Professional Ethics in Volunteer Management

Ethical standards are one of the hallmarks of a profession. One of CCVA’s core strategic priorities is to inspire and encourage practitioners to apply an ethical lens to their work with volunteers. To that end, CCVA determines the core ethical values and principles for this field, and offers a number of resources for leaders of volunteer engagement and educators.  We offer free sessions to those who want to hone their skills as ethical practitioners.

Those who lead and support volunteers must be committed to the following core ethical values:

  1. Citizenship
  2. Respect
  3. Accountability
  4. Fairness
  5. Trust
Picture of Ethics Training in Progress

Contact us to arrange a webinar or workshop related to ethics in volunteer administration.

"Thank you for your presentation on applying ethics to our work with volunteers. You gave us a clear and concise method that is readily applicable. The four questions to consider with the scenarios were really helpful. Of course, the chance to chat with peers was gold. This method allows us to take the emotion out of decision-making. That may be my biggest takeaway. We can mitigate that "knot in the stomach feeling" with this process, and know that we have given our best efforts to find the path of least harm."

Jennifer Imai
Volunteer Engagement Professional
Portland, Oregon, USA

Candidates for the CVA certification are required to affirm their intent to uphold these ethical standards.

Managers and leaders of volunteer involvement should base their decision making on these five core ethical values in order to:

 be accessible to diverse groups

 operate ethically with all stakeholders

 maintain the public trust

 sustain a helping environment

 minimize the risk for legal actions

 promote continuous improvement

Additional Resources and tools

Simple, clear and concise, at a glance resource of the values and principles – This is a great tool to post near your desk to refer to in a pinch.

A resource to help you work making a decision using the Professional Ethics in Volunteer Administration Core Values and Principles.

Globally, professional ethics is becoming more important to those who lead volunteers. In 2001 a “Universal Declaration on the Profession of Leading and Managing Volunteers” (PDF) was developed by an international working group at the Association for Volunteer Administration conference in Toronto. This document echoes many of the core values listed above, and articulates beliefs about the role of effective volunteer management which are widely shared throughout the world.

If you are interested in a workshop on the Professional Ethics in Volunteer Administration, please contact us.