Protect the key to your nonprofit's success
Ask any director of a nonprofit what makes their organization great, and they'll likely say, "our volunteers." These special people present unique exposures, so directors should take proper measures to protect them and their nonprofits.
Preventing accidents from happening
A good nonprofit risk management program includes:
- Pre-screening. Even before a volunteer begins working for you, conduct a background or reference check. You want to know who's working with your visitors.
- Welcoming process. Most companies offer a process for new employees, and nonprofits should consider a similar training program to familiarize volunteers with operations. You also should consider a written document for volunteer duties and expectations.
- Supervisions. Have procedures in place for overseeing or checking in with your volunteers.
Liken volunteers to a company's employees, and you'll see that they should be insured in a similar fashion. For example, if an employee is involved in a liability claim, the employer - and employee - would expect coverage. Are you confident your policy includes volunteers as insureds where it should?
Here are some common insurance issues that could arise for your volunteers. You should always talk to your insurance agent about these to make sure you have the appropriate policy in place.
Crime Coverage. Volunteers and non-compensated board members generally don't have protection against issues like theft or forgery on a standard Crime Coverage form. Your insurance company will need to provide a special form for this.
Auto Policy. Volunteers who transport clients in their own cars are not automatically included as insureds on the auto policy. You'll need additional protection to fill in the gap.
General Liability. It's common for a General Liability form to cover volunteers. However, they may not automatically be included within the professional or abuse liability forms, so coverage will need to be put in place.
Workers' Compensation. Your Work Comp policy does not cover your volunteers. You'll want to use an insurance company that can suggest special protection for volunteers who might be injured at your organization.
All insurance policies are different, so it's important to talk to your agent about the best way to protect your organization and its people.