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Your Volunteer Program - Addressing Organizational Liability

First few Article Sentences

Many not-for-profit organizations rely on volunteers to supplement their labor force. There are many reasons why people donate their time - altruism, a need for social interaction, and fulfilling a court order are a few of these. Whatever the reason, the experience should be mutually rewarding for all parties. Knowledgeable and satisfied volunteers represent your organization well.

Just as with employees, volunteers may pose a liability exposure. Organizations can be directly liable for their actions or inactions, and may be held vicariously liable for accidents or incidents involving volunteers that result in customer bodily injury. For example, a volunteer is pushing a wheelchair, when the chair tips, causing the occupant to fall out and sustain an injury. Allegations often include a failure to adequately select, train, and/or supervise the volunteer. As a long-standing animal assistive therapy volunteer in different not-for-profits, I have first-hand experience that volunteer selection and service standards vary considerably.

Hall, Sharon


Parker | Smith | Feek

Risk Management

September 1, 2018

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