Nonprofit Insurance Program

Be Prepared for The Unexpected

By Alexa Connelly
November 01, 2010

Unexpected incidents can create havoc at any fundraising event.  Director and attendee emotions can all become influential during these stressful events.  How the incident is handled by all will impact the attitude and emotional setting at the event or within the organization.

When emotions arise, unexpected events occur.  Suddenly, attendees are threatening lawsuits because they hurt themselves and were not attended to properly.  The volunteers may feel threatened that their positions are in danger and may begin pointing fingers and throwing the blame towards other volunteers leaving management to question how this could occur in their Nonprofit Organization.

Handling the incident in an appropriate manner is essential to keeping everybody involved calm.  Short and long- term planning is your solution to avoiding stressful situations.

The organization needs to express to management and staff that they are team that works together.  The safety of the event attendees is the number one goal, and accidents will occur.  Once an incident happens, everybody needs to pull together and take the necessary steps outlined in the procedures manual, to reduce injury/harm as much as possible.  Teamwork needs to become the culture staff members and management work by to make everyday a smooth transition to the next.

The second step is to place policy and procedures in place to handle incidents. An example would be:

Sample Policy:

 It is the expressed policy of this organization that safeguards will be instituted to provide as safe an environment as possible for each visitor/attendee.

Sample Procedures:

Immediately call for assistance from another staff member

  1. Do NOT move the injured party
  2. If the party is bleeding or there are other signs of serious injury, call 911
  3. Look and feel for swelling, broken bones, cuts or scratches and have noted the report
  4. Talk to the injured party and inquire how they feel, document using direct quotes from the party
  5. Check the injured frequently to assure they are ok and comfortable
  6. If transportation to the hospital is necessary, call 911.  DO NOT transfer yourself.  Complete an emergency Transfer Form
  7. Complete an Incident and Unusual Occurrence Report noting comments by the injured party as direct quotes and facts regarding the incident only.

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