Why Risk Management in relation to Volunteers?
Risk management, like sunscreen, results in long term health, and requires only a small effort of prevention to protect you for a long time. But — how many times does applying sunscreen become so taken for granted, so mundane, that we completely forget to do it?
It’s the same way with volunteers. Volunteers are so integral to a nonprofit’s programs that we may forget they are anything other than regular staff. However, left unprotected, volunteers’ willingness to continue providing valuable services to your organization may be in jeopardy. Left unprotected, the vulnerable clients served by your organization could be harmed by a well-intending volunteer who has never received necessary training. Left unprotected, your organization may find itself in legal hot water and with monetary penalties to pay because the individuals you’ve treated as volunteers are really employees according to the Department of Labor. Left unprotected, your organization’s reputation may be at risk because volunteers who used to sing its praises are now talking to neighbors in the community about how poorly they were treated when volunteering for your organization.
You get the idea. A little prevention goes a long way. Volunteers and volunteer programs need to be administered with risk management in mind.
How can the Nonprofit Risk Management Center help?
- Risk Assessment of Volunteer Programs
- Review of Volunteer Handbook or Creation of Written Guidance for Volunteers
- No Surprises Volunteer Risk Management Tutorial
- QualitySelect: an affordable, easy-to use, interactive online program that will help you develop custom screening tools for your nonprofit.
- My Risk Management Plan: also accessible at www.MyRiskManagementPlan.org, this tool will help you create a customized risk management plan for your nonprofit.
- No Surprises: Harmonizing Risk and Reward in Volunteer Management — 5th Edition
- Financial Risk Management: A Guide for Nonprofit Executives: this new book offers insights on managing a wide array of risks that affect your bottom line.
- Coverage, Claims and Consequences: An Insurance Handbook for Nonprofits: The 2nd edition of this popular book offers practical advice on the topic of insurance.
The Center will design effective training modules specifically tailored for your organization’s programs and volunteers, whether internet-based (great for multiple worksites) or in DVD format. Center staff can also be retained to deliver training to your organization’s volunteers in certain circumstances. The Center’s training whether online or in-person, includes handout materials and pertinent publications. Topics include:
- Volunteer Orientation
- Safety Training and Accident Prevention for Volunteers (also covers procedures at your nonprofit for reporting accidents, injuries and unsafe conditions)
Send an e-mail to the Center outlining what type of training you envision and your timeline, and we will send you a proposal itemizing what we will do, and the proposed cost.
Library — Resources
The Center’s bi-monthly newsletter that is emailed to your in-box, providing a quick lesson or highlighting a timely issue that your organization needs to know. Sign up for eNews here!
- Article: Insurance for Volunteer Programs
- Article: Keeping Volunteers Safe From Harm
- Article: Tempting but Dangerous: Paying Volunteers ‘A Little Something’
- On-line Article: Keeping Volunteers Safe From Harm
- On-line Article: Myths of Volunteer Program Management: Part 1
- On-line Article: Myths of Volunteer Program Management: Part 2
- On-line Article: Myths of Volunteer Program Management: Part 3
Risk Management Essentials
- View the Center’s 16-page newsletter that is published three times a year. Each issue covers a selection of issues, showcases the Center's training and workshops, and/or highlights new publications offering risk management advice from a nonprofit perspective. Download the current issue or order back issues here!
Board members are volunteers too!
In most nonprofit organizations, members of the board of directors are not compensated for their board service, therefore, they are volunteers. Directors & Officers liability insurance (“D&O”) includes protections for trustees and board members when a legal action threatens them as a result of something they did — or didn’t do — in their capacity as a board member. The Center can help your organization evaluate its current D&O coverage, and assist in helping your organization find the most comprehensive coverage, at the most competitive price. For more information about the Center’s insurance review services, click here. Or send an e-mail to the Center outlining what type of insurance review you need (or call us to discuss) and any other details, and we will send you a proposal itemizing all that the review will address, the timeline and the cost.