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Some Suggested Components In A Volunteer Policy @

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 By Ivan Scheier

There is wide agreement in volunteerism, that this kind of policy is highly desirable, in writing, carefully considered, and regularly reconsidered. Below are listed some subject areas which have been frequently suggested as needing coverage in such a policy. The exact wording is, of course, up to each individual organization. Finally, please note that, as policy, the statement does not intend to cover details of volunteer program implementation.

Now, please:

1. Circle the first word of each statement, if you already cover this subject area in a written volunteer program policy.

2. Then, mark each statement with two checks if you think it very important that this topic be covered in your volunteer program policy statement; one check for moderately important; blank, means not important at all.

_____With every prospective new staff member, we explore and expect a positive or at least open-minded attitude to volunteers and related community resource development. Volunteer Coordinator sits in on hiring interview.

_____In every staff job description, there is a strong statement to the effect that volunteers are one important way we get things done, etc.

_____Ditto, in the overall mission statement of the organization,

_____Serious orientation to volunteers is part of every new staff member's orientation to the agency. Volunteer Coordinator does this, if at all possible.

_____Ditto, in-service training for staff.

_____There are definite incentives/rewards for staff who work well with you.

_____"How are you doing involving the community?" is the kind of question asked of every staff member at every performative evaluation.

_____Each top management person shall model the agency's commitment to volunteers by recruiting and supervising at least one volunteer.

_____Affirmative action policy (and values) applies equally to the volunteer program.

_____We consider volunteer involvement "real work" and will provide work references for paid employment to deserving volunteers on that basis.

_____Volunteer work in the agency does not in any way preclude a person’s full consideration for paid employment in our agency. On the other hand, it does not guarantee such employment.

_____Clear and effective grievance procedures will be open to both volunteers and staff, on matters that may need to be resolved between them, or between them and the agency.

_____Wherever possible, volunteers shall be treated like staff.

_____Wherever possible, staff shall be treated with all the consideration given volunteers.


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Ivan Scheier
607 Marr
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, 87901
Tel (505) 894-1340

For comments and editing suggestions please contact Mary Lou McNatt