Liability and Volunteer Organizations: A Survey of the Law


Political Science and International Affairs

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2003


The question of how and when liability attaches is one of the most important issues facing volunteer organizations today. The liability issue has three related components: (1) whether the organization is liable to third parties for acts performed by volunteers, (2) whether the organization is liable to volunteers who are injured while performing their duties, and (3) whether an individual volunteer is liable for acts performed while working with a volunteer organization. This article explores each of these issues and suggests effective risk management practices that can reduce, although not eliminate, liability in most instances.