Nonprofit Insurance Program

Volunteer Dishonesty: Protect your Nonprofit

By Alexa Connelly
October 23, 2012

There are dishonest people in this world and no one is immune to the unscrupulous deeds some people will use. Your non-profit organization can also be a victim to dishonesty by volunteers or employees. There are ways you can protect your non-profit against such actions that some people will commit. Do not be apathetic and think that people won’t victimize your non-profit, they will. Use the tools at your disposal to protect and keep your non-profit safe from dishonesty. Here are some tried and true tips that will help you protect the non-profit organization you have charge over:

First and foremost, purchase a non-profit organization insurance. It is understandable that you do not want to spend the non-profits funds on products and services that will not help it. Non-profit organization insurance will cover unexpected acts that could occur. We don’t like to consider that a volunteer could steal or commit an act that the non-profit could be held responsible for, but it does happen. With non-profit organization insurance, you have that guarantee that if a volunteer would be dishonest, you would have an insurance carrier backing you with their attorneys and their money.

Checks and balances in your non-profit are very important. Do not allow one volunteer to control all of one area. Have another check their work and you will be protecting your non-profit. Unless both people are working together in dishonesty, you will have a great protection against theft and such.

Install cameras and computer watch programs. Yes, this will cost a little money also, but it is a great way to watch for dishonesty. If you have suspicions, watch the tapes and check where the person has been going on that computer they are using. We all would like to think that people wouldn’t do such things, but they will.

Do full background checks on all volunteers. You may be in drastic need of volunteers but to just hire one without checking them completely could be a disaster. Do not take chances. People that are dishonest have usually been dishonest before and it will show in background checks. It doesn’t hurt to check their Facebook and other social site pages; their posts and such can tell you a lot about a person.

Be tough! If you catch someone in the act of dishonesty, don’t allow them to just keep doing it. Forgiveness is one thing but putting the non-profit in danger of a repeated act can be very unwise. It is a good idea to get rid of that volunteer and maybe even prosecute. By doing this, you show others that you will not accept dishonesty.

Again, a reiteration; get non-profit organization insurance. Insurance is the best protection because dishonest people do know how to get around other protective actions, but they can never beat insurance.

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