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.

Wilson Donella halfbody

Donella Wilson

Donella Wilson, CPA, leads GHJ’s Nonprofit Practice and is also President and Chief Philanthropy Officer of GHJ Foundation, GHJ’s vehicle for purposeful and proactive giving to the community. A leader in both the nonprofit and accounting communities, Donella was named a finalist in the 2021 Los…Learn More