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Rights and Responsibilities

Rights of a volunteer are essentially the responsibilities of host organization (NGO). Responsibilities of a volunteer are essentially the rights of host organization. It is mutually agreeable understanding. The following are broad guidelines for what the rights and responsibilities a volunteer can expect and this list is a short version. They may seem like common sense, but they are often violated by those who do not consciously recognize their importance.

As a volunteer, you have the RIGHT to,

1. Expect that your efforts contribute to the organization’s objectives.
2. Receive the necessary orientation, training, and supervision to complete the assigned task at the organization.
3. Be treated with respect.
4. Expect that your time will not be wasted by poor planning.
5. Ask relevant questions and give suggestions about the work you are doing.
6. Be trusted with confidential information necessary to do your work.
7. Be appreciated for the work you have done.
8. Be given written proof or evaluation of your work, if you request it.

As a volunteer, you have the RESPONSIBILITY to

1. Understand thoroughly the assigned task.
2. Observe the deadlines with the best quality of work to ones ability and knowledge.
3. Discuss with the organization and ISR team about any significant change in assigned work.
4. Prepare and submit regular reports about progress of your work.
5. Adhere to the regulations as explained by ISR team
6. Be Sincere and committed of the service you offer.
7. Trust ability to bring about positive change through skilled contribution.
8. Loyal towards organization, its staff, and organizational goals.
9. Maintain dignity and integrity of the organization.
10. Acquire and update skills through ISR training programs and on job training at the host organization.
11. Maintain professional working relationship with colleagues and
a. representatives in the community,
12. Contribute to supervision through self-evaluation and willingness to ask.
13. Maintain cordial relations with employees and other stakeholders of the
a. NGO while you work with them.
14. Be responsible and professional. Inform NGO if late or absent or planning to discontinue.
15. Leave your address & contact details with NGO.
16. Keep ISR team updated about your progress in the organization.
17. Be proactive in starting new and better initiatives.
18. Spread awareness about NGO and its activities.
19. Don’t over-commit to the NGOs. Communicate your concerns to the reporting officer.
20. Train yourself well before committing to volunteer for special cause such as teaching to physically challenged students.
21. Don’t involve yourself in the sensitive internal matters at NGO.
22. Don’t communicate confidential or prohibited information of the NGO.

Doís & Donítís


1. Maintain cordial relations with all employees of the NGO you work with
2. Speak appropriately for audience (especially when working with individuals with special needs)
3. Give enough time & space before committing to volunteer for special causes
4. Inform the NGO if late or absent for the assigned duty
5. Leave your address & contact details with NGO
6. Keep your ISR team updated
7. Inform NGO if discontinuing
8. Take initiative to starting something new or better
9. Spread awareness about your NGO's activities


1. Over commit to the NGOs
2. Set unreasonable goals
3. Take up uninteresting activities
4. Get involved in NGO internal matters
5. Communicate NGO's confidential information to outsiders

In conclusion

- Be realistic, don't expect great achievements and try to learn to tolerate what you cannot change. Instead, focus on a small, realistic goal and make it a priority. When it is realised, move on to the next small goal and celebrate your achievement.
- Don't depend on positive feedback from others, learn and practice to be self motivated.
- If you cannot do the work you intended to do, discuss with the employer and explore other possibilities.
- If there are real problems at work don't suffer in silence. Try to explain your thoughts to your employer or reporting officer. If you find this is not getting you anywhere then contact ISR team.
- Remember your personal objectives. What objectives did you set for yourself before opting to volunteer?
- Regularly evaluate and introspect to align yourself your professional and personal objectives. You probably have personal as well as professional goals, which may well be more under your direct control. Challenge yourself and celebrate your personal achievements.
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