Government Agencies

One misconception about volunteering is that it is synonymous with "nonprofit organizations." In fact, a huge proportion of volunteers work in government or public agencies and institutions (at local, state/provincial, and national levels): public schools, libraries, parks, prisons, health clinics, and much more. Good volunteer management practices apply completely to the public sector, so all the materials in this library can be of help. This section provides resources specific to government agencies.

California Governor "Pumps Up" Volunteering, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2008
The Choice of the Citizen: Pay Taxes, Do Without, or Volunteer, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2011
Conservation of an Overlooked Resource -- Volunteers, Randy Russell and Earle Kirkbride, Rangelands, 2004
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
Limiting Volunteers through Insurance Requirements, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
Making Ongoing Volunteering Valued and Visible, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
Mixed Messages from Government: Lessons from Minnesota, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2002
State and Local Government Volunteers Act
2002 legislation from Arkansas
Student Volunteers - U.S. Government Definitions, USAJOBS Resource Center, 2013
Explanation of the U.S. regulations limiting volunteer service in federal government agencies.
Volunteer Activity in Elections, 2004
description of volunteer work permitted or limited in federal US elections
Volunteering Is Bigger than the Nonprofit Sector, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2008
Volunteerism and the Government Sector, Susan J. Ellis, USIA, 1998
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

From the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Focuses on prevention, treatment, and recovery services for substance abuse and mental illness; however, the principles described apply to any field and may help organizations understand how to start and manage a successful volunteer program.

, 2005, pp. 56
From the National Association of Counties and NAVPLG (see below). , 2012, pp. 37

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

"Investing in Australia's Health." From the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.

, 2003, pp. 51
Community Builders New South Wales

An interactive clearing house where users are encouraged to contribute to content and ongoing development. The site was developed by the New South Wales (AU) government in response to a desire expressed by communities across NSW to access information about what others are doing and what works to make their community safer and more inclusive, enterprising and resilient.


Marin County Civic Center Volunteers

One of the pioneering volunteers in municipal government programs.

National Association of Volunteer Programs in Local Government (NAVPLG)

Membership association for leaders of volunteers in government, anywhere in the world. Site offers networking and resources.

Public Service and Volunteerism

US government site listing Federal agency volunteer programs.

The United States: A Nation of Volunteers

The United States Information Agency's (USIA) electronic journal of U.S. Society & Values of September 1998 has a range of articles about the role of volunteering in America, from 12 authors such as Bill Clinton, Harris Wofford, Betty Stallings, and Susan Ellis.

"America's Natural and Cultural Resources Volunteer Portal" to connect people to public sector volunteer positions in  U.S. Federal government agencies concerned with parks, recreation, and the environment.

Youth Justice Board (UK)

Practical tips on volunteers mentoring youth in the justice system.

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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