Volunteer Program Guidelines

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Volunteer Program Guidelines Text


The City of Palm Springs volunteer program is designed to coordinate and manage volunteer efforts, which support City services provided to the community.  The program addresses community service needs, while placing special emphasis on the City's priorities.

These guidelines are intended to help provide a general overview of the City's volunteer program and provide information necessary to help make your time spent volunteering for the City of Palm Springs a positive experience.


The City's volunteer program is committed to encouraging community participation and the coordination of volunteers to enhance community programs and services.


To express your interest in becoming a volunteer you must complete a Volunteer Application form which is available from the Department of Human Resources or by clicking here.  If you are a minor, your parents must also sign the application.

Some programs may require that you successfully complete and pass a background and drug screening. 

Volunteers are accepted based on their expertise and knowledge and the needs of the program.


The success of a good volunteer program rests with the quality and commitment of its volunteers.  Please give strong consideration to the following expectations:

    • Keep your work commitment.
    • Inform your supervisor if you have a planned absence.
    • Accept training and participate in other job development activities.
    • Adhere to all confidentiality requirements in the course of carrying out duties and responsibilities.
    • Treat citizens, co-workers and others with respect.
    • Be aware of procedures and rules, including safety rules.
    • Report all on-the-job accidents and injuries to your supervisor immediately.
    • Report any unsafe practices or procedures to your supervisor.
    • Cooperate and assist in the investigation of any work accident.
    • Follow personal hygiene and grooming habits, as well as manner of dress that allow you to safely complete volunteer duties and represent the City.
    • Obtain and wear/use any specialized safety clothing or equipment.
    • Be cooperative by accepting instructions, guidance, and suggestions.

  • Volunteer Hours
    Work schedules of volunteers are diverse and vary depending on the department, program and location.  If a volunteer cannot make it to his or her assignment on a scheduled day, the volunteer should notify his or her department as soon as possible.

  • Program Placement
    Each program or assignment has various requirements and needs and some programs may require special certifications or training.  Volunteers are selected based on program need and the volunteer's assignment request along with their individual knowledge and experience.


  • Attendance
    Volunteers are expected to always be prompt and on time in reporting for their assignment.  Being late may inconvenience those who are counting on your presence.  If unforeseen circumstances make you late, please notify your supervisor in advance.  For those times when you are ill and unable to work, call your department as early in the day as possible.  Failure to appear for a shift without notifying your department may result in your dismissal from the volunteer program.
  • Backgrounds
    Many positions require a pre-placement background and drug screening.  The City will exercise appropriate care in the placement of volunteers into positions serving minors, the elderly or the frail, and individuals with disabilities.  Volunteers who do not agree to the required screening may be refused assignment.
  • Computer Usage
    The City complies with all copyright laws for software programs installed and used on City owned computers.  Volunteers are expected to adhere to the City's policy, which includes prohibiting the use of unauthorized copies of software on City computers; prohibiting the installation of software on City computers that was not purchased  through appropriate City policies; and understanding that all computers, software and computer information are City property.  Therefore, all who use City computers cannot assume any right to privacy in such use.
  • Dismissal
    Volunteers who do not adhere to the rules, policies and regulations of the City, or fail to perform their assignments satisfactorily, are subject to dismissal.  A volunteer may be dismissed at any time with or without cause.  The City reserves the right to request that a volunteer leave immediately if circumstances warrant such action.
  • Drugs and Alcohol
    Any volunteer who uses, brings, possesses or is suspected of being under the influence of any form of narcotic, drug, or alcohol, except prescribed drugs and under the direction of a physician, is subject to immediate dismissal.  In addition, any volunteer who transfers, sells, or attempts to sell same on City property or while on City business, at any time, is subject to immediate dismissal.
  • Expenses
    Volunteers are reimbursed for expenses which have been pre-approved in writing by the department.  You may also be eligible for a number of other tax benefits as a volunteer under the general charitable contribution deduction of the Internal Revenue Code.  Please be sure and check with your tax adviser or the Internal Revenue Service for specific deductions allowed, as the City does not provide this service.
  • Harassment
    All City workers and volunteers have a right to work in an environment free from all forms of discrimination and conduct which can be considered harassing, coercive or disruptive.  Consistent with the City's policy, based on race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, family or marital status, disability, medical condition or pregnancy, genetic information, religious or political affiliation, or veteran status or any characteristic protected by law, will not be tolerated.
  • Insurance
    Liability insurance is provided to you as a volunteer for the City.  As a volunteer, you are covered by the City's general liability policy so long as you are acting within the scope and course of your assigned duties.

    Automobile insurance follows the automobile.  If you are driving a City vehicle, City insurance will be in effect.  Likewise, if you are driving your own vehicle, even while on City business, your automobile insurance will be applicable on a primary basis per the California Vehicle Code, CVC 17152.

    The City may conduct a motor vehicle driving record check for volunteers who drive as part of their volunteer work.
  • Injuries and Accidents
    All injuries or losses to any volunteer or third party which involve a volunteer must be reported immediately and will be processed in accordance with existing City policies on matters of this nature.

    In the event of an accident involving a City vehicle or your own vehicle, you should immediately contact the local police.  You are also responsible for immediately notifying the City, who will help you complete an accident investigation form along with any other required documents.

    Any volunteer, during the course of volunteering, involved in a serious motor vehicle accident may be required to take a urine, blood or breath test to determine whether or not that volunteer's ability to drive was impaired by alcohol or a controlled substance as defined by state statutes.

The City's volunteer program is intended to create opportunities and experiences that are meaningful and worthwhile for individuals who are willing to volunteer their time to enhance the community.

These guidelines contain general information only.  It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all rules and policies nor does it address all the possible applications of, or exceptions to, the general policies and procedures described.  If you have any questions concerning any of the information or the applicability of a policy or practice to you, please contact the Department of Human Resources.

The procedures, practices, policies, and benefits described here may be modified, suspended or terminated from time to time.  These guidelines do not confer any contractual right, either express or implied, nor does it guarantee any fixed terms and conditions.