Many nonprofit organizations, like for-profit businesses, are facing a shortage of workers, both paid and volunteer.
Recruiting, managing, and retaining the right volunteers can mean the difference between success and failure for some nonprofit organizations, according to Sandra Thomson, a consultant for nonprofit organizations who works with Canadian insurance broker Shaw Sabey & Associates Ltd. 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 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: