An Ethical Culture Philosophy of Working With Volunteers


We grant worth to every person (including those who are different from ourselves) in their own right, without regard to their value or usefulness to us or our Ethical Society,

We treat people as ends in themselves and not merely as means to our or some other ends,

We truly believe that every person is unique in the universe, with a unique excellence, particular gifts, talents, or potential,

We believe that the supreme ethical rule is to “act so as to elicit the best (unique excellence) in others and thereby in ourselves,”

We believe that every person has the potential for growth, change, and betterment,

We believe that people reach their highest growth in service to the highest ideals, in bringing out the best in others and themselves,

We believe that authenticity and integrity are crucial for ethical living,


We will create Ethical Societies that are congruent, where our philosophy and values are matched by our actions where our members are challenged to “walk their talk.”

We will create systems to discover the unique talents, skills, desire for learning new skills among all of our members and then invite them to use those skills in concert with others in building a more effective and ethical community.

We will provide opportunities for every person to serve in the Society and community in ways that foster the blossoming of their unique gifts, skills, and talents leading them to fuller functioning rather than leaving them feeling unimportant and unneeded.

We will not use guilt or pressure to recruit volunteers but genuinely try to match the right person to the right job; we will not use people only as means to an end. If no one wants the job maybe we need to change or discard, reorganize or revise the job, the program or our approach.


We will not waste people’s time on useless, boring, thankless tasks that lead nowhere.

We will involve as many members as possible in envisioning the future, developing a mission, setting goals and objectives, planning and carrying out the work that will result in the accomplishment of our vision.

We will plan our organization and programs so that both the people serving and the people served will grow and reap rewards.

We will share the work, the responsibility, and the authority of our Ethical Society with all its members.

We will neither overburden the already active, proven volunteers leading to burnout nor neglect the shy, different, unproven, new, unnoticed member who may be yearning to share in the work of the Society, to make friends, to belong to the community in a meaningful way.

We will provide training for leaders so that they will understand their own style, be encouraged to grow and change where needed to be more effective, to delegate, to empower and to enable others –to become leaders who both meet goals and encourage people to grow by involving, supporting and training them.

We will foster creativity by allowing people to try new things, to take risks including the possibility of failure.

We will find ways to enable, empower, involve as many members as possible to create a stronger, more caring, more unified, more effective and committed, fully functioning Ethical Society with both voice and action for justice and caring in the larger community.