Volunteers - Responsibilities and Rights - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Volunteer Responsibilities and Rights

Child entering a raffle

Clearly stated rights and responsibilities of volunteers will help in the recruitment and retention of volunteers. This information should be made available to the volunteers during their orientation.


As a volunteer, you have the responsibility to:

  1. Be honest and open with staff and other volunteers, beginning with the interview, regarding your intent, goals, need, and skills so that a good placement is possible.
  2. Understand the requirements of time and duties of assignments before accepting them and once accepted, fulfill the commitment to the very best of your ability.
  3. Work to deserve being treated as a professional and a respected member of a team.
  4. Take the commitment seriously and participated in the training and learning opportunities available.
  5. Share ideas with staff, for the volunteer frequently has a fresh, new perspective that is valuable. However, do not be hurt if the ideas are not always implemented. (Staff ideas aren't always, either.)
  6. Respect the confidentiality of the agency and its clients.
  7. Seek and accept honest feedback on performance. Remember negative feedback is valuable, too, when viewed as opportunities for growth.


As a volunteer, you have the right:

  1. To be offered the opportunity to become a volunteer regardless of race, financial status, sex, or age.
  2. To be interviewed carefully and have programs or projects clearly explained.
  3. To be assigned appropriately to a job which is rewarding to you.
  4. To expect training and supervision to enable you to perform the job well.
  5. To suggest to your supervisor ways to make your job more fulfilling to you.
  6. To feel free to discuss reassignment with your supervisor and/or a volunteer team member.
  7. To receive recognition in a way that is meaningful to you.
  8. To be regarded as a person, with individuality, uniqueness, and value.

Reprinted From: Heart Health Program, Bloomington Public Health Div.