There is no question that corporate partnerships are a wonderful asset to non-profit organizations. However, many non-profits working hand-in-hand with corporations also deem these partnerships as a challenge to maintain. Here are 8 ways to ensure your non-profit’s corporate partnership is successful and long lasting.
Mapping. Recognize that your organization and corporate partner both have your own unique sets of skills, expertise and resources to bring to your partnership. Determine what these are, and use them to assign roles and responsibilities to each party.
Measurement. Show your corporate partner that your nonprofit is an asset to their corporate citizenship efforts by determining factors that will measure the value of their sponsorship and its ROI. Providing them with these statistics on a regular basis will leverage their commitment to a long-lasting partnership with your nonprofit.
Expertise. Learn the ins and outs of your corporate partner and their industry. Putting forth the extra effort indicates that you are truly interested in the well being of their organization. Keep in mind that as partners, you are also representatives of one another.
Flexibility. As with any partnership, compromise and flexibility are key to a happy, long-term relationship. If your corporate partner proposes a brand-new way to plan your next community event, for example, try to accommodate to their request as much as possible, within reason.
Leadership. Demonstrate your commitment to your partnership by continuously establishing and assessing clear goals and objectives for your relationship.
Giving. While partnerships are a two-way street, giving more than what you commit to every so often and going above and beyond your partner’s expectations clearly shows your level of dedication and commitment to your partnership and can make all the difference in its longevity and growth.
Branding. Make sure your partnership is known through strategic communications such as newsletters and social media, and continuously create new content to doing so. “Freshening up” your partnerships’ messages helps others see your relationship in a new light, which in turn draws in more interest from both the corporation’s customers and your potential donors.
Progress. As the saying goes, “There’s always room for improvement.” Each year, take the time to analyze your partnership’s efforts, programs, donations, etc. to determine where and how they can be improved. A partnership that continuously makes progress is one that is built to last.
A successful and long-lasting partnership is one that is mutually beneficial, helping each other continuously grow and thrive. Our team of nonprofit risk management experts here at Rollins is here to help your nonprofit organization succeed.
Photo Credit: SalFalko via Photopin cc
Fall is a great time to kick your fundraising into high gear. The holiday season will be here before you know it, and with a nip in the air and the kids back in school, people are gearing up for the season of giving. Get a jump on the end-of-year fundraising frenzy by starting now. As Marc Koenig of the Nonprofit Hub writes, “Fall shouldn’t just be an excuse to put off your hardcore fundraising push a few months down the line. Top performers realize that the times that are normally discounted as poor fundraising months means less competition. The 1% of fundraisers who can buckle down and get appointments now, see disproportionate rewards: Kind of like those rare students who began studying for their test when they’re announced, instead of the night before.”
Here are ten creative ways to get you going:
1) Focus on the Weather
Create a fundraising event or drive around the weather. Initiate a volunteer walk, organize a used coat, clothing or toy auction as people clean out their personal inventory to make room for a new season of gifts.
2) Focus on Food
‘Tis the season for major eating. Many people are looking for new dishes to try, elaborate dishes to impress or ways to save time. This is a great time for a bake sale, recipe swap or pop-up food shop.
3) Focus on Services
A services auction is a great fundraiser, particularly in this time of year. Services to be auctioned off could be range from cooking, cleaning, and babysitting to tax preparation, legal counsel or home decorating.
4) Focus on the Minor Donors
Many campaigns focus on the major donors. It is important and also effective to focus on the people who give smaller amounts. Making all donors feel important and establishing ongoing, consistent giving at all levels is a highly effective fundraising strategy.
5) Keep it Simple
As a refreshing break from the usual Holiday Gala, have a casual party, such as a hot dog and beer fest, with low-key attire and simple food. Explain to attendees that you want to maximize their donations for good vs. spending on a lavish affair.
6) Host a Holiday Showcase
Local merchants will be happy to showcase their holiday offerings such as gift items or food selections at a holiday showcase. You can host a tasting party or private sale, where people pay admission and purchase items for which you earn a percentage.
7) Encourage Alternative Gifts
Encourage people who are getting married or celebrating a special occasion to ask their guests, families, friends or acquaintances to donate to your non-profit in lieu of gifts. Make it easy for them by providing suggestions on how to go about this.
8) Have People Pay to Work
Connect people’s donations to the good that their money provides by having them pay to perform a group activity related to your organization.
9) Host a FUN raiser
Challenge your employees, your volunteers or families to invent the most fun activity for a fundraiser. Award a winner and put together the event.
10) Remember to Ask for Matching Gifts
Remind your donors to submit paperwork to have their gifts matched by their employers. Encourage them to start early so that appropriate paperwork is in place.
It is still not too late to have a great fall fundraising season. In the words of Marc Koenig, “The best time to start fall fundraising was probably a month ago. But the second best time to start is today.”
Our team of nonprofit risk management experts at Rollins wants your nonprofit to grow and thrive, and we are here to help your organization succeed.
Photo Credit: visualpanic via Photopin cc
As a non-profit organization, you need to manage your costs carefully. At the same time, you need to protect your organization, its officers and employees, members, and the community you serve. That’s why it is so important for you to periodically evaluate whether your insurance dollars are giving you the most bang for your buck. Here are five ways that you can lower your non-profit insurance costs.
1. Determine Your Insurance Needs
You want to understand not only the type of insurance you need, but also the amount of insurance protection required. The amount of insurance depends on the nature of your organization’s work, your size, and how many employees, officers, and volunteers work there. Most non-profits need general liability insurance, directors and officer’s coverage, property liability, and professional or product liability insurance. (See our earlier post “Are You All Set with Your Nonprofit’s Insurance Six Pack?”) for details on the various types of insurance. If you think that you may need additional or lesser coverage, consult your Rollins representative for guidance.
2. Buy smarter in groups
If you are a small non-profit, you may be able to get benefits from joining an association or considering whether you can get insured as part of a pool. For example, the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is a new program that simplifies the process of buying health insurance for employers with less than 50 employees by helping them buy as if they were larger companies.
3. Consider a higher deductible
The large deductible amounts on high-deductible may sound scary. But remember, those numbers are only applicable if you make a claim. Depending on the nature of your organizations, you may want to consider a higher deductible to retain lower out-of-pocket costs for insurance coverage.
4. Lower Your Claim Risk
Here’s an interesting concept. Rather than spend an excessive amount of money to carefully protect your business, spend time to identify the key risks of your business and create a risk management plan to lower risks. Lower risks lead to lower claims, which in turn, is likely to lead to lower insurance rates.
5. Review Your Policy Often
Your insurance policy should not be a “set it and forget it” affair. Your organization may shrink, grow, or change directions, and it is important to periodically re-evaluate your needs. Twice a year is a good interval for reviewing your policies. As your organization changes in the interim, you may find that there are coverages you no longer need and others that are missing.
Rollins is here to help you create a solid risk management strategy that covers employees, volunteers, committee members, and trustees. We help you select only the insurance you need at affordable prices. Speak to your Rollins representative for a review of your insurance portfolio.
Photo Credit: Gerard Van der Leun via Photopin cc
If you are a non-profit, you are likely to have your General Liability Insurance in place. You may have also Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance as well as other insurance, and you think that you’re covered. Right? Not so fast. It is possible that you need Professional Liability (E&O) Insurance as well.
Many nonprofits erroneously assume that their D&O policy covers “errors and omissions” (E&O) or malpractice. This is not necessarily the case. D&O insurance is designed to protect personnel from claims that arise due to actions they have taken within the scope of their duties as officers, directors, or company individuals. Professional Liability insurance, on the other hand applies to errors and omissions while performing the service that is part of your organization. In a world where lawsuits are common, damages may run up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Who Needs Professional Liability (E&O) Insurance?
Nonprofit organizations in health care, human services, or any field that provides counseling or other professional services are especially vulnerable to risk and should consider E&O insurance. According to Pamela Davis, President and CEO of the Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group and a passionate advocate for nonprofits and their insurance needs, 90% of claims are due to “accidents and injuries related to automobiles or slips, trips and falls at nonprofit locations and special events.” However, these 90% of claims result in only 65% of the dollars paid out. The 10% of claims resulting from allegations of improper employment practices, professional errors and omissions, and sexual abuse account for 35% of claims dollars paid. Davis goes to explain why nonprofit organizations are especially at risk: “we work so intensively with clients and provide services to some of the most vulnerable and the most troubled in our communities.”
The definition of “professional” has expanded over the past several years, including such things as counseling, vocational training, and other kinds of instruction, in addition to “doctors and lawyers.”
D&O vs. E&O
Whereas D&O covers the performance related to the duties of the directors and officers, E&O insurance covers failures or negligence with respect to service to customers. D&O also protects against wrongful acts regarding employment practice and securities. Professional services under E&O include services performed for, or advice given to, others on behalf of the organization. E&O extends to professional supervision, provision of computer and internet services, and any other administrative services and publications considered to be performed for the users, clients, or customers of the organization.
In a world where lawsuits are common, appropriate insurance coverage is a necessity. Every organization’s insurance needs are a little different. We encourage you to work with a Rollins representative to help sort through your risks and provide an insurance solution designed to protect you. Call us.
Photo Credit: Adrian Clark via Photopin cc
The Obama administration announced on July 2, 2013 that it is delaying the requirement for companies with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance to their employees. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), companies now have until January 1, 2015 to provide health insurance or face fines of $2000 for each uninsured worker.
In a blog post on the U.S. Department of the Treasury website, Mark J. Mazur, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, explained that, due to concerns about the complexity of the regulations, the extra year would help organizations implement the requirements more effectively. “We recognize that the vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health insurance to their workers, and we want to make sure it is easy for others to do so,” wrote Mazur. “We have listened to your feedback. And we are taking action.”
According to Mazur, the extra year will allow the government to simplify the new reporting requirements while allowing employers time to adapt to the systems. The Administration intends to work with early adopters on “real-world testing” of these reporting systems to help provide a smoother transition in 2015.
It is important to note that this does not delay the other components of the ACA, including online marketplaces, where individuals can purchase their own health insurance, subsidies for low-to-middle income individuals, and premium tax credits.
There have been many discussions as to whether the ACA affects the hiring practices of companies. Have some deliberately kept their roster to less than 50 employees? “Full-time employee” for the purposes of the ACA requirement, is 30 hours. Some businesses may be increasing their part-time employee base to avoid having to pay the employer premium. On the other hand, most employers impacted by the delay already offer coverage or have begun making changes to healthcare benefits, as workers typically enroll in plans in the fall. More than half of Americans, or 160 million people, get their health insurance through an employer.
As reported by NBC News on nbcnews.com, “In 2009, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust found that 98 percent of firms with 200 or more employees offered health insurance. But just 59 percent of companies with three to 199 workers did, and just 46 percent of employers who had fewer than 10 staff.” Kaiser cited soaring health insurance premiums as a major reason why smaller employers do not fund health insurance for their employees. Health insurance premiums have soared, from an average $2,196 in 1999 to $5,615 in 2012 for a single person – far faster than wages or inflation have grown.
The Obama administration hopes that the ACA will shrink this percentage. If your business is affected by the Affordable Care Act and you have not yet gotten your ducks in a row, you can breathe a bit easier—you now have another year to figure it out.
Rollins is working to help you navigate the complex landscape. Call us if you have questions.
Photo Credit: 401(K)2013 via Flickr cc
If you are like most nonprofits, your budget is tight and you need to manage your finances and operations carefully. A single large claim can wipe out your carefully managed assets. That is why you need to be armed with your insurance “six-pack,” six types of insurance you should have in place.
Think of the six-pack as the suite of insurance that covers the people, places, and things in your nonprofit world (in addition to the obvious and mandatory insurance, such as Worker’s Compensation). Your six-pack includes General Liability Insurance, Directors & Officers Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance, Product Liability Insurance, Property Insurance, and Auto Insurance.
Here is an overview of these six types:
General Liability Insurance
General liability, sometimes called “Commercial General Liability” or CGL, insures your organization against any injuries or incidents suffered by visitors, such as customers or suppliers. It also insures you against property damage caused by you or your employees, as well as the cost of legal defense against successful suits against you. Finally, liability insurance covers claims of false or misleading advertising.
Directors & Officers Insurance
Directors & Officers (D&O) insurance, as its name implies, covers the directors and officers of your nonprofit, many of whom are volunteers. D&O insurance is designed to protect personnel from claims that arise due to actions they have taken within the scope of their duties as officers, directors, or company individuals. Types of claims include most employment practices and HR issues, shareholder actions, reporting errors, inaccurate disclosures of company accounts, misrepresentations, inappropriate decisions made by company officers, and failure to comply with regulations or laws.
Professional Liability Insurance
Professional Liability Insurance, often known as “errors and omissions insurance” or “malpractice insurance” covers individuals and your nonprofit organization against claims against your failure to perform, or against financial loss incurred as a result of your actions. Unlike D&O insurance, Professional Liability insurance covers all staff, volunteers, and your non-profit organization itself.
Product Liability Insurance
Product liability insurance protects your organization from lawsuits by customers who make claims against any products you have sold. Your nonprofit may well be a service organization that is not in the business of selling a product at all. Even so, if you have a fundraiser, say a dinner, bake sale, or auction of goods and services, you may be, in effect, providing products to customers that can harm them.
Property insurance protects your facility in the event of fire, vandalism, natural disaster, or fire. This type of insurance covers not only your building but your fixtures, equipment, furniture, computers, and inventory. You want to make sure your policy recovers replacement cost, and you need to consider what sort of deductible makes sense for your organization.
Any vehicle that your organization owns will need to be insured with a business auto policy. In addition, if your staff or even your volunteers use vehicles as part of their work for your nonprofit, you may need auto insurance to cover them. They must, of course, have their own automobile insurance coverage, but you may need to carry some insurance as well to cover potential claims by injured parties.
Rollins Insurance can help you get your six-pack in place. No sit-ups required. We’ll drink to that. Call us.
Photo Credit: Micah Taylor via Photopin cc
Summer is a time of rest and reflection. For nonprofit organizations, it is often a time for planning the coming year’s activities. Regardless of your organization’s cycle, now may be a great time to assess your board’s effectiveness and consider improvements. Here are five ways to do so.
1) Board Size Matters
State laws often mandate a minimum number of board members for nonprofits, although many boards exceed the minimum. The size and makeup of your board depend on your organization’s needs. You want to balance skills and diverse thinking. However, too many people may result in “analysis paralysis,” or ineffective decision making. A rule of thumb is between three and fifteen board members for a small company. Larger boards are often sub-divided by role. Regardless of size, structure your work to be done in smaller committees to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.
2) “Who” is as Important as “How Many”
You want a balance of skills, experience, backgrounds, and interests. Certainly everyone on your board should be passionate about your cause. In addition, you need people who are good listeners, good fundraisers, good organizers, and good communicators. Set clear expectations for the board members and make sure everyone knows about them. Got a bad seed in the mix? Don’t we all? Make sure that your bylaws include conditions for removing people from the board as well as term limits to keep the pool fresh.
3) Make Your Meetings Effective
Board meetings are an inevitable part of running a non-profit. Major decisions are made at board meetings. Have an established agenda, and make sure that everyone understands the desired outcome of each agenda item. Respect everyone’s time by making sure you move through the agenda at a reasonable pace, while still leaving room for discussion. Speaking of discussion, set ground rules for discussions so that everyone’s voice is heard and that different points of view are acknowledged and contribute to the best possible decisions. Combative, coercive, or belligerent board members can undermine the group dynamic. However, a silent board, where no one contributes to the discussion, is also troublesome.
4) Have Clear and Documented Roles and Responsibilities of the Board vs. the Executive Director
A common concern is the relationship between the board and the executive director. The executive director typically has an enormous responsibility to run the organization and yet, he/she reports to a diverse committee. Imagine reporting to a committee of many people? It isn’t easy. Step one of forming an effective relationship is to have roles and responsibilities clearly articulated and documented. The board should be responsible for governance, not day-to-day management (or worse, the dreaded “micro-management”).
5) Protect Your Directors and Officers from Personal Liability with D&O Insurance
Your bylaws should include how your nonprofit protects its directors and officers. Directors and Officers Liability Insurance (D&O Insurance) enables your nonprofit to indemnify your directors and officers, protecting them from loss or harm resulting from risk. D&O insurance directly reimburses directors and officers for legal costs that the nonprofit cannot or will not pay. In the case where the nonprofit does pay, D&O insurance reimburses the nonprofit.
Rollins insurance wants your non-profit organization to succeed. While we can’t pick your board of directors dream team, we can help you get the best D&O coverage to handle financial risk resulting from legal actions. Contact us for information.
Photo Credit: Angie Torres via Photopin cc
There’s nothing worse than a washed up, frazzled, or burnt out volunteer to drag down your organization’s energy. As a nonprofit, you likely need volunteers to keep you running effectively and economically. Volunteers have a variety of motivations for working with you: they could be giving back to an organization that has helped them or their family; they may feel a sense of duty, obligation, or purpose; or they may be using their work with you an opportunity to get experience or build skills in a new field.You want to make sure they enjoy the work, feel a sense of accomplishment, and feel acknowledged for their contributions. The guidelines below will help you succeed.
Share your vision
As a leader, it is your job to explain to the volunteers the overall vision and mission for your organization. Sharing your vision gives volunteers an appreciation of the larger goal. Volunteers also want to understand how the work they do contributes to that vision. The work can sometimes be grueling and thankless, but if there is a clear connection to the higher purpose, your volunteers will feel good about the work they do.
Your nonprofit should have a clear and organized set of policies and instructions, especially since you may have many part-time, temporary, and transient volunteer workers. Without clear instructions, people may waste time doing rogue work or rework, and no one likes to waste time. Setting measurable goals for volunteers helps them stay on task and feel a sense of accomplishment. Follow-ups from leadership are important guideposts to success. Make sure, however, that the work has some challenge built in and is not all drudgery. Be open to having volunteers carve out their own responsibilities or suggest ways you haven’t thought of to accomplish the work.
Match the Skills and Desires of the Volunteer to the Task
Ever have someone who hates to lead be put in a position of leadership? Or a math-o-phobe be chartered with balancing the books for a multi-million-dollar campaign? Disaster. Work with the volunteers to understand where they want to provide their service and how you can create a win-win match. Make sure there are a variety of roles for all types and skill levels of volunteers. Recognize too that some people are volunteering to get away from their day jobs, so don’t assume they want to pursue the same volunteer activity that they do at their 9-5 job.
One of the most important things you can do is acknowledge the contributions of your volunteers. Frequent “thank yous” are appreciated, of course. Even more important, most people love public recognition, such as awards ceremonies, parties, and dinners. Whenever possible, share kudos and news from outside. Offer letters of recommendation or other documentation for the volunteers’ current or future employers.
As important as it is to recruit volunteers, it is also important to know when to end the volunteer relationships. Especially with higher pressure leadership positions, have a defined end point and an exit strategy for your volunteers so that they do not burn out. Look for ways to “promote” junior people to assume roles with more responsibility, and build a pipeline of fresh talent.
Rollins wants you to have a happy, motivated, and efficient and effective volunteer community to help your non-profit organization succeed. The work you do is too important to expect anything less.
Photo Credit: Barack Obama Campaign via Photopin cc
As a nonprofit organization, you most likely depend upon volunteers to help you thrive, whether they are volunteering on an ongoing basis or pitching in for special events. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 64.5 million people volunteered in the United States through or for an organization at least once between September 2011 and September 2012. Numbers of volunteers seem to be increasing slightly, possibly the result of the Volunteer Protection Act, which limits lawsuits for volunteers. While the increase in volunteers is great news for non-profits, volunteer participation is not without risk. You need to consider ways to protect your organization from exposure due to volunteer actions.
What is the Volunteer Protection Act (VPA)?
The Volunteer Protection Act (VPA) was signed into law in 1997 to encourage people to participate in social service organizations on a voluntary basis. The VPA states that "No volunteer of a nonprofit organization or governmental entity shall be liable for harm caused by an act or omission of the volunteer acting on behalf of the organization or entity."
Under the VPA, volunteers are protected as long as they adhere to a set of conditions, such as the following:
· They have proper licenses or certificates for the job they are performing
· Any harm caused is not as a result of operating a motor vehicle
· Any harm caused is not “caused by willful or criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct or a conscious, flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of the individual harmed.”
· Volunteer actions are not found to be crimes of violence, hate, sexual in nature; are not committed while under the influence of alcohol; or are not violations of civil rights, labor, or tax provisions.
States may impose additional conditions on volunteers under this Act.
What is missing from the Volunteer Protection Act?
The Volunteer Protection Act is a worthy piece of legislation. However, while the VPA protects volunteers against litigation arising from their social service, it does not protect the nonprofit organization itself from litigation. The organization may still be liable for the negligent actions of the volunteer. Furthermore, compensated individuals, including employees and any compensated officers, are not immune from litigation.
How can you protect your nonprofit from liability?
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance protects your organization from lawsuits involving bodily injury and property damage. The policy automatically covers the "business" named on the policy as well as employees. You should consider adding volunteers as insured.
Directors and Officers (D&O) Liability Insurance
D&O Liability Insurance serves to protect an individual and entity against significant exposures which may not be covered under volunteer protection laws. Until a court determines whether the volunteer protection law applies to a volunteer, D&O insurance can serve to indemnify the association and volunteer against legal defense costs.
Volunteer Accident Insurance
Volunteer accident policies provide a certain limit of coverage, usually for medical expenses. They respond when a volunteer is injured in an accident while engaged in activities for the benefit of the organization.
Rollins wants your organization, and your valued volunteers, to be protected as you perform your important services to your community. Contact your Rollins representative for more information on how we can help you.
Photo Credit: Dave Bezaire and Susi Havens-Bezaire via Photopin cc
A recent outbreak of Norovirus at one of Westchester County's largest and most elegant hotels for events and business meetings caused hundreds of illnesses and led to event cancellations for several days.
Workers were forced to stay home, sections of the hotel had to be industrially cleaned, and major revenue-generating events were cancelled. The hotel clearly suffered revenue losses and unforeseen cleanup costs.
This is the type of situation where Showstoppers® insurance would minimize the financial impact significantly. Showstoppers® offers protection for loss of revenue due to cancellation, abandonment, curtailment, or re-scheduling of your events, with several options. Showstoppers® also pays for losses due to reduced attendance at a continued event—full cancellation of an event may not be required. In the hotel's case, an extra "communicable disease" endorsement, at a modest cost, would have covered the cancelled events.
Coverage is available for large and small events. The 2012 New York City Marathon, which generates approximately $23 million, was cancelled due to Superstorm Sandy. Marathon organizers, the New York Road Runners Club, have been working to recoup losses based on their event insurance.
Standard features of Showstoppers® Event Cancellation insurance include:
Non-Appearance of a Principal Speaker
Adverse Weather for Golf Outings
Requisition or Confiscation of the Venue
Remedial Action and Extra Expenses
Penalties for Failure to Vacate
Future Marketing Expenses
Enhanced coverages and features are available for events $125,000 or less, physical loss of personal property, terrorism, and more. Specific terms and conditions vary, depending on the policy and enhanced coverages selected. Rollins Insurance can help you choose the best Event Cancellation Policy for your needs. As peak event season is upon us, you should speak with your Rollins representative to determine the appropriate event cancellation options for your event.
Photo Credit: John K via Photopin cc