Stop and think of the many different activities your volunteers do each day. Now, think about the risk associated with these activities. A Habitat affiliate, for example, may have volunteers operating saws, applying roofing shingles, putting up drywall, or transporting materials. A food bank may use volunteers to deliver meals, stack heavy boxes, operate forklifts, or assist with door-to-door collection campaigns.
The risk of injury, general liability, or even death can vary greatly based on the activity and the nature of the nonprofit’s mission. Is your nonprofit exposing itself to unnecessary liability because of its current liability waiver collection process?
If you answered ‘yes’ to the previous question (or you’re not totally sure), VolunteerHub is excited to unveil its newest feature: advanced liability waivers.
What is a Volunteer Liability Waiver?
Note: If your organization is already using liability waivers, you might want to skip to the next section of this article.
In a nutshell, a volunteer liability waiver (sometimes also called a “volunteer release form”) is a document that volunteers are required to sign before they are allowed to participate in your activities. The actual language in the document can vary significantly, based on your organization’s mission. However, waivers typically require the volunteer to hold the nonprofit harmless in the event of an accident or other event. They also help specify the scope of the volunteer’s relationship with your organization. In the event of an unforeseen accident, the document serves as a guide for both parties.
A quick Google search will turn up dozens of volunteer liability form templates and resources. The Nonprofit Risk Management Center website offers a free template, which may be helpful to organizations that are researching this subject. However, before you use any such waiver form, proper legal counsel should be sought.
Why Should I Use VolunteerHub’s Advanced Liability Waivers?
To answer this question, let’s look at three specific scenarios.
Scenario 1: Managing Multiple, Job or Date-Specific Liability Forms
As we alluded to in the first paragraph, it may not make sense for your organization to have a single waiver form for all volunteers. In fact, many of our customers have several forms. We find this to be especially true for high-risk volunteer activity. Let’s face it – stuffing envelopes is usually less risky than operating a band saw. Not surprisingly, some nonprofits customize their release forms to address the specifics of the job being performed.
Nonprofits may also need to set an expiration date for waivers. For example, some nonprofits have their waivers updated annually by their legal departments. In this case, it would make sense to set an expiration date prior to the review date, ensuring all volunteers have accepted the latest version of the release.
VolunteerHub can easily accommodate both of these requirements, thanks to the advanced liability waivers feature. Here’s how it works:
Select Your Waiver & Expiration Date
When creating a new volunteer opportunity, administrators can select from the waiver gallery or create a new waiver.
If creating a new waiver, you can easily set an expiration date.
Volunteers are Prompted to Accept the Waiver When Signing Up
When registering for the event, volunteers are prompted to accept the waiver electronically by checking a box.
Scenario 2: Waivers for Minors
At VolunteerHub, we understand the importance of ensuring a smooth and seamless experience for both minors and their parents/guardians when it comes to event waivers. That’s why we’ve implemented a user-friendly waiver process specifically designed for minors. Our volunteer management solution takes the hassle out of obtaining and recording waivers, allowing everyone to focus on what really matters – the volunteer event itself.
By default, our system offers the option to either select a printed waiver or a digital waiver. If you wish to require the waiver be printed or require it be done digitally, you can easily do so within our site settings menu.
For minors opting for printed waivers, our system makes the process incredibly simple. Once a minor registers for an event, our system automatically detects their age and prompts them to complete a required waiver. The minor waiver form is pre-populated with signature and date lines, ensuring accuracy and efficiency.
Minors also receive a copy of the waiver for their records. To gain entry to the event, all they need to do is have a guardian sign the printed waiver and bring it with them. At the event, our system allows you to effortlessly record the receipt of the signed waiver in the user’s profile or through our convenient OnSite check-in feature.
Quick and Secure Consent
Our digital youth waivers offer an easy way for parents/guardians to provide consent. During the registration process, minors are presented with the option to email the waiver to their parent/guardian.
Once the minor clicks ‘Send Request’, an email is automatically sent to the parent/guardian. With just a single click on ‘Provide Consent,’ the parent/guardian gains access to the waiver. If they already have their own VolunteerHub account and are logged in, their name will be automatically filled in. If not, they can easily type their name to signify their consent.
In the event that a parent/guardian initially declines the waiver, our system provides a convenient option to return to the waiver and accept it later.
Once your volunteers have accepted a waiver, VolunteerHub automatically keeps record of it in the “signed waivers archive”. When repeat volunteers return to help, the system checks the archive and bypasses the waiver acceptance process. This keeps your volunteers from having to jump through unnecessary hoops.
This feature also helps streamline the onsite check-in process, particularly with processing walk-up volunteers. From the administrator’s tablet, smartphone, or laptop, he or she can review the volunteer’s waiver history with a few clicks. No more calling the main office and digging through file folders!
Request a Demo of VolunteerHub
With VolunteerHub, your organization can implement a streamlined, organized, process for collecting and maintaining liability waivers. To learn more about VolunteerHub how can help you recruit, engage, and manage volunteers; request a demo today.