Many nonprofit organizations, like for-profit businesses, are facing a shortage of workers, both paid and volunteer.
At the same time, volunteer work has become a way for students and the unemployed to gain or retain skills while looking for work. As a risk manager for a nonprofit, how do you recruit good volunteers, keep them and protect them while they’re volunteering?
According to Sandra Thomson, a consultant for nonprofit organizations who works with Canadian insurance broker Shaw Sabey & Associates Ltd., based in Vancouver, British Columbia, people volunteer their time, efforts and talents because they received an emotional or functional benefit from doing so.
A successful risk management program matches volunteers to their role within your organization and has the proper insurance and risk prevention programs in place to protect both the volunteers and the organization.
Recruiting, managing and retaining the right volunteers can mean the difference between success and failure for some nonprofit organizations, Thomson explains. Long-term volunteers hold organizational knowledge, require less training and are better advocates for the organization that those that only stay for a short time.
Volunteer positions have risks associated with them that might not be immediately apparent, for example:
Personal injury. An ambulance volunteer drops a patient while moving the person from the ambulance to the hospital emergency room.
Allegations of abuse. The news media often reports that volunteers and the organizations they work for are sued by alleged victims for physical or sexual abuse.
Directors’ oversight. Nonprofit boards of directors and officers have been sued by their members alleging that actions of the the officers and directors were illegal or discriminatory in some way.
Thomson offers the following six tips for managing the risks of working with volunteers in your nonprofit organization in a new whitepaper — “Insider Secrets to Successful Volunteer Management” — from Assurex Global, written in collaboration with Jeffrey McCann, vice president of digital strategy at Shaw Sabey:
Contact Debbie Klisch at 719-329-4441 or Debbie [at] scicteam [dot] com for more information