Ablecommunity Volunteer Program Policies and Procedures Overview
- The Volunteer Program
The mission of the Ablecommunity Volunteer Management Program is enhanced by the active participation of members of the Muslim community. To this end, the Ablecommunity Volunteer Management Program accepts and encourages the involvement of volunteers at all levels of the Muslim Civic Engagement Program and within all appropriate Ablecommunity programs and activities. Ablecommunity Volunteer Management Program volunteers are encouraged to assist in the creation of meaningful and productive roles in which our volunteers and users might serve and to assist in recruitment of volunteers from the community.
- Purpose and Scope of Volunteer Policies
The purpose of these policies is to provide overall guidance and direction to management, staff, and volunteers. These policies are intended for internal management guidance only. They do not constitute, either implicitly or explicitly, a binding contractual or personnel agreement. The Ablecommunity Volunteer Management Program reserves the right to change any of these policies and to expect adherence to the changed policy. Unless specifically stated, these policies apply to all volunteers in all programs and projects undertaken on or on behalf of the Society.
- Role of Volunteer Services Program
At Ablecommunity, the productive utilization of volunteers requires a planned and organized effort. The function of Volunteer Services is to provide a central coordinating point for effective volunteer management within the institution, and to direct and assist staff and volunteer efforts to jointly provide more productive Ablecommunity program services. The volunteer program is responsible for maintaining liaisons with other volunteer-utilizing programs in the community across the U.S and assisting in community-wide efforts to recognize and promote volunteering. The Ablecommunity Volunteer Program Manager takes primary responsibility for planning for effective volunteer utilization, for assisting staff in identifying productive and creative volunteer roles, for recruiting suitable volunteers, for training staff to supervise volunteers effectively, and for tracking and evaluating the statistical data reflecting the contribution of volunteers to the institution.
- What is a Volunteer?
A "volunteer" is anyone who chooses to perform services for the Ablecommunity Volunteer Management Program without compensation or expectation of compensation, (beyond reimbursement for pre-approved specified expenses) and, who performs a task at the direction of and on behalf of the institution. A "volunteer" must be officially accepted and enrolled by the Ablecommunity prior to performance of the task. Volunteers are not employees of the Ablecommunity.
- Special Case Volunteers
The Ablecommunity also accepts as volunteers those persons participating in student projects, corporate volunteer programs, and other volunteer referral programs. In these cases, a special arrangement may be made with the organization, school, or program from whom the special case volunteers originate to identify responsibility for the management and care of these volunteers.
- Executive Council
Members of the Ablecommunity Volunteer Management Program roles and Volunteering Executive Council are elected from its membership and are accepted as volunteers with the Ablecommunity leadership.
- Ablecommunity Volunteer Management Program
The service of family members as volunteers is accepted provided that the volunteer service is 1) initiated by the family member, 2) provided totally voluntary, and 3) involves work that is outside the normal scope of duties and working hours for that family member.
- Family Members of Ablecommunity Volunteer Management Program Management
Family members are allowed to volunteer with the Ablecommunity Family programs. When family members are enrolled as regular volunteers, they normally will not be placed under the direct supervision of, or within the same program/service as other family members who are in leadership role.
- Service at the Discretion of the Ablecommunity
The Ablecommunity Volunteer Management Program accepts the service of volunteers with the understanding that such service is at the sole discretion of the Ablecommunity. Volunteers understand that the institution may at any time, for whatever reason, decide to end the volunteer relationship.
The volunteer may at any time, for whatever reason, decide to sever the volunteer's relationship with the Ablecommunity. Notice of such a decision should be communicated as soon as possible to the volunteer's supervisor.
- Volunteer Standards and Responsibilities
Ablecommunity Volunteers represent a valuable resource for the Muslim Families and community, its leadership and its members. Volunteers should be given meaningful assignments and effective direction, and be recognized for work done. In return, volunteers should actively perform their duties to the best of their abilities, volunteer at their assigned times, and remain loyal to the mission and procedures of the Ablecommunity Muslim Family Governance Framework.
Volunteer Management Procedures
- Maintenance of Records
A system of records should be maintained on each volunteer with the Ablecommunity, including dates of service, assignments held, duties performed and feedback forms. Volunteers and appropriate staff are expected to submit all appropriate records and information to Volunteer Services in a timely and accurate fashion.
Volunteer records shall be accorded the same confidentiality as Ablecommunity Leadership personnel records.
- Conflict of Interest
No person who has a conflict of interest with any activity or program of the Ablecommunity, shall be accepted or be allowed to continue to serve as a volunteer with the Ablecommunity.
- Representative of the Ablecommunity
Volunteers must seek prior consultation and approval from appropriate Ablecommunity management prior to any action or statement which might affect or obligate the Ablecommunity. These actions may include, but are not limited to, public statements to the press, coalition or lobbying efforts with other organizations, or any agreements involving contractual or other financial obligations.
Volunteers are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of all appropriate or privileged information to which they are exposed while serving as volunteers, whether this information involves staff, volunteers, or other persons, or involves overall institutional business.
Failure to maintain confidentiality could result in ending the volunteer's relationship with the Ablecommunity.
Volunteer should establish an appropriate computing device for volunteer use prior to the enrollment of volunteers. This computing device should contain necessary facilities, equipment, and space to enable the volunteer to perform their duties. The employee/volunteer lounge is available to volunteers.
- Dress Code
As representatives of the Ablecommunity, volunteers are responsible for presenting a good Muslim image. Volunteers shall dress appropriately (Muslim attire) for the conditions and performance of their duties. If issued a nametag, volunteers are required to wear it while they are working on their volunteer assignment. Buttons that are not provided by the Ablecommunity Volunteer Management Program may not be worn during volunteer activity.
- Time Reporting
Individual volunteers are expected to maintain accurate records of the time they have volunteered. Volunteer supervisors are responsible for submitting a record of these hours by the 5th of each month to Volunteer Services.
- Risk Management/Safety
The safety of volunteers is important to the Ablecommunity. Volunteer supervisors are expected to comply with federal and state regulations for training and protective equipment. Safety measures should be included in the description of volunteer responsibilities.
Volunteers who are injured or who are involved in an accident during their volunteer assignment must report the accident immediately to their supervisor.
Volunteer Recruitment and Assignment
- Volunteer Assignments
Volunteers should have clear, complete, and current descriptions of the duties and responsibilities of the assignment. Before a volunteer is recruited or assigned, a description should be developed for the volunteer assignment. This volunteer description should be reviewed with and given to each accepted volunteer.
Volunteer descriptions should be reviewed and updated at least every three years by the volunteer supervisor, or whenever the position substantially changes.
Descriptions should usually include a summary of the assignment, a title, a listing of responsibilities and qualifications, any training requirement, the time commitment needed for the assignment, the supervisor and the worksite location. Volunteer Services is available to assist Ablecommunity in the development of volunteer descriptions and assignments.
- Ablecommunity Programs Requests for Volunteers
Requests for volunteers should be submitted in writing, and sent to Ablecommunity Volunteer Management Services. The request should include a description of the volunteer assignment and a requested timeframe. All parties should understand that the recruitment of volunteers is enhanced by creative and interesting jobs and by advance notice. Volunteer Services reserves the right to refuse to recruit or place any volunteers until staff are prepared to make effective use of volunteer resources.
Volunteers shall be recruited by the Ablecommunity on a proactive basis, with the intent of broadening and expanding the volunteer involvement of the community. Volunteers may be recruited either through an interest in specific functions or through a general interest in volunteering which will be matched with a specific function.
- Recruitment of Minors
Volunteers who have not reached 18 years of age must present a written consent of a parent or guardian to Volunteer Services prior to volunteering. The volunteer assignment for a minor should be in a non-hazardous environment and should comply with all appropriate requirements of child labor laws.
Prior to being assigned, all regular volunteers should be interviewed to ascertain their suitability for and interest in that assignment. The interview should determine the qualifications of the volunteer and their commitment to fulfill the requirements of the assignment; and it should answer any questions that the volunteer has about the assignment. Interviews may be conducted either in person or by other means. A reference check may be made by the volunteer supervisor if appropriate for the volunteer assignment.
Whenever possible, staff who will be working with the volunteer should participate in the design and conduct of the interview. Final assignment of a potential volunteer should not take place without review and approval of appropriate staff with whom the volunteer will be working.
- Islamic Values and Acceptable Use Training
Ablecommunity strive to establish Islamic ethical conduct and Sunnah based communication and care for our volunteers.
- Criminal Records Check
Volunteers in certain assignments may be asked to submit to a background criminal check. Volunteers who do not agree to the background check may be refused assignment. This cost will be paid by the Ablecommunity program to which the volunteer is assigned.
- Certificate of Ability
Volunteers who indicate that they are under the care of a physician for a health condition may be asked to present a certificate from the physician as to their ability to perform their volunteer duties satisfactorily and safely. Volunteers under a course of treatment which might affect their volunteer work will not be accepted without written verification of suitability from their physicians. Any volunteer who, after acceptance and assignment by the institution, enters a course of treatment which might adversely affect the performance of their volunteer duties should consult with their volunteer supervisor or the Volunteer Program Manager.
In placing a volunteer in an assignment, attention should be paid to the interests and capabilities of the volunteer and to the requirements of the volunteer assignment. No placement should be made unless the requirements of both the volunteer and the supervising staff can be met: volunteers should not be assigned to "make work" assignments nor should assignments be given to an unqualified volunteer.
- Acceptance and Appointment
No volunteer should begin performance of an assignment until they have been officially accepted for that position and have completed all necessary screening and paperwork. At the time of final acceptance, each volunteer should have completed a volunteer application and received a copy of their volunteer description.
Volunteers who are at any time reassigned to a new position should be interviewed for that assignment and should receive all appropriate orientation and training for that assignment before they begin. In addition, any screening procedures appropriate for that specific assignment should be completed, even if the volunteer has already been on a previous assignment with the institution.
- Professional Services
Volunteers shall not perform professional services for which certification or licensing is required unless currently certified or licensed to do so. A copy of such certificate or license is to be provided to Volunteer Services.
- Length of Service
A predetermined time commitment should be developed with each volunteer assignment. At the end of their commitment, this should be re-negotiated.
Most volunteer assignments request a year commitment. After the end of the year, the volunteer and staff supervisor decide whether the volunteer would like to continue their assignment, seek a different volunteer assignment within the institution, or retire from their volunteer service.
Volunteer Training and Development
Volunteers are given an opportunity to attend a general orientation on the nature, purpose, and mission of the Society; review of the volunteer program; and, a tour of the institution.
Volunteers should receive training by their volunteer supervisor to provide them with the information on 1) knowledge and skills necessary to perform their volunteer assignment, 2) the operation of the program encompassing their volunteer activity, and 3) the purpose and requirements of the assignment. The timing and methods for delivery of such training should be appropriate to the complexity and demands of the assignment and the capabilities of the volunteer.
- Staff Involvement in Orientation and Training
Staff members who are responsible for institutional programming and supervising volunteers should have an active role in the design and delivery of both orientation and training of volunteers. Those staff who will direct volunteers should have primary responsibility for design and delivery of on-the-job training to volunteers assigned to them.
Volunteer Direction and Feedback
- Volunteer Direction
Each volunteer who is accepted with the Ablecommunity Volunteer Management Program should have a lead/supervisor person providing direction for the volunteer assignment. This lead/supervisor person should be responsible for day-to-day management and guidance of the volunteer, and should be available to the volunteer for consultation and assistance. Lead/supervisor who direct volunteers should have these responsibilities identified in their position descriptions.
- Direction given by Volunteers
A volunteer may direct other volunteers, provided that the directing volunteer is under the direct supervision of a lead/supervisor member.
- Volunteer/Staff Relations
Volunteers and lead/supervisor are considered to be partners in implementing the mission and programs of the institution, with each having a complementary role to play. Each partner should understand and respect the needs and abilities of the other.
- Acceptance of Volunteers by Staff
Volunteers should not be assigned to a staff person without the consent of that lead/supervisor person, in consultation with their supervisor. Since volunteers are considered a valuable resource in performing the institution's work, staff are encouraged to consider creative ways in which volunteers might be of service and to consult with the Volunteer Program Manager if staff members feel the need for additional training or assistance.
- Ablecommunity lead/supervisor Training
Training on working with volunteers should be provided to all lead/supervisor who direct volunteers. Volunteer Services expects to provide effective training to staff providing direction to volunteers.
- Volunteer Involvement in Staff Evaluation
Examination of their effective utilization of volunteers should be a component in the evaluation of lead/supervisor persons who are assigned to work with volunteers.
- Staff Involvement in Volunteer Feedback
lead/supervisor who direct volunteers should use the feedback form and evaluate work assignments of volunteers annually.
- Lines of Communication
Volunteers should have access to information pertinent to their assignments. This may include: appropriate memos, Digest, materials, and meetings. To facilitate the receipt of this information on a timely basis, volunteers should be included on appropriate distribution schedules and may be assigned a site or mailbox for receipt of information distributed in their absence. Primary responsibility for ensuring that the volunteer receives such information should rest with the staff directing the volunteer. Lines of communication should operate in both directions and should exist both formally and informally. Volunteers should be informed regarding decisions which would substantially affect performance of their duties.
Volunteers are expected to perform their duties on a scheduled and timely basis. If expecting to be absent from a scheduled duty, volunteers should inform their staff supervisor as far in advance as possible so that alternative arrangements can be made. Continual absenteeism may result in a review of the volunteer's work assignment or term of service, and could result in ending the volunteer's relationship with the institution.
- Reimbursement of Expenses
Volunteers may be eligible for reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred while undertaking business for the Ablecommunity. Examples of these expenses include mileage, meals, out of pocket expenses, travel and parking. This expense will be charged to the department budget where the volunteer is assigned. Prior approval must be sought for any reimbursable expenditure.
The Ablecommunity Volunteer Management Program plans to hold an annual recognition to highlight and recognize the contributions of volunteers who have contributed at least twenty hours of service per year, to the institution. All lead/supervisor responsible for volunteer supervision are encouraged to undertake ongoing methods of recognition of volunteer service on a regular basis throughout the year. These methods of informal recognition should range from simple "Thank you's" to a concerted effort to include volunteers, as appropriate, in program planning, decision making, and implementation.
- Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteers are encouraged to develop their skills while serving with the Ablecommunity. They may be assisted through new volunteer opportunities to assume additional and greater responsibilities.
- Staff Recognition
Volunteer Services should design a program for recognition of staff who work well with volunteers.
- Political and Civic Activities
The Ablecommunity Volunteer Management Program recognizes the right of every staff member and volunteer to participate in political and civic activity. However, all such activity must be conducted on the lead/supervisor member’s or volunteer’s own time and without the use of the Society’s name or materials unless specific approval has been granted by the Society’s governing board. As a general rule, all political and civic activities should be conducted outside of work or volunteer assignment. A staff member or volunteer may not display or distribute political or civic materials on Ablecommunity Volunteer Management Program property.
- Sexual Harassment
The Ablecommunity Volunteer Management Program does not tolerate sexual harassment. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when
Submission of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a staff member’s employment or volunteer’s placement; or
Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a staff member or volunteer is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the staff member or volunteer placement; or
Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a staff member’s or volunteer’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
If a lead/supervisor member or volunteer feels harassed or offended by another staff member or volunteer, a supervisory or management person, a customer/patron, or any other person whom s/he encounters in the course of employment or volunteer placement, whether the person, and does not want to deal with the problem directly, the lead/supervisor member or volunteer should contact his/her supervisor, department head, division head, any member of the Ablecommunity management, volunteer manager, or a member of the human resources department.
- General Harassment
The Ablecommunity Volunteer Management Program believes that every lead/supervisor member and volunteer has the right to work in an environment free from harassment and will not tolerate harassment based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age, marital status, or status with regard to public assistance.
General Harassment includes unwelcome verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward a lead/supervisor member or volunteer because of his/her status in relationship to a class defined above when such conduct
Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment;
Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a staff member’s or volunteer’s work performance;
Otherwise adversely affects the staff member’s employment opportunities or volunteer placement; and
The employer knows or should know of the existence of harassment and fails to take timely and appropriate action.
General harassment does not include negative effects a staff member or volunteer may experience as a result of actions taken by a supervisor that are within the scope of the supervisor’s responsibilities and would be considered reasonable and appropriate actions.
- Zero Tolerance of Violence
The Ablecommunity Volunteer Management Program will not tolerate violence on or around its premises, Ablecommunity programs, services and resources either by or against staff members, volunteers, or members of the public. Family members and volunteers are expected to treat other human beings with respect and dignity.
Any incident of violence should be reported promptly to the appropriate supervisor, volunteer manager, department head, division head, any member of management, or any member of the human resources department. Violence includes, but is not limited to, verbal or physical intimidation, contact, or threats.
A lead/supervisor member or volunteer in the capitol area who is at work after hours or on weekends is strongly encouraged to use the Capitol Security escort service.
Reported incidents are subject to investigation or corrective action.
Any staff member or volunteer who does not comply with this policy may be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal.