Are You Doing Enough to Protect Your Volunteers?

How you can help to protect your volunteers.

People who volunteer often do so because they receive an emotional or practical benefit. While volunteers play a critical role in the operation of many nonprofit organizations, they do come with their own unique risks. Nonprofit organizations can help to retain their valuable volunteers with a little protection. The following are several risks that are specific to volunteers:

  • Accusations of Abuse: While volunteers often give their time and energy to help others, they put themselves in distinct positions of risk. Claims of physical and sexual abuse can occur, hurting your nonprofits reputation and the behavior of your volunteer.
  • Personal Injury: Volunteers often require little to no training before they begin. If this is the case, accidental injuries can occur. For example, an emergency medical technician volunteer may drop or injure a patient while rending medical services. As a result, they may find themselves facing a lawsuit.

Thankfully, nonprofits can put some solutions in place for handling such threats. Here are a few tips to mitigate volunteer risks.

  • Develop job descriptions – Volunteers should know exactly what your nonprofit expects out of them in order to perform the duties carefully. The volunteer descriptions should be as clear and as detailed as paid positions.
  • Screen candidates – Although you’re not paying volunteers, it’s still wise to meet with your candidates to ensure they have the required abilities and temperament for the position. This can help you narrow down your search for successful and careful volunteers.
  • Provide training – Without proper training, volunteers will not know anything about the company’s culture, objectives, procedures, and more. This is a good time to outline the roles and responsibilities of a volunteer role.
  • Show appreciation – Volunteers need to feel appreciated to feel like they’re spending their time wisely. They don’t receive financial compensation for their time, so a kind word can go a long way. This can be as simple as a thank you note or as involved as annual volunteer appreciation events.

To protect the livelihood of your organization and employees, ensure you have the right protection. Contact the experts at Colorado Nonprofit Insurance Agency, part of HUB International in Denver, Colorado at 303-894-0298. Make sure that your nonprofit is properly covered. We will work with you to ensure you are getting the most out of your coverage.