Not-for-profit Law
Legal help for community organisations


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Volunteers are an important resource to many, if not most, community organisations.

Volunteer involving organisations can make sure their relationship with volunteers is meaningful, and managed respectfully and safely, by understanding the legal issues relating to the engagement and management of volunteers.

We have developed the following resources to help you:

  1. Resources on managing volunteers through COVID-19
  2. National volunteer app
  3. Recruiting volunteers e-module
  4. National volunteers guide with template volunteer agreement and deed of agreement
  5. Free Webinar: Drafting a great volunteer agreement
  6. Youth volunteers fact sheet
  7. Managing Volunteers video

There are volunteer organisations that can also provide support services. (There are links to organisations at the end of this page).

National Volunteer App

Not-for-profit Law has developed a Working with Volunteers app to complement the National Volunteer Guide and the National Volunteer Webinars.

This tool will help volunteer-involving organisations understand the key legal obligations that not-for-profit organisations have towards volunteers. The key topics include recruitment, safety, unlawful workplace behaviour, managing performance and ending the volunteer relationship. 

After completing a series of questions, your organisation will be provided with an opportunity to print a report containing an overview of the legal issues, recommendations and links for further information all based on your answers. Click the button below to launch the app, and please tell us what you think

Click here to launch the Working With Volunteers app

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Recruiting Volunteers e-Learning Module 

This e-learning module covers the legal obligations involved in the process of recruiting volunteers. It includes interactive activities, instructional videos and realistic scenarios to help you recruit volunteers fairly and safely, while maintaining a high quality service and upholding your legal and ethical obligations. This module will empower your organisation to prepare to recruit volunteers, undertake screening and ensure fair and non-discriminatory selection processes. This comprehensive but succinct course can be accessed on your phone, tablet or computer via the link below.

Click here to launch the Recruiting Volunteers e-Learning Module

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National Volunteer Guide

Your organisation owes its volunteers certain legal obligations and these are sometimes hard to work out. 

We have produced a National Volunteer Guide for use by volunteer-involving organisations across Australia. It provides an overview of the key legal obligations organisations owe volunteers and provides practical examples, template documents and tips to assist in their understanding. The Guide is available for download below.

The Guide is divided into six parts and covers the following key issues: 

  • Glossary of common terms and overview
  • Understanding the legal differences between a volunteer, employee and independent contractor 
  • Understanding your organisation's legal obligations in relation to the safety of its volunteers
  • Protecting volunteers and other people your volunteers are interacting with from unlawful workplace behaviour
  • Recruiting, inducting, managing performance and ending the volunteer relationship, and
  • Organisational issues applicable to volunteers. 
Download the full guide below (and tell us what you think, please!) 

Download the guide in parts:

Download a sample Volunteer Agreement or Deed of Agreement:

The sample agreement and deed of agreement are included in part 5 of our National Volunteer Guide. We recommend you refer to part 5 of the guide for more information about preparing a volunteer agreement or a deed

You can access these sample agreements in Word form by completing the webform at the bottom of this page or by following this link

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Free Webinar: Drafting a great volunteer agreement

As part of National Volunteer Week 2020, we offered the following free webinar on volunteer agreements. We discussed top drafting tips and some key clauses you should be thinking about. 

Youth volunteers

The fact sheet below provides an overview of the legal issues you need to consider when engaging volunteers who are under 18-years-old. This fact sheet covers:

  • what’s different about youth volunteers?
  • engaging youth volunteers, including inducting and training on workplace safety and behaviour
  • managing youth volunteers, including minimum working conditions
  • protecting youth volunteers, including mandatory reporting obligations and screening checks, and
  • insurance considerations

An annexure to the fact sheet summarises state and territory laws on working conditions for youth volunteers and mandatory reporting.

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Volunteer organisations

Peak volunteering organisations

Peak organisations have information on volunteer issues more generally: 

These organisations have also developed the following COVID-19 resources:

Volunteering matching organisations

It may be helpful for your organisation to look for someone by contacting the various volunteer brokers and support organisations. You can also advertise online or in your local paper. Organisations who can help include: 

Make an enquiry

Our lawyers are experts in the law and volunteers. Your organisation may be eligible for our free legal advice service. To find out, please complete the online enquiry form below. Using the online form is the quickest and easiest way for us to deal with your enquiry and means that we can respond to you sooner (usually within 48 business hours) and let you know how we might be able to assist. Find out more information about eligibility on our Legal Advice page

National Volunteer Guide Word templates

Our National Volunteer Guide is a comprehensive guide for volunteer involving organisations across Australia. The Guide includes a range of resources for use in all stages of the volunteer relationship. 

View the full Guide in PDF form above, or fill out the form below to access Word documents of a selection of templates for recruiting and managing volunteers. 


Not-for-profit Law, a service of Justice Connect, will not disclose the contents of this form, but may use de-identified information when reporting on the types of organisations accessing these templates.

Justice Connect’s Privacy Policy is available at The policy contains important information about how you can access and request correction of information we hold about you, how you may complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles and how we will deal with any privacy complaint.

Last Updated: 24 July 2020

Managing People through COVID-19

We're here to support organisations during COVID-19. Check out our resources to help you manage and look after your employees and volunteers during this time.