Why Use A Volunteer Code of Conduct?
Many volunteer organizations have a Volunteer Code of Conduct – a set of guidelines that will help volunteers navigate the various circumstances that they are likely to encounter. Why is a Volunteer Code of Conduct important? Because when faced with unfamiliar circumstances it is important to keep yourself safe, both physically and emotionally.
Each volunteer sending organization should provide you with their own Code of Conduct, but here are a 3 points that we’ve identified as noteworthy.
1. Conflicts of Interest
If you experience a conflict of interest, either personal or professional, you should make your leader aware of them right away. It is likely that the volunteer organization has experience in dealing with this type of situation and will be able to guide you through the conflict. Handling conflicts of interest in the right way can help you to avoid injury on the job, which should be a very high priority.
2. Maintain the highest level of ethical and professional behavior
As you start a volunteer project it is beneficial to remember that you are a guest in someone else’s community. Commit yourself to giving the best of your time and energy and remember to treat everyone you encounter with respect, patience, and integrity. As you do so, you are strengthening your project and team and lessening the chance of injury for all parties involved.
3. Be collaborative
One of the greatest things about working on a team is having many different talents and skill sets contributing to one goal. People on your team may be seasoned volunteers, first timers, or even locals in the community that you’re serving. Approach each task with an open mind and be ready to collaborate with others on your team. By collaborating you are allowing the team to find the most productive form of completion and you are lessening the possibility of confusion, double work, and even accidents.
Photo: Al Akimoff, Volunteer Card Member