Volunteer Service Leave Program

Georgetown’s distinguished heritage and Jesuit tradition imbue the daily lives of our community members, with service and community engagement at the heart of the university’s mission. We foster staff engagement in programs and opportunities that help to build a just world, particularly in the University’s home of Washington DC as well as the other neighborhoods in which many of us live.

The Volunteer Service Leave (VSL) Policy encourages staff and AAP to participate in volunteer service during the participant’s regularly scheduled work hours. Eligible participants are granted eight (8) hours of volunteer service leave per fiscal year that can be used to perform service with a University-approved nonprofit organization.

Volunteer Service Leave is paid at the participating employee’s current base salary and does not accrue across fiscal years or get paid out at termination; in other words, employees must use it or lose it. Continued participation in the Volunteer Service Program may be denied for failure to follow VSL policy and procedures.

Employees must provide reasonable notice to managers in advance of volunteer date, and approval of leave is at the manager’s discretion but may not be unreasonably denied.


University employee and AAP eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Benefits eligible – 30 hours per week
  • Successful completion of probationary period
  • In good standing with Georgetown University, with no active disciplinary actions

Participant Responsibilities

An eligible employee may review the list of University-approved nonprofit organizations and must make their own arrangements for participation with the organization.

Once the date and time of participation is agreed between the employee and the nonprofit organization, the employee must submit a GMS request for Volunteer Service Leave, specifying the number of hours needed (1 to 8) and enter in the Comment Box the name of the non-profit organization.  The request will route to the employee’s manager for approval. The employee’s Human Resources Client Services Partner will also be notified of the action.

Upon completion of an approved volunteer service, the participating employee must provide the manager with written verification of service by the nonprofit.

Manager’s Responsibilities

Supervisors have a responsibility to encourage the personal and professional development of staff, be objective and consistent in considering employee requests for participation, to make decisions with consideration of departmental priorities and operational needs, but without undue delay. Once VSL is approved, supervisors must arrange for appropriate coverage of services during employee absence from the department due to VSL program participation.  

Upon completion of an approved volunteer service, the manager must review the written verification of service by the nonprofit provided by the employee. If the employee fails to provide written verification within a reasonable amount of time, or if the verification does not satisfy the manager that leave consistent with the policy was in fact performed, the manager must refer the case to Human Resources Client Services Partner.

Participant Stories and Recognition

HR plans to share participant stories and organize a recognition and reflection experience for employees who participate in the VSL program in the Spring 2020 timeframe. Check back here for details!