Special Message from Buena Onda

Organization Standards

The Buena Onda network is committed to supporting non-profits and impact organizations in Guatemala who work towards community and social development. We carefully review and assess the capacities, interests, and motivations of our prospective volunteers before we connect them with a partner organization. In doing so, we aim to manage the administration of volunteer recruitment for our partner agencies. However, for all of our members to be as successful as they can be, we hold our organizations to the commitment to being impactful as our volunteers.

Our goal is to support our partner organizations in their efforts so that we can all work towards impactful development opportunities in Guatemala. To reach this objective, we count on organizations to institute certain standards and best practices so that together, we can strengthen our organizations, our communities, and be the best that we can be.

Through our standards, we aim to strengthen evidence-based practice while developing an organizational culture that is committed to volunteer development and critical thinking about program impact and improvements moving forward. Our Organizational Standards are tailored toward strengthening organizations and are developed with best practices in volunteerism and the needs of our partners in mind. Our standards are designed to be easily incorporated into small, medium and large organizations. Our commitment to organizational development means that we are available at every step of the way for support and guidance.

By joining the Buena Onda network, organizations commit to the below standards so that volunteers can be confident they will receive an enriching and impactful experience within a supportive organizational environment. With these standards in place, we can feel confident that we are upholding our commitment to our volunteer partners as well as local communities that our partners are serious about affecting change through intentional development.

kids with hands up buena onda


Mutual respect between all stakeholders – organizations, volunteers and local community members alike – is the foundation of a successful and impactful community development initiative. While organizations are obliged to provide volunteers with a safe, welcoming and supportive work environment that utilizes volunteers’ knowledge while teaching new skills, the volunteers we support also acknowledge their responsibility to act professionally and demonstrate integrity inside and outside of the workplace. Collectively, we work to ensure that all of our partners place the needs and desires of community members at the center of their programs and services.


Volunteer assignments are designed to fulfill specific goals that advance the organization’s mission and purpose. Volunteers’ roles involve volunteers in a meaningful way based on their skills, interests, and backgrounds while taking into account the needs of the organization and the local community. Organizations have a designated staff member that is responsible for coordinating and supporting volunteers before, during and after their placement. This staff member supports the integration of volunteers into the organization while taking charge of their wellbeing in the country. Volunteers will receive the level of support and supervision required for each role and will be provided with regular opportunities to give and receive constructive feedback on their performance. In doing so, organizations commit to creating a volunteer experience that is enriching for both the volunteer and the organization.


Organizations commit to a transparent assessment of their activities and services. Beyond a commitment to financial accountability to stakeholders, organizations also commit to being accountable to their volunteers and local communities. This entails ensuring that a framework is in place to monitor volunteer satisfaction and gauge the effectiveness of the organization’s programs and services at meeting pre-specified goals.


Volunteer placements are clearly linked to the organization’s mission and directly contribute to daily operations, including the delivery and strengthening of programs and services. Organizational staff, stakeholders and board members recognize the integral role that volunteers play in the organization’s daily functioning and delivery of programs and services. Volunteers take an active role in helping staff members achieve their goals and fulfill their mission.


No one knows the community better than those who live there. Organizations will actively work to identify the strengths and assets in local communities in order to build capacity and target resources where it is needed the most. Organizations commit to responding to local challenges and including community stakeholders in the decision-making process.

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