Did you know that many 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations have no paid employees? Volunteers provide a critical link between nonprofits and their communities by bringing needed skills, connections, insights and resources to the organization. In some cases, they also serve as valuable public advocates and ambassadors for the nonprofit. Some organizations only have a few volunteers, while others manage hundreds of volunteers – but the fact remains that volunteers are critical to the relationship between nonprofits and their communities.
It’s important that your volunteers know what they can expect in the way of guidance and supervision, as a lack of clear directions and/or difficulty in contacting a supervisor can cause frustration and lead to mistakes. While there are many ways in which to manage a volunteer workforce, consider checking your strategies against the list below to assure your nonprofit is following the best safety practices possible:
When using youth volunteers (anyone under the age of 18), you will want to think about their duties and responsibilities and whether those activities are suitable. There are several things to consider when engaging youth volunteers:
In addition to ensuring that volunteers are safe, don’t forget to show your appreciation on a regular basis! The importance of a simple verbal “thank you” cannot be overstated.
Remember that a volunteer is an individual who performs hours of service for you without promise or expectation of compensation. Any compensation provided to a volunteer, such as a stipend, may inadvertently convert your volunteer into an employee. It can also jeopardize the legal protection for the volunteer under the Volunteer Protection Act.
While the law provides some relief for the negligent acts of volunteers, these laws vary widely from state to state and are often misunderstood. And, don’t make the mistake of assuming that your nonprofit will be exempt from liability because its purposes are charitable, or because the person responsible for the harm is a volunteer.
Managing volunteers is similar to managing paid staff. As with your staff, volunteers expect to be provided with rewarding experiences, treated with respect, trained as needed, properly supervised, and provided with feedback. Millions of volunteers across the country support our communities through all kinds of valuable service. And, they provide this service with an admirable record of safety. Since inadequate or improper training and oversight is frequently the cause of an incident and/or injury involving a volunteer, we hope these suggestions will help make that record of safety even better! Wouldn’t we all prefer to avoid incidents and injury to people and property and spend money on direct services rather than on expensive claims against the organization and volunteer?
Courtesy: Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group
Audits for contractors can be challenging. One of the most common questions auditors hear is, “Why do I have to pay for my subcontractors if they carry their own insurance?”
When a contractor hires subcontractors, an additional exposure is created on the jobsite that can result in claims against the contractor. These may include subcontractor negligence or inadequate limits of insurance, which would leave the contractor liable.
There are also possible defense costs when the contractor is named along with the subcontractor in a lawsuit. The potential for liability exposure is also real, if the subcontractor lets his policy coverage lapse.
For general liability policies, the exposure basis for a subcontractor is “total cost.” By definition, total cost includes all labor, materials and equipment furnished, used or delivered for use in the execution of the work.
Total cost also includes all fees, bonuses or commissions made, paid or due.
Properly insured subcontractors are assigned to the corresponding subcontractor work class code based on the type of work performed. If uninsured subcontractors are used, they will be classified to the payroll-based classification that best describes the type of work completed, as if they were employees of the contractor.
A best practice if you’re a contractor would be to require certificates of insurance from your subcontractors prior to paying them for the services performed. This allows you to retain some leverage in obtaining the certificate of insurance from your subcontractor.
Please contact our agency if you have questions about your audit. Thank you for your business!
If you live in a 100-year floodplain and have a mortgage, you don’t have to wonder if you need flood insurance - it’s required as a condition of your loan.
If flood insurance is not required as a condition of your mortgage, you’re not obligated to carry it.
However, there are a few things that you should know:
For more information about your flood risk and the potential cost of a flood to your home, go to https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/. Then contact me and we will make sure that your home is protected.
Jon Jepsen, CIC