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Three ways you can better support your volunteers this Volunteer Week

17 May 2020

This National Volunteer Week, we’re celebrating the contributions volunteers make in our community by offering a broad range of free resources for anyone to use. 

Volunteers make incredible contributions to our communities every day. For many not-for-profit organisations, volunteers are essential to achieving their mission. That’s why it’s so important that they are supported by organisations that understand their own legal obligations.  

Our Not-for-profit Law team is Australia’s only specialist legal service for community organisations and not-for-profits.  Our expert lawyers help organisations understand their duties and obligations, so they can focus on achieving their objectives.   

1. Read our free volunteer guide  

As an organisation, you owe your volunteers certain legal obligations. Sometimes, these can be tricky to decipher. Our Not-for-profit Law team created a free volunteer guide to help non-profits understand their obligations and responsibilities to volunteers. It’s a must-read handbook for any volunteer manager, or non-profit leader. You can download a copy for free from our not-for-profit law website.  

The guide provides information, templates and tips to help you support your volunteers. It can help you understand your organisation’s legal obligations in relation to volunteer safety, and provides advice on protecting volunteers from unlawful workplace behaviour, like harassment. 

2. Get free legal help 

Our free guide is a very useful starting point to working with volunteers. However, you may find that you still have questions specific to your organisation. That’s why we also offer free legal help to not-for-profits either through one of our own lawyers, or through a free referral to one of our member law firmsYou can find out if you’re eligible for free help via our not-for-profit law website.  

One of our clients, the Intellectual Disability Rights Service, approached us for help after using our free volunteer guide. They had specific legal questions about launching their new program, The Justice Advocacy Service. As part of its rollout, the service had to meet strict targets — many of which relied on the work of volunteers. 

We answered their questions and provided advice on improving volunteer processes. Then, we reviewed the Justice Advocacy Service’s proposed volunteer agreement and provided valuable feedback .  

“Our collaboration with Justice Connect’s Not-for-profit Law team was invaluable,” said Program Director Denise Hanley. “Our volunteering program has been strengthened as a result. Justice Connect staff were professional and willing to work with us to achieve our outcomes. Their expertise has added great value to our organisation.” 

So if you have a legal question that isn’t answered by our free volunteer guide, see if one of our lawyers can help. 

3. Attend our free Volunteer Week webinar 

We’re hosting a special free webinar to help you create better volunteer agreements and how to use our templates. Having a well drafted volunteer agreement is the best way to clarify the relationship between your organisation and volunteers. It also helps to manage certain legal risks that could come up in your volunteer program.  

We’re always running helpful webinars for not-for-profits. From understanding your governance obligations to knowing when an someone is an employee or an independent contractor, we have webinars to help with all aspects of running your organisation. Take a look at the webinars available on our website.

For more resources and information to support your not-for-profit organisation, sign up to our monthly not-for-profit law newsletter.