About Mission Volunteers

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Our Army of Volunteers 

Mission Volunteers ('volunteers')* are an integral part of The Salvation Army. Our Army of Volunteers makes up the largest proportion of The Salvation Army's workforce. There are approximately 30 000 ongoing volunteers and this number swells to 100 000 when our fabulous events volunteers are counted. 

Volunteers offer skills, knowledge and expertise in a range of positions and programs - from collecting for the Red Shield Appeal, contributing to TSA faith communities (corps), support community members in need, to working as shop assistants in our stores, to providing specialised expertise on our Board and advisory boards/committees...and much, much more! 

Our Army of Volunteers are the heartbeat of The Salvos and extend the work of our Officer and Employee teams across Australia. We give thanks for every single volunteer and the contribution they make to our mission!

Read below to learn more about TSA Mission Volunteers or visit our Online Fact Sheet: Mission Volunteer.

The term Mission Volunteer will be used in formal communications and may be abbreviated at times to MV or volunteer. The use of volunteer on its own is acceptable, however, it is important that you understand a person's motivation and use language that is respectful of this.

Mission Volunteer is the endorsed TSA territorial term which unites our varied unpaid workforce expressions. The definition of Mission Volunteer is: 

“A mission volunteer is anyone who contributes time, service and skills without expectation of financial gain from TSA in order to assist in accomplishing the mission.”

This would include people who engage in service for a variety of reasons such as an expression of faith, to make a positive difference in the world, to gain knowledge and work experience, and to create new social connections. 

Learn more about mission volunteers

This includes, but is not limited to:  

  • Soldiers and Corps members including local leaders (local officers) in a specific rostered role 
  • Retired officers in a mission volunteer role 
  • TSA Board & Board Committee members and Advisory group members 
  • Community-facing volunteers 
  • Student placements 
  • Government-Sponsored e.g. Work-for-the-dole/mutual obligation participants 
  • Community-based/court-ordered volunteers
  • Corporate volunteers 
  • Event, emergency and disaster management volunteers
  • Mobile mission volunteers

The Optional Exceptions category was a fixed list of corps-based ministry roles which could be excluded from mission volunteer registrations at the Corps Officer’s discretion.

This category has been rescinded

Please refer to Corps Participant below. 

Corps Participant Effective Monday, 16 November - Optional Exceptions Rescinded

Corps Participant Definition: 

Any unpaid member/ attendee of a Corps who is not a Mission Volunteer; who is actively involved in the Corps community, who may assist on an ad hoc basis, but does not have allocated responsibilities or any formalisation/expectation relating to their contribution and/or attendance.  

For example, the bible reader, someone who provides flowers, or a person who rolls up their sleeves to help serve morning tea or pack up chairs.

The Corps Participant category will be effective as of Monday, 16 November. 

Background:

This year (2020) has seen significant shifts in safeguarding legislation in South Australia. In response, TSA has been reviewing corps activities and mission volunteers across all jurisdictions, for the purpose of ensuring we are meeting our legislative and compliance requirements.

Previously, Leadership had created a Territorial provision known as 'Optional Exceptions' - a suite of corps-based ministry roles which could be excluded from mission volunteer registration at the Corps Officer's discretion. 

As a result of significant consultation between the Integrity Check Capability (ICC) Project, internal and external Legal Counsel, Safeguarding and Human Resources, ‘Optional Exceptions’ have now been rescinded. The soon to be published Mission Volunteer Policy has introduced the ‘Corps Participant’ category as defined above. 

Band Member and Songster Roles

In particular, band member and songster roles have elicited a range of views, opinions and sensitivities across the organisation. It is now confirmed that these roles are classified as Mission Volunteers on the basis that they meet the definition of TSA Mission Volunteer.

Mission Volunteer Policy and Procedure 

This announcement is a pre-cursor to the soon to be released Mission Volunteer Policy and Procedure. These will provide the formal definition for Mission Volunteer and Corps Participant along with the requirements which must be undertaken to ensure safe and effective volunteer involvement across all of TSA’s expressions. These documents will be reviewed one year after publication.

Should you have any questions relating to Mission Volunteers, Corps Participants or Salvos Workday, please contact Volunteer Resources via: VRhelpdesk@salvationarmy.org.au.

Corps-facing

Volunteering activities occur within the Corps setting.

Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Corps leadership roles e.g. Corps Sergeant Major
  • Youth group leadership
  • Pastoral Care
  • Corps Program Ministry Team member
  • Prayer Coordinator

 

Community-facing

Volunteering is focused on activities within the general community including:

  • Corps-based social programs
  • Community-based programs
  • Retail

Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Chaplaincy
  • Doorways
  • Homelessness
  • Youth
  • AOD
  • Family violence
  • Mission mobile volunteers
  • Mainly Music
  • Just Brass

Student Placement (Tertiary)

Volunteering is part of the individual's education journey. Student Placement Volunteers are those who are required by their education provider to complete supervised, practical vocational experience in order to satisfy professional standards.

An individual is categorised as a Student Placement Volunteer where a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) exists with the educational institution. For these Volunteers: 

  • TSA may need to provide evidence of hours worked and/or activities performed, as well as the supervision provided 
  • Insurance is provided by the educational institution 

Note: Where no MOU exists, the individual is an independent volunteer.

Government Sponsored

Volunteering is performed in order to fulfil an obligation imposed by a third party such as a government department.

Examples include:  

  • Work for the Dole
  • Mutual Obligation Volunteers.

TSA may need to:

  • Provide evidence of hours worked, activities performed
  • Follow specific procedures/use specific forms
  • Enter into formal agreements with the third party
  • Undertake a risk assessment of volunteers prior to placement

Corporate

Volunteering is performed as part of the individual’s employment arrangements. 

Corporate Volunteers may:

  • Approach TSA as individuals or as a group
  • Offer specific skills or expertise
  • Be seeking low expertise activities

Volunteer on a single occasion or develop an ongoing relationship with TSA.

Once-off & Event

Volunteering is once-off, event-based and activities may be within different settings of The Salvation Army.

Examples include:

  • Red Shield Appeal
  • Christmas fundraising activities
  • A Creative Arts event
  • Barbecue fundraiser
  • Stand at a community event

Board and Advisory Members

All TSA Board & Board Committee members and advisory members in a volunteering capacity. 

Examples include:

  • TSA Board, Board committees
  • Salvos Housing Board
  • SAID council and committees
  • Investment Advisory Committee and
  • Other reference, advisory and committees. 

Support for Managers of Volunteers 

The Volunteer Resources team is dedicated to supporting managers of volunteers to safely and effectively involve volunteers. Click here to read more about how we can support you