Ethics in Volunteer Engagement
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  • 1. Page
  • 2. A Conversation on Ethics in Volunteer Engagement To hear the presentation by phone call: (646) 307-1706 Access Code: 307-359-416 Jennifer Bennett @JenBennettCVA CVA, Senior Manager, Education & Training Katie Campbell @CVACert CVA, Executive Director, Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration Shannon David @VolunteerMatch Senior Associate, Community Relations Follow this webinar on Twitter to join the conversation! Hash tag: #VMlearn Page
  • 3. VolunteerMatch Overview “VolunteerMatch strengthens communities by making it easier for good people and good causes to connect.” 97,150 nonprofits… 79,441 Active Opportunities…. 7,564,517 referrals since 1998 • • VolunteerMatch has been around for 16 years, and is the top-ranked website for online volunteer recruitment and employee-volunteer programs Our Learning Center offers over 20 webinar topics focused on volunteer management and VolunteerMatch tools, serving an audience of over 6,000 attendees each year 3
  • 4. 1 Walking the Talk of Ethics CCVA 2014
  • 5. 2 Ethics Is…  A guide for navigating confusion and conflict  More than a written “code”  Influenced by history, culture, faith, experience  A management tool  Connected to effective leadership CCVA 2014
  • 6. 3 Ethical Organizations  Are accessible to diverse groups  Operate ethically with all stakeholders  Strive for excellence  Maintain the public trust  Sustain a helping environment  Are at low risk for legal actions against it CCVA 2014
  • 7. 4 Types of Ethics Personal Organizational CCVA 2014 Professional
  • 8. 5 Recognizing an Ethical Dilemma  Am I trying to determine the right course of action?  Am I asking a “should” question?  Are values and beliefs involved?  Am I feeling uncomfortable?  Is there a downside to making the “correct” choice? CCVA 2014
  • 9. 6 Universal Core Values Six “Pillars of Character”: Citizenship and Philanthropy Respect Responsibility Compassion and Generosity Justice and Fairness Trustworthiness Josephson Institute of Ethics CCVA 2014
  • 10. 7 Professional Values and Principles Citizenship and Philanthropy  Personal philosophy of volunteerism  Social responsibility to meet human needs CCVA 2014
  • 11. 8 Professional Values and Principles Respect   Mutuality  Human dignity  Privacy  Safeguarding confidential information  CCVA 2014 Self-determination Accessibility
  • 12. 9 Professional Values and Principles Responsibility  Staff relationships   Diligence  Doing one’s best and perseverance  Continuous Improvement  CCVA 2014 Professional responsibility Self-disclosure and self-restraint
  • 13. 10 Professional Values and Principles Compassion and Generosity  Caring and kindness  Minimal harm to others CCVA 2014
  • 14. 11 Professional Values and Principles Justice and Fairness  Procedural fairness  Impartiality  Equity CCVA 2014
  • 15. 12 Professional Values and Principles Trustworthiness   Sincerity/Non-deception  Principled and moral courage  Reasonability & clarity of commitments  Limitations to loyalty  CCVA 2014 Truthfulness and candor Addressing conflict of interests
  • 16. 13 Real-Life Scenario I  You manage a group of 20 volunteers doing trail construction in a state forest.  Volunteers must be housed in congregate living with no individual rooms, shared sleeping and bathroom facilities, and limited privacy.  Alex, a transgender volunteer, expresses concern to you about how others will treat him and his potential exposure to fears, discrimination or prejudice from other workers.  Alex asks to be allowed to stay in a private hotel room nearby. CCVA 2014
  • 17. 14 Ethical Decision-Making Steps 1. Identify the facts. Evidence Situational context Multiple perspectives Relevant policies 2. Determine the ethical issue. Which ethical values & principles are involved? Where is the conflict? Who will be most affected by your decision? CCVA 2014
  • 18. 15 Ethical Decision-Making Steps 3. Explore the options. Harms and benefits Legal implications Policy implications Connection to organizational mission and values What is the path of least harm? 4. Make a decision and test it. 5. Act, with confidence and courage. CCVA 2014
  • 19. 16 Testing Your Decision Consequence Legal Image Culture Knot CCVA 2014 Source: Gardenswartz, Rowe & Digh for Florida Power Corp.
  • 20. 17 Real-Life Scenario II  Susan is a long-term volunteer who is refusing to meet the new program requirements that were established earlier that year.  Susan says she gets great personal gratification from the program and wants to continue, but that she can’t meet the new minimum time requirement because of other commitments in her life.  Because of her long-term status Susan is granted an initial exception from the new rule by the Executive Director.  Susan’s direct supervisor tells you Susan should have to follow the new guidelines or be dismissed. CCVA 2014
  • 21. 18 Real-Life Scenario II  Susan is a long-term volunteer who is refusing to meet the new program requirements that were established earlier that year.  Susan says she gets great personal gratification from the program and wants to continue, but that she can’t meet the new minimum time requirement because of other commitments in her life.  Because of her long-term status Susan is granted an initial exception from the new rule by the Executive Director.  Susan’s direct supervisor tells you Susan should have to follow the new guidelines or be dismissed. What else do you need to know before deciding what to do? CCVA 2014
  • 22. 19 Real-Life Scenario II  Susan is a long-term volunteer who is refusing to meet the new program requirements that were established earlier that year.  Susan says she gets great personal gratification from the program and wants to continue, but that she can’t meet the new minimum time requirement because of other commitments in her life.  Because of her long-term status Susan is granted an initial exception from the new rule by the Executive Director.  Susan’s direct supervisor tells you Susan should have to follow the new guidelines or be dismissed. What are some possible courses of action you could take? CCVA 2014
  • 23. 20 Real-Life Scenario II  Susan is a long-term volunteer who is refusing to meet the new program requirements that were established earlier that year.  Susan says she gets great personal gratification from the program and wants to continue, but that she can’t meet the new minimum time requirement because of other commitments in her life.  Because of her long-term status Susan is granted an initial exception from the new rule by the Executive Director.  Susan’s direct supervisor tells you Susan should have to follow the new guidelines or be dismissed. What might we learn from this situation? How could it be prevented in the future? CCVA 2014
  • 24. 21 Ideas for “Exercising” Ethics  Develop or revisit an organizational code of ethics  Discuss ethics at staff and volunteer orientation  Use scenarios as a discussion starter  Focus on each core value at staff or board meetings  Convene a training on ethical decision-making, and practice on examples from fellow professionals  Find colleagues to serve as a “sounding board” CCVA 2014
  • 25. 22 Related Resources Independent Sector (sample codes) www.independentsector.org Professional Ethics in Volunteer Administration www.cvacert.org How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living, by Rushworth M. Kidder Josephson Institute of Ethics CCVA 2014 www.josephsoninstitute.org
  • 26. 23 Real-Life Scenario I  You manage a group of 20 volunteers doing trail construction in a state forest.  Volunteers must be housed in congregate living with individual rooms, shared sleeping and bathroom facilities, and limited privacy.  Alex, a transgender volunteer, expresses concern to you about how others will treat him and his potential exposure to fears, discrimination or prejudice from other workers.  Alex asks to be allowed to stay in a private hotel room nearby. CCVA 2014
  • 27. 24 Ethical Decision-Making Steps 1. Identify the facts. Evidence Situational context Multiple perspectives Relevant policies 2. Determine the ethical issue. Which ethical values & principles are involved? Where is the conflict? Who will be most affected by your decision? CCVA 2014
  • 28. 25 Ethical Decision-Making Steps 3. Explore the options. Harms and benefits Legal implications Policy implications Connection to organizational mission and values What is the path of least harm? 4. Make a decision and test it. 5. Act, with confidence and courage. CCVA 2014
  • 29. 26 Testing Your Decision Consequence Legal Image Culture Knot CCVA 2014 Source: Gardenswartz, Rowe & Digh for Florida Power Corp.
  • 30. 27 Real-Life Scenario II  Susan is a long-term volunteer who is refusing to meet the new program requirements that were established earlier that year.  Susan says she gets great personal gratification from the program and wants to continue, but that she can’t meet the new minimum time requirement because of other commitments in her life.  Because of her long-term status Susan is granted an initial exception from the new rule by the Executive Director. CCVA 2014  Susan’s direct supervisor tells you Susan should have to
  • 31. 28 Real-Life Scenario II  Susan is a long-term volunteer who is refusing to meet the new program requirements that were established earlier that year.  Susan says she gets great personal gratification from the program and wants to continue, but that she can’t meet the new minimum time requirement because of other commitments in her life.  Because of her long-term status Susan is granted an initial exception from the new rule by the Executive Director.  Susan’s direct supervisor tells you Susan should have to follow the new guidelines or be dismissed. CCVA 2014
  • 32. 29 Real-Life Scenario II  Susan is a long-term volunteer who is refusing to meet the new program requirements that were established earlier that year.  Susan says she gets great personal gratification from the program and wants to continue, but that she can’t meet the new minimum time requirement because of other commitments in her life.  Because of her long-term status Susan is granted an initial exception from the new rule by the Executive Director.  Susan’s direct supervisor tells you Susan should have to follow the new guidelines or be dismissed. CCVA 2014
  • 33. 30 Real-Life Scenario II  Susan is a long-term volunteer who is refusing to meet the new program requirements that were established earlier that year.  Susan says she gets great personal gratification from the program and wants to continue, but that she can’t meet the new minimum time requirement because of other commitments in her life.  Because of her long-term status Susan is granted an initial exception from the new rule by the Executive Director.  Susan’s direct supervisor tells you Susan should have to follow the new guidelines or be dismissed. CCVA 2014 What might we learn from this situation?
  • 34. 31 Ideas for “Exercising” Ethics  Develop or revisit an organizational code of ethics  Discuss ethics at staff and volunteer orientation  Use scenarios as a discussion starter  Focus on each core value at staff or board meetings  Convene a training on ethical decision-making, and practice on examples from fellow professionals  Find colleagues to serve as a “sounding board” CCVA 2014
  • 35. 32 Related Resources Independent Sector (sample codes) www.independentsector.org Professional Ethics in Volunteer Administration www.cvacert.org How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living, by Rushworth M. Kidder Josephson Institute of Ethics CCVA 2014 www.josephsoninstitute.org
  • 36. Resources Learning Center Find upcoming webinar dates, how-to videos and more http://learn.volunteermatch.org VolunteerMatch Community Ask and answer questions after the webinar – use keywords Volunteer Management http://community.volunteermatch.org/volunteer 4
  • 37. Thanks for attending! Join us online: Like us on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/VolunteerMatch Follow us on Twitter: @VolunteerMatch Visit Engaging Volunteers, our nonprofit blog: blogs.volunteermatch.org/engagingvolunteers/ For any questions contact: Jennifer Bennett (415) 321-3639 @JenBennettCVA jbennett@volunteermatch.org Katie Campbell, CVA Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration www.CVAcert.org 804-794-8689 CCVA@comcast.net 5
  • 38. Comments from The Ethics of Volunteer Engagement Conversation with VolunteerMatch and Katie Campbell, CVA 2/11/2014 What else do you need to know before deciding what to do? What are some possible courses of action? What could you learn, or how could this be prevented in the future? Why is the team, supervisor and ED not on the same page? The direct volunteer supervisor, Susan, and the director need to all get together in one room to talk Looking again at the change of requirements.  Make sure it is clear and needed.  If not, then change them.  If there is a good reason for them, then explaining to Susan and ED with reasons.  Talk with Susan about options she might like. Are there alternative ways for Be careful ­­ making her to serve? exceptions sets a precedent. Perhaps consider implementing a tiered system (or other roles) so you don't have to turn away volunteers. how to prevent this in the future? ensure the volunteer engagement professional is part of the planning process and have a plan in place to communicate the change to the volunteer team. what role is susan playing?  A Find her something that does Prevention: Establishing clear critical volunteer role? not need to follow the new policies and communicating process. those polices/changes in policies to volunteers prior to them being "in effect".  Within those policies, stating something to the effect that the policy is for all current and future volunteers. Why are there new time requirements? What about "grandmothering" Talk to volunteers before for ongtime volunteers? changing policies that affect them. I ould like to talk to the staff that work with Susan; so that I know if she has some sort of frisction with her supervisor. does the volunteers lack of action impact the agency negatively?  If so, putting that forward and asking the volunteer to help problem solve might be positive Have volunteers sign policy document that says " all policies subject to change and volunteers will be asked to abide by any new policies."
  • 39. Direct supervisor is insubordinate to Executive Director. Never loose a volunteer over hours as they give freely of their free time. Work with her to manage her Do an assessment and see if time so she can continue with there are other volunteers the organization who may have the same issue volunteers are VERY valuable and loosing a volunteer because of an arbitrary min. vol hour requirement is a shame if she's a long term volunteer, she should be supportive of the agencies mission, vision, values and want to support that rather than her own ego.. Making sure that future changes are well thought out by the entire management team prior to implementation. Many situations allow "grandfathering" as long as the job gets done.  Need to know if she has done a good job in the past and if the job can still be performed by Susan with less time. Offer virtual service­­ things she might be able to do online or at home (sorting, filing, coordinating mailings, etc) engage the volunteers in the dialogue up front as to why the commitment needed to change. how does her inability to make the time requirement affect the work needing to be done?  if it throws a big monkey wrench in the program needs, then maybe there is a way to find out how else she can be involved. She is a long term supporter and shouldn't be dismissed I think the best course of action is to let Susan know that the hours requirements are necessary and explain why. Tell her that she is valuable and offer other opportunities within the organization. Make sure a volunteer advisory board is involved in creating and vetting future changes so that there is more global buy in. Will certain benefits be lost because of not meeting the minimum requirement?  Free tickets, discounts in the gift shop? Don't change policies unless they are truly important to the mission of organization.  I really believe that making exceptions causes lack of trust from volunteers.