Last week I blogged about the recent court ruling regarding interns and earlier in the year I blogged about the value of volunteers. The use of interns and volunteers by nonprofit organizations comes with legal risks, and it’s worthwhile to remember the 4 basic rules when working with volunteers:
Rule 1: Do not pay volunteers in cash or in kind (expenses may be reimbursed, but only in accordance with a written expense reimbursement plan)
Rule 2: Have volunteers sign a volunteer agreement (which should contain a provision reflecting no payment as well as waivers of liability)
Rule 3: Obtain insurance and have appropriate volunteer accident and volunteer liability policies
Rule 4: Screen, train and supervise volunteers so that you know who they are and what they are doing
Finally, consult with an attorney and insurance provider where appropriate.