A volunteer agreement is a clear statement of what the volunteer can expect from the organisation and what the organisation expects from the volunteer. It is not legally binding, but is designed to make clear what the organisation is offering and what it expects in return from the volunteer. This helps to prevent misunderstandings. In most cases, the agreement is signed at the end of a trial period. An up-to-date Role Description should accompany the agreement.
What should a Volunteer Agreement contain?
- It should state what the organisation is offering the volunteer, for example, adequate induction, training and assistance, support and travel expenses.
- It should mention how the volunteer is to contribute towards the goals of the organisation, referring to the Volunteer Role Description.
- It is good practice for there to be a trial period and the volunteering to be time-limited, for example, to be reviewed in six months or a year's time. This gives both the organisation and the volunteer the opportunity to end the agreement. A review date should also be stated on the agreement.
- The agreement should have the volunteer role title clearly stated near the beginning.
- It should also clearly state what the organisation expects from the volunteer; for example to follow the rules, policies and procedures of the organisation, to meet agreed time commitments, or give adequate notice if this is not possible.
- A Volunteer Agreement is not a legally binding document. This needs to be stated clearly on the document, for example, 'this Agreement is not intended to form in any way a contract of employment.'
See Volunteer Edinburgh's volunteer agreement example.
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