Considerations for a Post-Pandemic Nonprofit Industry

Nonprofit & Human Services OrganizationThe World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic more than a year ago. Now, with the rollout of vaccines and the likelihood of ongoing booster shots, the risks and threats of COVID-19 will diminish, but its legacy will likely shape the way people interact with each other for years to come. This social change affects how families and friends connect with one another as well as the way business is conducted. Educational, nonprofit and human services (NPHS) organizations with limited resources may have challenges adapting to the new social landscape. However, understanding emerging trends may help NPHS organizations align their resources to be better equipped for continuing their missions into the future.

GuideOne’s experts — Brian Gleason, Senior Risk Manager, and Penny Parisoff, Director of Business Development — have reflected on pandemic-driven changes and expect that these themes will continue to impact the NPHS industry.

Abuse Prevention Remains Top of Mind

“Abuse allegations continue to be a significant cause of loss for educational institutions, human services and other nonprofits,” Gleason said. In fact, 1 in 7 children experienced child abuse and/or neglect in the past year, reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With more traffic starting to move through their doors, now is the time for organizations to establish clear, thorough abuse prevention programs.

“The most effective way to minimize claims is through the development of a comprehensive abuse prevention program. These collective practices, policies and procedures help frame a clear understanding of the organization’s commitment to protect those in their care.” — Brian Gleason

One of the keys to a comprehensive abuse prevention program is customizing it to the activities of the organization, explained Gleason. These risk mitigation activities can require a great deal of time and effort, which is why GuideOne recently formed an alliance with Abuse Prevention Systems — one of the leading providers of training and resources related to abuse prevention.  These consulting professionals assist organizations in developing and implementing policies and procedures that suit the organizations’ culture, processes and activities.

“An abuse prevention plan is what you do; not what you say you do. Abuse prevention needs to become an integral part of the organization’s culture.” — Brian Gleason

Once an organization establishes an abuse prevention program, it faces a new challenge: keeping its prevention strategies up to date. Gleason explained that ongoing education and training around current trends and issues can help organizations develop their understanding of the risk of abuse and effective prevention strategies. Program administrators can receive this type of training as part of the Abuse Prevention Systems membership, which GuideOne policyholders can access at a discounted rate.

Technology Paves the Way for New Funding Avenues

“Funding is always on the forefront of minds in the nonprofit industry,” Parisoff said. “However, now that big fundraising events aren’t happening, organizations are pivoting to focus on other channels of giving to engage their potential donors.”

The pandemic sent millions of employees home, which is where many still work. Now, nonprofits are finding creative ways to meet their donors where they are — at home. Recently, fundraising events have had an emphasis on engaging donors through activities they can participate in remotely, shared Parisoff.

“Virtual events and peer-to-peer fundraising on social media are becoming the new normal, so it’s important that nonprofits pursuing these funding avenues have the systems and strategies in place to support their organizations’ goals.” — Penny Parisoff

Whether an organization already uses a digital giving platform or it is searching for one, it must evaluate the platform’s features and costs. Nonprofits should offer donors various and easily accessible giving platforms, including methods like text message, app, and website, as we are in a highly digital environment. Easy and flexible giving options can help increase donations, which is what several users found when implementing GuideOne’s GuideVantage Subsplash Giving platform.

“We know fundraising is crucial to nonprofit and human services organizations. GuideOne formed a GuideVantage alliance with Subsplash Giving to support fundraising efforts. We want to help our policyholders access the tools and resources they need to safely and effectively carry out their missions. We believe a secure giving platform is one of those.” — Penny Parisoff

Parisoff indicated that with the many ways nonprofits are looking to connect with and engage their audiences — like those highlighted in Nonprofit PRO’s trends for 2021 — effective multi-channel fundraising will be paramount to an organization’s continued success in the years to come. Nonprofit organizations can learn more about these fundraising strategies in GuideOne’s upcoming webinar with Nonprofit PRO, Diversifying Your Fundraising Channels to Infinity & Beyond.

Increasing Number of Automobile Accidents Focuses Attention on Driving Behavior

The fatality rate due to automobile accidents rose in early 2020 as COVID-19 restrictions peaked. That is, the number of fatal crashes rose despite traffic volumes decreasing significantly, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  The NHTSA’s report suggested that people who remained on the roads during the lockdowns took more risks, such as not wearing a seatbelt, speeding or driving while under the influence.

Organizations should implement a transportation management program to help keep drivers and vehicles safe. A transportation management program details how an organization manages its vehicles and drivers. It makes clear how drivers will be recruited and trained as well as how its vehicles will be selected and maintained. All of these practices can help organizations reduce risk.

“By defining clear driver qualifications, training, and performance standards, the organization can address driving behavior issues in a more uniform manner. A transportation management program works hand-in-hand with an organization’s progressive discipline program to address problematic driver behavior, which reduces the likelihood of auto claims.” — Brian Gleason

Keeping vehicles well-maintained is key to reducing the risk of an auto claim, in addition to having trustworthy drivers behind the wheel. Gleason expressed that auto-related claims can quickly consume an organization’s time and money. However, by completing vehicle inspections and maintenance on a regular basis, organizations can create a safer experience for drivers and reduce the risk of collision.

“Poorly maintained vehicles can be a serious contributor to auto losses and can drain an organization’s resources. For example, tires and brakes in poor condition significantly increase the chances for collisions. Clear guidelines and responsibilities around the selection, inspection and maintenance of vehicles can help organizations care for the safety of their drivers and vehicles.” — Brian Gleason

Fortunately, there are several resources available to organizations looking to improve their transportation management programs. From topics like distracted driving to the use of large passenger vans, organizations can start developing safer practices and procedures by reaching out to their insurance professionals.

Considering these emerging trends while planning for the year ahead can help educational, nonprofit and human services organizations align their resources. In doing so, they can be better equipped to continue their missions into the future. To learn more about the valuable resources and services available to GuideOne policyholders, visit GuideVantage.

Filed under Nonprofit Education
Amber Riffo

Amber Riffo

Corporate Communications Strategist

Amber supports the Corporate Communications team by creating and executing content for GuideOne's external audiences. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in public relations and psychology from Iowa State University. When not at work, Amber enjoys creative hobbies, such as videography and water-color painting, and will play volleyball any chance she gets. 

© 2021 The GuideOne Center for Risk Management, LLC. All rights reserved. This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to give specific legal or risk management advice, nor are any suggested checklists or action plans intended to include or address all possible risk management exposures or solutions. You are encouraged to retain your own expert consultants and legal advisors in order to develop a risk management plan specific to your own activities.