Guidelines for a Successful Volunteer Experience
- For the entire volunteer experience, you are representing
yourself, your team or organization and Butler University. Your
actions will reflect on all of these parties.
- Respect the organizational culture at the service agency. The
people working at the organization have the experience with and
commitment to the agency. Share your ideas and feedback in a
- Please dress appropriately for the type of service you will be
conducting. If you are in an office setting, dress should be at a
minimum business casual. If you are working outdoors or with some
hands-on project, remember to wear close toed shoes and other
- Treat the experience as a learning opportunity and a chance for
personal growth as well as a team building activity for your group
- Although you may not see the immediate outcome of the service
you perform, there can be value in every volunteer project, even
the most simple. Your presence as a volunteer is appreciated and
essential to the organization with which you are working.
- Remember that you are at a site to volunteer and some service
projects may push you beyond your comfort zone. Be open to new
experiences and challenges but be aware of your boundaries and
voice any questions or concerns.
When You First Arrive at the Site
- Locate the service site supervisor to discuss project
expectations and goals. Make sure you are clear as to your role
within an organization.
- Request a tour of the agency to learn more about its mission
- Be the first to introduce yourself to everyone you meet and let
them know you are a volunteer from Butler.
Confidentiality and Risk Management Concerns
- If you are feeling uncertain about a situation, ask before you
act. Practice common sense and don't be afraid to ask for
clarification or help.
- When requested by the agency to move off-site to serve, travel
in pairs (at minimum).
- If you are working with children or clients who are members of
the opposite sex, always be in the presence of another adult.
- Do not share personal contact information with service site
clients. If you feel that this would be appropriate, discuss it
with the site supervisor.
- Keep any information pertaining to service agency clients
confidential, including full names and medical conditions. There
are confidentiality laws that pertain to certain information.
- If you have any concerns regarding the safety or well being of
a client, please share this information with the service site
- Be aware that you can say "NO" to a task when you feel
the request is inappropriate, beyond your skill level and depth of
knowledge or if you perceive a situation to be unsafe physically or
This list is not exhaustive. Always follow the rules and
regulations of a given service site.
Know your rights as a volunteer. When in doubt…ask and