My Iona

Volunteer Service Policy

Section: Employment & Engagement Practices
Responsible Office: Human Resources
Effective Date: 9/3/2015


The purpose of this policy is to establish uniform procedures for screening and engaging volunteers while minimizing risks to the volunteer and College.

Definition of Volunteer

A volunteer is an unpaid individual who freely offers his or her services to Iona University without any expectation of receiving pay, compensation or other benefits, including future positions at the University; instead, the volunteer will support the activities and mission of Iona University and/or gain experience in specific endeavors.

An individual who provides services for an entity that is not a department or division of Iona University (e.g., an alumni association) is not considered a volunteer of Iona University under this policy. This policy also does not apply to individuals who are participating in service projects that are organized by Iona or other efforts to engage our employees and students in humanitarian and charitable projects.

The volunteer must not be a current employee or have previously held a position performing services that are the same as those for which he or she is volunteering. A volunteer role is not intended to displace a current or laid off Iona employee and does not provide services that are substantially similar to those performed in a paid position.

Policy Statement

Iona University is committed to providing unique opportunities that will be mutually beneficial to the volunteer and the institution. The University recognizes that individuals who volunteer and donate their time and services are significant members of the Iona community, and as such, play a valuable role in advancing the University’s mission that embodies opportunity, justice, and the liberating power of education.

Individuals serving as volunteers at Iona University are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act and are not considered employees for any purpose. Volunteers are not eligible for wages, compensation, and remuneration of any sort, employee benefits, vacation, sick pay, workers’ compensation or unemployment benefits.

While volunteers cannot be required to adhere to a specific schedule, it is permissible to maintain a general schedule for volunteer activities. Details of each volunteer engagement should be discussed between the mentor and volunteer. A mentor is defined as the individual who has certain expertise that the volunteer will learn from in order to accomplish the activities set forth by the department. The mentor may contribute their expertise through instruction and/or guidance to the volunteer, or serve as a resource to the less experienced individual volunteer.

Volunteers serve at the pleasure of the institution and are expected to abide by all Iona University policies and procedures and all external regulations that govern their actions. Accordingly, a volunteer assignment may be terminated at the discretion of Iona University at any time, without notice or cause.

No volunteer shall be permitted into a department where a supervisory relationship would exist between two relatives.

Procedure for Engaging a Volunteer

The responsibility for proper screening and engagement of volunteers rests with the head of the department or his or her designee. The mentor for the volunteer(s) must:

  • Prepare a written description of the service to be engaged in by the volunteer(s). Please reach out to Human Resources at for a copy of the Department Volunteer Form. This documentation must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources for review and approval prior to the volunteer’s start date. Departments should allow one week for review and approval by the Office of Human Resources. Questions about this Policy should be directed to the Director of Human Resources.
  • Upon approval by the Office of Human Resources, confirm that the individual seeking to perform volunteer services has submitted all appropriate forms to the respective department, including all of the following:
    • Please reach out to Human Resources at for the Volunteer Data Form and signed Release & Waiver of Liability Form.
      • If the individual is less than sixteen (16) years old he or she is ineligible to volunteer
      • If the individual is less than eighteen (18) years old the Director of Human Resources will determine whether parental consent is required
    • Certificates of completion for training including but not limited to Preventing Harassment & Discrimination Training, Diversity Training and Campus SaVE Act Training.
    • All other forms appropriate for the particular department, unit or activity
  • If applicable, work with the Office of Human Resources to ensure satisfactory completion of:
    • Background check
    • Any other volunteer-specific training

The Department of Human Resources will retain copies of all completed forms for a period of seven years after the last date the individual performs volunteer services.

Once the Office of Human Resources receives signed and completed forms as well as proof of training from the mentoring department, Human Resources will notify the Campus Safety & Security department to create a temporary identification badge for the volunteer. This ID must be carried by the volunteer at all times.