Volunteer handbook

Get involved Volunteer Volunteer handbook
Get involved

You’ve made a great decision in deciding to give the gift of time to help animals – Thank you!

We hope to provide you with the resources, information and motivation to get out there and advocate for animals. But first, there are some things you need to know.

Getting Started

The first thing you’ll need to do is register online as a volunteer. This will ensure that you receive the relevant updates, letting you know of events in your area. You’ll also be added to our online action team; SAFE Animal Action Network.

SAFE volunteer centres

There are SAFE offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. This is where our largest and most active SAFE volunteer groups are. If you live in one of these centres and would like represent SAFE publicly at stalls, expos and street actions then you will need to attend a New Volunteer’s Induction. Get in touch with your local coordinator to book your induction. If you live outside of out three main centres, don’t worry! There’s still plenty you can do to help. From online actions and letter writing to fundraising, we’ve got you covered.

What do SAFE volunteers do?

If you live in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch and have attended an induction, you’ll be able to take part in public events such as expos, festivals and markets. You may also take part in street actions such as petition signings, protests and demonstrations.
For those who don’t live close to one of our main centres there are endless online actions, letter writing, petitions and many fundraising opportunities.
Perhaps you’re a keen photographer, an arty/ crafty type or a great organiser. Whatever your skill, we can help you put it to good use. Contact [email protected] if you have a question, an idea or would like to offer a particular skill. We would love to hear from you!

Safe Animal Action Network

Are you a keen letter writer? Do you enjoy using your voice to do good things on social media? Perhaps you can only spare a few minutes a day. If this sounds like you then the SAFE Animal Network is for you! All registered SAFE volunteers are automatically added to our online action team, but anyone can sign up. You’ll be sent email alerts when we need you to take action. This could be as simple commenting on a Facebook post or writing an email or letter. Never underestimate the power of the pen (or the keyboard)!

Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool when it comes to raising awareness about important animal welfare issues. You can be anywhere in the world, on a bus or a train or simply at home in the comfort of your home, while making a huge difference to animals.
Please like and follow SAFE on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and like/share/comment/tweet away!

Understanding SAFE’s vegan policy

SAFE is a vegan organisation, which means that all SAFE events, including social events, are vegan and we ask that our volunteers respect this policy. For example, if you’re holding a fundraising event for SAFE such as a baking stall or sausage sizzle, please make sure that your baking is vegan and your sausages too! Remember SAFE is opposed to the use of animals for food, clothing, entertainment or scientific experiments. While we understand that not all of our volunteers will be vegan, we ask that you respect SAFE’s vegan policy when speaking or acting on behalf of SAFE or raising funds for us.

Representing SAFE

Before you can publicly represent SAFE at events such as stalls and street actions you will need to attend a ‘New Volunteers Induction.’ For public actions such as stalls you’ll be provided with a SAFE volunteer’s zip up vest or T-shirt and volunteer badge.
You will most likely be paired up with a member of staff or an experienced volunteer if you’re new to volunteering for us.
It’s especially important that while wearing your uniform you act in a professional manner that reflects SAFE’s views and values. Some basic things to remember are smiling, being polite and non-judgemental and never arguing with members of the public. It’s also a good thing to ‘meet people where they are at’, meaning that you tailor your approach to the level of their understanding. For example, for someone new to the idea of animal rights perhaps start by explaining the basics of factory farming, i.e.; battery cages and crates for pigs. For someone who is already vegetarian, perhaps talk to them about making some small changes into veganism, such as swapping cow’s milk for soy or almond milk. It’s all about encouraging people to make the next easy step.

Our campaigns

The SAFE website is a great place to start to learn about the current issues New Zealand’s animals are facing. You’ll find information on a number of issues, from rodeo to factory farming, including recent New Zealand footage.

Eat Kind

SAFE’s Eat Kind programme is an ongoing free resource aimed at helping people make kinder food choices and adopt a plant-based diet for the animals, the planet and their health.
For our Eat Kind themed stalls, we do specifically ask for vegan volunteers. This allows volunteers to speak from the heart and share their own experiences and support people who are making the change to a kinder way of eating, by offering their own tips, stories and favourite recipes!

Factory Farming

Battery cages for layer hens, farrowing crates for mother pigs and intensively bred chickens raised for meat all fall under the umbrella of factory farming, which basically means intense indoor farming.
Animals living on factory farms suffer immensely every single day of their lives and are deprived of almost everything that is natural to them.
Volunteers play a crucial role in shaping the future for New Zealand animals by raising awareness and empowering people to make kinder choices.
Our campaign to stop factory farming is our longest running and most prominent campaign. As a SAFE volunteer you will almost certainly be asked to take part in actions to help factory farmed animals, from writing a letter to encouraging a local cafe to go cage-free.


SAFE is a non-profit organisation and therefore relies on the goodwill of our generous supporters and dedicated volunteers.
For volunteers with a flair for fundraising there are many different ways in which you can help raise much needed funds for SAFE. From sponsored sporting events to bake sales, we’ve got you covered for ideas on our fundraise for animals page.
If you’re short on time but still want to help, you can leave a gift.

Health and Safety

We take the health and safety of our volunteers seriously. That’s why we ask that you read our Health and Safety for Volunteers document. Here you will find important information, rules and guidelines.
We want you to enjoy your time spent volunteering for SAFE and we aim to make your working environment as safe as it can be.

Thank you again for joining the SAFE volunteer team! We look forward to achieving great things for animals together.

Got a burning question?

Check out our FAQs or email [email protected]

Happy Volunteering!

Donate today

Help us continue helping animals in need

As a charity, SAFE is reliant on the support of caring people like you to carry out our valuable work. Every gift goes towards providing education, undertaking research and campaigning for the benefit of all animals. SAFE is a registered charity in New Zealand (CC 40428). Contributions of $5 or more are tax-deductible.