Government Relations/Codes

This section provides links to a range of government proclamations and policies supporting volunteering in various countries, particularly "Codes of Volunteering," where such exist.

"A New Era of Responsibility": An Open Letter to President Obama, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
AmeriCorps and Senior Corps Targeting Volunteer Management, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
California Governor "Pumps Up" Volunteering, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2008
Exploring the Serve America Act, Paula Beugen, 2009
Faith-Based Initiatives: What Might This Mean?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2001
Government Volunteers, 2003
Legislation from South Carolina (provided as an example of US state regulations)
Government, Politicians, and the Use of the Word "Volunteer", Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2004
It's Time to Start Counting Volunteers Seriously, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2001
Let's Commit to International Exchange, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
Making Ongoing Volunteering Valued and Visible, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
Measuring Volunteering: A Practical Toolkit, 2001
Independent Sector and UNV, designed as a toolkit to assist countries in conducting surveys assessing their national, regional, and local volunteer levels, 40-pg. PDF
A Medal for Volunteer Service - How to Measure Success?, Rob Jackson, Energize Hot Topic, 2002
Mixed Messages from Government: Lessons from Minnesota, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2002
The More We're Different, the More We're the Same, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
My Personal "State of the World's Volunteering" Report, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2011
Mystifying Data: Can America's Promise Get Away with It?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
Philanthropy, Civic Engagement, and the Lessons of Volunteering, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
The Presidents' Summit One Year Later, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
A Proposal for Five Additional Goals after the Summit, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1997
The Role of Volunteer Resources Managers in the Serve America Act, Paula J. Beugen, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
Shaping Public Opinion: Volunteering, Government, and News Reports, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2004
State Liability Laws for Charitable Organizations and Volunteers
published in 2001, updated in August 2005) - free PDF from the Nonprofit Risk Management Center
Student Volunteers - U.S. Government Definitions, USAJOBS Resource Center, 2013
Explanation of the U.S. regulations limiting volunteer service in federal government agencies.
Taxation of Benefits for Volunteers, Denise Y. Bowen, Federal, State and Local Governments Newsletter of the IRS, 2004
Turbulence at the State Level, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
Volunteer Activity in Elections, 2004
description of volunteer work permitted or limited in federal US elections
Volunteer Rights Inquiry - Reports, 2010

Material from the innovative Inquiry conducted in the UK, 2009-10.

Volunteer Rights Inquiry - Reports, 2010

Material from the innovative Inquiry conducted in the UK, 2009-10.

Volunteering Is Bigger than the Nonprofit Sector, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2008
Volunteers Should Not Be Second-Class Taxpayers, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2008
"Youth Involvement" in Our Field, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2001
Department for Communities, Government of Western Australia (revised). The guidelines focus on direct involvement of volunteers or volunteer groups in contributing to the work of public sector agencies. , 2010, pp. 28

Search on "volunteer management" for a long list of free, downloadable publications and resources.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the United Nations-declared "International Year of Volunteers," United Nations Volunteers (UNV) conducted an extensive research project to produce this unique overview of volunteering in 80 countries around the world. Sub-titled "Universal Values for Global Well-being," the report examines the important contributions of volunteers in diverse fields such as sustainable livelihoods, social inclusion, social cohesion and disaster risk reduction. By suggesting how volunteerism can be taken forward, the SWVR also provides an alternative vision of a better society.

Download chapter by chapter or the entire document.

, 2011, pp. 148

Produced by United Nations Volunteers, this new edition of their SWVR focuses on "Transforming Governance" through volunteer power, particularly in the developing world.  Important reading. Can be read online or downloaded as a PDF.

, 2015, pp. 132
by Volunteering Australia, reporting on consultations with the field on what a national strategy on volunteering would do for Australia , 2008, pp. 17

When newspapers in England reported of serious breaches of trust between volunteers and their organisations in 2009, Volunteering England was prompted to set up the Volunteer Rights Inquiry to begin to understand the nature and scope of the problems experienced by volunteers and identify suitable remedies. This Interim Report goes into detail about the findings of the intensive set of hearings held.  In 2014, a Final report of the Call to Action Progress Group following the Volunteer Rights Inquiry was produced by NCVO.

, 2010, pp. 32

Created as a "A Guide for South Australian Local Government" by the City of Salisbury in SA, this contains many useful tips for determining potential risks in volunteer work, even if the legal issues discussed will not be the same in all locations. Also suggests ways to create volunteer position descriptions from a health and safety perspective.

, 2014, pp. 60
sets out an agenda of undertakings for both the government and the voluntary and community sector in England. Published in 2001 and revised in 2005.  Also see the Institute for Volunteering Research's review of the Code in 2009, 5 years after its creation: , 2005, pp. 22
"Advancing the Community Together" (ACT) Partnership

Site outlining the "Partnership between the Volunteer Sector and the South Australian Government," through that state's Office for Volunteers.

Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement

Provides voluntary and not-for-profit organizations in Canada with a philosophical framework for involving volunteers at the governance, leadership and direct service levels. The Code outlines the values, principles, and standards for effective volunteer practices within organizations. It also includes the Organization Standards Checklist.

Community Development Policy (New Zealand)

NZ government site offering policy statements, reports,and other materials on volunteering as well as other community development,  including a study of Maori volunteering.

eLaws: Fair Labor Standards Act Advisor

The US Department of Labor's explanation of the FLSA as it applies to volunteers, including employees as volunteers.

European Commission Youth Programme

Non-formal education programme targeting young people aged between 15 and 25 years in 31 European countries.

European Volunteer Centre (CEV)

Site reporting on volunteering in European countries and fostering exchange among those countries. Offers reports and research.

Giving and Volunteering in the Americas

From the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University, this complete online journal issue contains more than 30 articles by various authors on some aspect of philanthropy, volunteering, corporate social responsibility, and more in Central and South American countries (particularly Brazil, Peru, and Mexico).

Investing in Volunteers (IiV)

"The UK quality standard for good practice in volunteer management." Detailed and comprehensive set of occupation standards for the role of volunteer program manager and benchmarks for organizations.

Volunteer Canada - Engaging Volunteers

How-to resources on many volunteer management topics, most free for download or for sale in printed form.

Volunteer NOW - Developing Volunteering

Free downloadable publications, checklists, and tools for volunteer management from this Northern Ireland peak body.

Volunteering Australia - Volunteer Managers

Range of articles (PDFs) on various aspects of volunteer management.

Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS)

The VIPS Program provides support and resources for government agencies interested in developing or enhancing a volunteer program and for citizens who wish to volunteer their time and skills with a community law enforcement agency. The Web site has a range of publications, videos, and podcasts on the subject of policing by volunteers.

World Volunteer Web

As a follow up to the International Year of Volunteers 2001, United Nations Volunteers (UNV) has created a comprehensive Web site offering continuing news of worldwide volunteer efforts, including government actions, research reports, and links to international volunteer resources.

Print and e-Books in Our Store

Volunteering and the Test of Time

Drawing together a selection of articles, this book illuminates the ways that the political and social context in which volunteering operates has changed from the 1990s to the present.

A membership organisation that exists to support and develop best practice in volunteer management in the National Health Service in the UK, to enhance the experience of patients, carers, the public and staff. 

National professional association of directors, managers, and administrators of volunteer programs in local city, county and other local governments. Purpose is to strengthen volunteer programs through leadership, education, advocacy, net-working and information exchange. 

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Last Updated: November 24, 2015