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ASK CONNIE

VT readers ask questions about volunteer management and administration. Ask Connie, an experienced volunteer manager, consultant and trainer, provides the answers for all to see.
Send questions to AskConnieP@cs.com

~2013 ~

RISK MANAGEMENT

Dear Connie:

Is there a waiver form that volunteers may sign in case of injury that indicates they are responsible through their personal insurance? Thank you for your assistance.

S

Dear S:

The short answer to your question is that release forms come in many sizes and shapes, depending on the situation and your needs.  I suggest that you check with your administrative staff to determine if volunteers are covered under your organization's umbrella liability policy and if the organization requires paid employees to sign a release of liability.  If so, then consider adapting that release for volunteers.  

Above all, please check with your legal counsel before proceeding much further down the "release" path.  You'll find excellent information about volunteers and risk management at the Nonprofit Risk Management Center  Just click on "Volunteer Risk Management" (top left) and you'll learn about:

building blocks with letter RISKWhy Risk Management in Relation to Volunteers?
Volunteers are essential to most nonprofit programs and may create exposure for your organization.

Consider:

  • Volunteers may have access to confidential client information
  • Volunteers may come to consider themselves employees, not volunteers
  • Volunteers may have access to the organization’s financial assets (and/or records) as part of their volunteer assignment
  • Volunteers’ actions may harm the organization’s reputation

What Can You Do to be Prepared?
Download Articles:

Engage the Nonprofit Risk Management Center:

  • To do a Risk Assessment of your volunteer program
  • To do a review of your Volunteer Handbook
  • To do volunteer training for your organization

Purchase Books and Products:

  • “No Surprises: Harmonizing Risk and Reward in Volunteer Management” – 5th Edition
  • Noted risk management author, Linda L. Graff, has several titles available in VolunteerToday.com’s bookstore.  Check them out!

Access Online Tutorials:

  • Volunteer Risk Management at nonprofitrisk.org

Read Articles Online:

The bottom line for volunteer risk management is…..better safe than sorry!  So take a few minutes today to consider your own risk management strategies!


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Do you have a question? Now you too can ask an expert!

Connie Pirtle, of Strategic NonProfit-Resources, has 25 years' experience in working with volunteers. She has consulted and/or trained for such organizations as the Washington National Cathedral, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music America, and the Association for Volunteer Administration.

Send your questions to Connie at AskConnieP@cs.com.
Connie Pirtle
Strategic Nonprofit Resources
314 E. Marie Dr. * Stillwater, OK 74075 * VOICE: 405.372.8142 or 202-306-1492


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