Why use this?

The Expectations Exchange method is not only a way to break the ice at the beginning of the volunteering process, but it is alo a tool to build a trustworthy and quality relationship between the volunteer and the mentor. Exchanging expectations is about clarifying roles and responsibilities. The objectives of this exercise are to gain clarity over people’s roles in a volunteering project and to develop an informal but clear “contract”.


The Expectations Exchange method helps volunteers and mentors clarify roles and responsibilities through creating a shared agreement. Use creativity and choose a specific place for the procedure.

Step 1:

Discuss with your volunteer, explain the objectives of the process and find common goals you both are looking to achieve.

Step 2:

Each individual completes each section of the contracting template.

Step 3:

Then you swap the lists and you evaluate the other’s expectations.

Step 4:

Have a conversation about common expectations, differences, misunderstandings or additions and then add a new column to each contract, creating a shared agreement about both parties’ expectations.

After the creation of the contract, both sides will have achieved to get to know each other’s needs and expectations, to declare commitment, to find-out mutual goals and set the foundation for a healthy and productive relationship

Tip from a Mentor

ou can choose a specific place for this procedure that you can call it your “headquarters”. It could be a cosy neighbourhood cafe, your balcony or a fancy library. You can visit your “headquarters” whenever you want to discuss about the contract’s objectives, to solve problems or just to improve your relationship.

Enhance your creativity during the creation of the contract. Use photos, stamps or make a collage of your thoughts.

This method can be also used by other people who are involved in the volunteering project, like coordinators, other volunteers, etc

Extra Material

Self Expectations: 7 Suggestions for Setting Realistic Expectations

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