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 List is a fixed list of Mission Volunteer roles within a corps setting which the CO can determine to apply or not apply the standard Mission Volunteer processes.

Optional Exceptions List*

  • Bible reader 
  • Morning tea server 
  • Offering collectors 
  • Welcome/greeter 
  • Adult Ministry Team member 
  • Audiovisual/sound roles
  • Band and Songster members (not leaders) 

*The Optional Exceptions List only applies to the above list of roles and within a corps setting. All other roles must follow the standard Mission Volunteer processes including being recorded.

Opting not to record - what does this mean? 

If you choose not to record a certain role from the Optional Exceptions List, the individual performing that role:

  • Will not be protected by TSA volunteer insurance  
  • Will not receive benefits such as the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Will not have access to TSA systems such as the intranet

Note:

  • Individuals performing roles you have selected not to record must be fully aware of the risks involved in not being recorded as a Mission Volunteer 
  • Should the individual elect to be recorded as a Mission Volunteer the request is to be granted 
  • If the CO does not apply the optional exceptions an individual must comply with the standard Mission Volunteer requirements.

What you need to do: 

If there are roles you plan to exclude from recording, you should speak to your respective Volunteer Resources Advisor in the first instance. They will discuss strategies to help mitigate risks.

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