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Managing Maine Volunteers From a Legal Perspective

March 4th, 2011

Maine has a proud tradition of volunteerism. The State ranks 2nd in New England in terms of the number of volunteers and 7th in the nation for volunteer hours per resident (www.VolunteeringinAmerica.gov). Managing all those volunteers is a complex task and includes managing the risks associated with service by volunteers.  It’s for this reason, the Maine Commission for Community Service published, “Managing Maine Volunteers From a Legal Perspective.” Visit http://www.maineservicecommission.gov/publications/ to download a free copy.

“Managing Maine Volunteers From a Legal Perspective,” aims to provided organizations information to help manage risk by analyzing, planning, implementing, and monitoring risk management strategies. The research complied in the publication outlines underlying legal principles such as Duty of Care, Actual Harm and Foreseeability as they each relate to the volunteer sector. The publication also covers important topics like federal the Volunteer Protection Act, state volunteer protection laws, non-profit volunteer immunity, the Good Samaritan Law, and specific provisions that apply to health care volunteers.

“Volunteers can be a significant asset but their mismanagement can cripple an organizations ability to accomplish its mission. Part of managing volunteers effectively is assessing the risk associated with their use,” said Maryalice Crofton, Executive Director of the Maine Commission for Community Service. 

The Maine Commission for Community Service builds capacity and sustainability in Maine's volunteer and service communities by funding programs, developing managers of volunteers and service-learning practitioners, raising awareness of sector issues, and promoting service as a strategy.  To learn more about the Maine Commission for Community Service visit our web-site at www.maineservicecommission.gov.