Charter for Effective Volunteering

Volunteers can expect to:

Know if, and how, they are being selected

Be given meaningful work to do

Know what is expected from them

Be offered appropriate training

Be thanked and to have their voluntary contribution recognised

Receive supervision and support

Get something out of the work for themselves

Know who to go to if there is a problem

Be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses incurred when volunteering

Make mistakes and learn from them

Be made aware of complaint and grievance procedures

Be made aware of how issues or difficulties will be dealt with

Be treated fairly and not to experience discrimination

Have safe working conditions, including insurance cover

Be informed about, and given the opportunity to play an active part in the organisation as a whole

Be able to say 'no' and to leave without feeling guilty

Volunteers are asked to:

Respect the values and aims of the organisation

Be committed

Be reliable and give the organisation sufficient warning if unable to turn up

Be punctual

Attend essential training and support sessions

Undertake the work to a high standard

Be honest if issues or difficulties arise

Organisations are expected to:

Ensure the volunteering experience is a rewarding one

Ensure equal access and not to discriminate

Define clear, meaningful roles for volunteers

Have policies and procedures for volunteers

Provide all necessary information to volunteers

Be available for volunteers

Provide training where necessary

Thank and value volunteers

Provide insurance cover

Inform volunteers of any legal liabilities

Supervise and to provide support

Reimburse out-of-pocket expenses

Provide a safe working environment

Have procedures in place for dealing with complaints and grievances

Have procedures in place for dealing with issues or difficulties that may arise

Organisations can ask:

For certain qualities and skills in volunteers

For volunteers to understand and buy into the organisation ethos

Volunteers to sign a volunteer agreement

For tasks to be done in a particular way, to a certain standard and within certain timeframes

For volunteers to see through their time commitment

For reliability

For punctuality

To ask volunteers to leave if their involvement hinders the organisation achieving its goals

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

Charter for Effective Volunteering

Volunteering is a two-way relationship, one that should benefit both the volunteer and the organisation. As in any relationship both parties will have expectations of the other. By being aware of these expectations both volunteers and organisations are more likely to have a successful partnership.

For more information contact your local Volunteer Centre 01 2040885, 086 325 8803, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or go to