Volunteer Rights and Responsibilities



  • To accept an assignment of your choice with only as much responsibility as you can handle.
  • To respect confidences of your sponsoring organization and those of the recipients of your services.
  • To fulfill your commitment or notify your supervisor early enough that a substitute can be found.
  • To follow guidelines established by the organization.
  • To decline work not acceptable to you; not let biases interfere with job performance.
  • To use time wisely and not interfere with performance of others.
  • To continue only as long as you can be useful.
  • To stipulate limitations: what out-of-pocket costs you can afford, when it is convenient for receive calls from the organization or recipient.
  • To provide feedback, suggestions and recommendations to supervisor and staff if these might increase effectiveness of the program.



  • To be assigned a volunteer position that is worthwhile and challenging with freedom to use existing skills or develop new ones.
  • To be trusted with confidential information that will help you carry out your assignment.
  • To be kept informed through newsletters, attendance at staff meetings, memoranda, etc., about what is going on in your organization.
  • To receive orientation, training and supervision for the volunteer position you accept and to know why you are asked to do a particular job.
  • To expect your time will not be wasted by lack of planning, coordination or cooperation within the organization.
  • To know whether your work is effective and how it can be improved: to have a chance to increase understanding of yourself, others and your community.
  • To be reimbursed for out-of pocket costs, if it is the only way you can volunteer.
  • To expect valid recommendation and encouragement from your supervisor.
  • To be given appropriate recognition in the form of awards, certificate of achievement, etc. but even more importantly, recognition of your day-to-day contributions by other participants in the volunteering relationship.
  • To ask for a new assignment within your organization.

*Volunteering…A Booming Trend. Experience Personal Fulfillment and Satisfaction Later in Life through Volunteering. Volunteer Canada, Canadian Centre for Philanthropy, 2000.