As the question says, are questions on topic if they come from volunteer activities, rather than from a paid workplace? To be clear, I am asking about situations that might also arise in a workplace (such as interpersonal disputes), but happened in a volunteer capacity.


I agree with Chad's answer, that as long as they meet the same standard as other questions, they should be fine. The situations that arise in a volunteer organization are often very similar to those at a paid job. We've certainly had some highly voted questions that are about volunteering and not paid jobs.

Peaceful and professional way to drop out of a volunteer project that's gone bad

Administrator thinks I, an IT volunteer student, am hacking the school network


They are not explicitly off topic. But it would still have to meet the same standard as any question about a paid job would. Questions about where to volunteer, how to volunteer at a specific organization, or the like are still off topic.


Yes. Whether people are paid in money, experience or personal satisfaction, volunteers are still largely held to the same standards as regular employees and encounter the same problems. Volunteers are expected to show up they commit to a schedule, work amicably with colleagues and customers, are held accountable for their work and have certain goals to meet. Some volunteering projects are run more strictly and seriously than paid departments.

The abomination that is the unpaid internship is also on-topic here and while that is just a shade closer to a "real job" than volunteering, in practice (and in my opinion) they boil down to the same thing.


Yes, they are treated just as fairly as other questions on this site. The same exacting standards and attention to relevance are applied as many of the situations may apply, with obvious exceptions such as pay, et cetera. However, many other situations are the same such as coworkers who are obnoxious and noisy, what to do with lunchroom thieves, how to change careers, et cetera ad nauseum.

We'll mark them as off topic and close them just as quickly as other posts about paid positions.

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