurance. Washington, D.C.: National Centre for Nonprofit Boards.

TUCKER, DAVID J. "Environmental Change and Organizational Policy-making." in Managing 1983 Voluntary Organizations. Mel S. Moyer (editor). Toronto: York University Faculty of Administrative Studies.

UNITED WAY/CENTRAIDE CANADA. "The Citizen Board in Voluntary Agencies." Excerpts 1990 reprinted in Boards of Directors' Resource Binder. Ginette Johnstone (editor). Etobicoke: Volunteer Ontario.

WILSON, MARLENE. The Effective Management of Volunteer Programs. Boulder: Volunteer 1976 Management Associates.

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XII. POLICY MANUALS AND STATEMENTS REFERENCED IN THIS MANUAL

Canadian Red Cross - Ontario Division. Human Resources Policies and Procedures Manual. 1992. Mississauga. The Elizabeth Fry Society - Hamilton Branch. Polices and Procedures - Excerpts. Family Services of Hamilton-Wentworth, Inc. Staff Manual. Volunteer Clearance Procedures. The Volunteer Centre of Hamilton and District. Policy and Procedures Manual. Operation Springboard. Toronto. Personnel Policy. (1987 amended edition); Volunteer Manual Psychiatric Rehabilitation Programme, St. Joseph's Hospital. Hamilton. Volunteer Policy Manual. St. Peter's Hospital, Hamilton. Departmental Manual - Volunteer Services. United Way of Greater Toronto. Multicultural/Anti-racism Policy and Implementation Guidelines. 1991. Volunteer Centre of Metropolitan Toronto. Policies. YWCA - Yellowknife. Human Rights - Sexism and Gender Bias.

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Linda L. Graff

has been working and consulting in the nonprofit sector since 1980. She is a voluntary sector and risk managem ent specialist, an impassioned advocate for the field of volunteer program managem ent, and a dynamic and popular trainer. Linda was th e directo r of the Voluntee r Centre in Ham ilton for nearly ten years where she worked exten sively with leadership volunteers and where she began her w riting and training ca reer. Ove r her nea rly quarte r century in the volunteering business, Linda has delivered workshops and papers on volunteerism and volunteer program managem ent to tens of thousands of participants, and mo re recently, to an increasing ly global audience, including presentations and keynotes throughout North America and the United Kingdom, as well as into Europe, Asia, and Australia. Linda operates her o wn c ons ulting firm , LIND A G RA FF AN D A SSOC IAT ES INC ., which specializes in risk m anagem ent in volunteer programs, comm unity service, and nonprofit organizations. Through program reviews, audits, and evaluation projects, Linda helps organizations, large and small, to ensure the most effective and safest volunteer involvement possible. W ith her Associates, she also undertakes research, merger, and facilitation projects. As the author of ten books and aud io resourc es o n voluntee r program m ana gem ent, Linda’s publicatio ns have been extrem ely well rece ived, and several of her books have becom e best-sellers in the North American and UK markets. W ith the introduction of Linda’s web site in 20 02, and the ad vent of e-books and print on demand tec hnology, Linda’s writing is n ow e xpa nding ou t to a truly global audience. Linda’s most recent books on policy development ( By Definition, 1992), screening ( Beyond Police Checks , 1999), an d risk m ana gem ent ( Better Sa fe ... , 2003) have becom e best-selling must-have resources for managers of volunteers everywhere. Earlier publications include Volunteer/Paid Staff/ Union Relations, Volunteer For the He alth Of It, and a manual on how to engag e in voluntee ring peop le with disabilities. Linda is an internationally acclaimed s peak er and trainer who specializes in the “tougher” topics such as risk m anagement, policy development, screening, discipline and dismissal, board responsibilities, and trends and their implications for best practice in volun teer p rogram m ana gem ent. She h as the truly gifted cap acity to deliver hard-hitting and content-rich sessions with both clarity and delightful hum our, mixed with an informality that invites participation and inspires out-of-the-box thinking. For more information about LINDA GRAFF AND ASSOCIATES, visit us on the web: www.lindagraff.ca

The International Best-Seller!
BY DEFINITION: Policies For Volunteer Programs
Linda L. Graff

Policies are critical in reducing risks and ensuring safe and satisfying volunteer involvement. By Definition is a step-by-step "how to" manual on developing policies specifically for volunteer programs. It provides clear definitions of policies and procedures and outlines how managers of volunteers, boards of directors, and senior staff can work together on their design. By Definition became an immediate best-seller and has been praised as the definitive and indispensable policy writing handbook by thousands of managers of volunteers throughout North America. By Definition provides samples of policies in over 70 different topic areas, including the following: screening; communicable diseases; progressive discipline; dismissal; recognition; safe working conditions; reimbursement; evaluation; sexual harassment; strikes; insurance; anti-racism; confidentiality; conflict of interest; grievance and appeals.

LINDA GRAFF AND ASSOCIATES INC. is an established and highly respected c onsulting firm located in Dundas, Ontario that specializes exclusively in not-for-profit managem ent. It is owned and operated by its President and Sen ior Associate, Linda L. Graff, author of By Definition . Ms. G raff has been working and consulting in the not-for-profit sector since 1980. Sh e is a voluntary sector specialist, an impassioned advocate for the field of volunteer program managem ent, and a dynam ic and popular trainer. Linda was the Director of the Volunteer Centre in Ham ilton for nearly ten years. She is the author of ten books and AudioW orkshops™, including Volunteer/Paid Staff/Union Relations, Volunteer For Th e Health o f It, Beyond Police Checks: The Definitive Volunteer & Em ployee Screening Guidebook, and Better Safe ... Risk Management in Volunteer Programs & Com munity Service. Linda has recently released the perfect companion to By Definition , an AudioWorkshop ™ called "Policy Development For Volunteer Services" consisting of a 95-minute audio tape and 16-page companion workbook. W ith brand new sections on how to generate compliance with policies, and the connections between policies and risk m anagement and values development, the AudioWorkshop ™ is the perfect vehicle to update your own skills in policy development and a painless way to help the board learn how to write policies and und erstand wh y policies are need ed to guide safe an d effective voluntary action. Ms. Graff currently spends a good deal of her time lecturing throughout North America, the UK, and beyond, on all aspects of volunteer program managem ent, including topics such as risk m ana gem ent, policy development, screening, discipline and dismissal, volunteer-paid staff relations, ethics and acc oun tability, and advance d tren ds a nd iss ues in volun teer p rogram m ana gem ent.

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