I am a 17-year old teen interested in international volunteering services.
In particular, I am searching for a program where I can do community service
and the like for an extended amount of time (a semester up to an academic
year, possibly more). I am interested in doing volunteer programs in Japan
or Vietnam. Most programs I have come across require one to be at least
18 years old, are usually for a short amount of time, and costly. Do you
know of any programs that fit my description?
I suggest that you visit the Volunteer
Opportunities pages available on the VolunteerToday.com website. You'll
find several links to a variety of national and international organizations
that utilize volunteers.
Also, I suggest that you first decide what TYPE of organization for which
you'd like to volunteer and then contact organizations like that directly.
For example, if you're interested in environmental issues, you could contact
Greenpeace, The Conservation Fund, Conservation Volunteers, etc.
Finally, you will want to do a Google search
for "volunteer + [your area of interest such as environment]."
You'll be surprised at how many helpful links you get regardless of your
area of interest.
Note: the Volunteer Opportunities pages will be phased out over the next
couple of months, however the portal pages which include links to excellent
volunteer manager resources will remain on the site.
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What are the major reasons people volunteer or do not volunteer?
The research shows that the No. 1 reason people give for volunteering
is that someone asked them to do it! I suggest you visit the Independent
Sector website for more statistics and information from their "Giving
and Volunteering" biennial survey.
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I am putting together
a volunteer handbook to give to our volunteers. Can you offer some ideas
as to important topics to cover, especially if are there any legal issues?
Can we ask potential volunteers questions that you are not allowed to
ask if it was an employment interview?
I recently wrote a
handbook for one of my clients. The table of contents looked like this:
I. Welcome and Foreword
II. Organizational Information
* History and Mission
* Professional Conduct Policy (for staff and volunteers)
* Organization Chart
* Staff Phone and E-Mail Contact List
III. Volunteer Program Information
* Volunteer Opportunities
* Volunteer Application
* Volunteer Policies
* Organization Chart
* Volunteer Address, Phone, and E-Mail Contact List
* Where Is It? (maps, drawings)
* Volunteer Position Descriptions
* Volunteer Coordinator's Position Description
The volunteer policies
and procedures section contained the same policies as for staff with additional
ones specifically for volunteers, such as finding a replacement for your
As for what you can and can't ask volunteers, there are no employment
laws that cover volunteers since they aren't employees. However, the practice
is not to ask volunteers anything that you don't ask staff or potential
Thanks for your question!
you have a question? Now you too can ask an expert!
Pirtle, of Strategic NonProfit-Resources, has 15 years' experience
in working with volunteers. She has consulted and/or trained for
such organizations as the Washington National Cathedral, Anchorage
Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music America, and the Association for
your questions to Connie at AskConnieP@cs.com.
Strategic Nonprofit Resources
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