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Twokin Consulting: Terminating a nonprofit volunteer role

Updated: Feb 26, 2023

Volunteers bring energy and passion to support a nonprofit organization. Unfortunately, the relationship sometimes does not work. On occasion, Twokin Consulting has helped guide a nonprofit in terminating a volunteer’s involvement. Examples of reasons why you would need explore “firing” a volunteer include:

  • Violation of policies: If a volunteer violates your organization's policies or code of conduct. For example, if a volunteer is found to be engaging in unethical behavior or discrimination.

  • Lack of reliability: If a volunteer consistently fails to show up for scheduled shifts or does not complete tasks on time, as this can negatively impact your organization's ability to achieve its goals.

  • Inappropriate behavior: If a volunteer behaves inappropriately or creates a hostile environment for other volunteers or staff. It is vital to maintain a safe and respectful work environment.

  • Misuse of resources: If a volunteer misuses your organization's resources, such as by stealing or damaging property. At a prior nonprofit that Twokin Consulting worked with, a volunteer used one of the organization’s vans without permission over a weekend to help transport their belongings when moving between apartments. This was such a violation of trust that the volunteer’s association had to be terminated.

  • Conflict of interest: if a volunteer has a conflict of interest that affects their ability to effectively support your organization’s mission.

Twokin Consulting recommends that terminating a volunteer's involvement should be a last resort and should only be done after all other options have been exhausted. Before making the decision to terminate a volunteer's involvement, nonprofit leadership should seek to address the issue through communication, coaching, and offering constructive feedback.

Twokin Consulting specializes in helping supporting colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations in brainstorming strategies and ideas for improving operations.


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