Nonprofit Radio for April 24, 2015: On Your Tech Horizon & Volunteer Issues

Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%

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Opportunity Collaboration: This working meeting on poverty reduction is unlike any other event you have attended. No plenary speeches, no panels, no PowerPoints. I was there last year and I’m going this year. It will ruin you for every other conference! October 11-16, Ixtapa, Mexico.

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Amy Sample WardOn Your Tech Horizon

Picture of Amy Sample WardThere are two trends you need to be ahead of: The web is becoming mobile-first and donations are coming in digital currency. Amy Sample Ward is our social media contributor and the CEO of Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN).




Gene TakagiVolunteer Issues

Gene TakagiYou love your volunteers. But they have issues. Gene Takagi shares his concerns around liability; qualifying and training; using employees; and driving. Plus, we’ll talk about the issues around Sweet Briar College’s closing. Gene is our legal contributor and principal of NEO, the Nonprofit & Exempt Organizations law group.



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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I’m your aptly named host. Oh, i’m glad you’re with me. I developed biliary calculus if i got stoned by the idea that you missed today’s show on your tech horizon, there are two trends you need to be away aware of and ahead of the web is becoming mobile first and donations air coming in digital currency. Amy sample ward is our social media contributor and the ceo of and ten non-profit technology network and volunteer issues. You love your volunteers, but they have issues. Jean takagi shares his concerns around liability, qualifying and training using employees as volunteers and driving. Plus, we’ll talk about the issues around sweet briar college is closing, genes are legal contributor and principle of neo the non-profit and exempt organizations law group you got antenna and neo and both on the west coast on tony’s take two thank you. Responsive by opportunity collaboration, the working meeting on poverty reduction that ruins you for every other conference i love having amy several word back on the show and here she is she’s the ceo hello, how are you good? I’m not used to getting to be on the first half. I know. I know that. Let me give you a proper introduction because we want people to know that your most recent co authored book is social change anytime everywhere about online multi-channel engagement and that your block is that amy sample war dot org’s and that on twitter you’re at amy r s ward for ah, ours for rene. Hey. Hello there. Hi. Yes. Congratulations on a very successful non-profit technology conference. Yeah, thank you. Thank you for being part of it again this year. I was thrilled. I loved it. And we haven’t played your interview yet from there, but but we will. It’s coming up. I had twenty five great great interviews from ntcdinosaur just last month. Right? Early march? Yeah, early martignetti i know. Oh, you cut out a little bit there. Are you on a regular ah, landline. I am on a regular phone. Can you hear me? Okay. Yeah. Okay. You just cut out a couple of syllables, okay? No problem. Um, let’s. See? So we’re concerned about google paying muchmore attention now, too. Mobile friendly sites. What? What is this? About well, i think we’ve all you know, we’ve talked on the show before you and i about way’s tio recognize in all of your different channels where folks are coming from and google as one of the probably main observers of where people are coming from was using the web has also noticed, of course, that you know a lot a lot of web traffic weather, that two things we would consider social media, like twitter and facebook for just general web surfing looking things up on websites is coming from mobile devices. That doesn’t just mean somebody smart phone, it could be a tablet, you know they’re not sitting at the at their desk on a full computer, and the experience of using the web on a smaller device, especially when you don’t have a full keyboard can be unpleasant, to say the least. You imagine trying tio apply for a job or fill in a donation form or, you know, even write more than couple sentences on a lot of websites. It’s really tough to dio? Yes way! We’ve all had that frustration. Yeah, and google has already made adjustments in their algorithm and in other pieces. Of how you experience the web to try and support the best experience you can have. And this week they also added into their algorithm, teo help support search result rankings whether or not the content was mobile simply so if you were doing a search on your smartphone for something you probably want tohave prioritized for you, content that you will be able to read once you click through on that search result, right? So it isn’t necessarily saying that if you if you don’t have the most beautiful, mobile friendly website, that you will no longer show up in search results there or anything like that, it’s, just helping people on other devices hopefully find content. They can read easily on the device they’re using. And google says on their, uh, their blah ge. And i’ll include the linked to their announcement of this in the takeaways on the facebook page that this is going to be a quote, a significant impact in our in our search results. Yes, so this’s something that yes, you and i have talked about it. But now, because google search is changing its algorithm, it’s become quite a bit more urgent. Yeah, i think it’s become more urgent, and i think it also, um, you know, it will certainly impact what people think about when they’re thinking about search engine optimization. Ceo a phrase that anybody who’s ever tried toe look up, you know, how do i make my sight? Hyre in search results, how do i make my sight easier to find? Seo search engine optimization is the term that they would have come across and traditionally best practices around ceo were things like, you know, making sure that your titles had a title tag so that search engines could find what the title of that page was easily and, you know, you spell out people’s names that aaron photos so that they’re, you know, linked and associated with that page, things that were about the text and about what would be called the metadata behind the page, the things that maybe don’t show up but that a search engine can still read and tell what’s on that page and you know, at least this is being transparent and everyone’s being told exactly what they can d’oh, which is great, but it just means that when you’re thinking about search engine optimization, it isn’t just content and metadata is also how accessible that content is for people that might want to read it. And this this only applies in terms of the google search results. They will only be hyre analyzing for hours or or indexing for mobile friendly sites if you’re doing your search from some summer night mobile device, right? Like you said, phone or tablet cetera. Okay, okay, now it may not be for everybody. I mean, maybe maybe there are sites that don’t have very many visitors coming to their site from a mobile device. That’s true, i think everyone should be checking their analytics on your web site c see what portion of web traffic you already have from from mobile devices. I know at and ten we have a lot. We have around a third of our visitors, especially when you drill down into people who visited the site by clicking through from one of our emails when we send out an e mail for example, our monthly connect newsletter, which is a compilation of guest articles from the months a lot of people reading that and clicking through our reading on a mobile device. So for us, we knew that was really important to make sure the site was accessible in that way. But i know there are plenty of organizations who haven’t made made updating their website to be more mobile friendly a big priority, because when they look at their analytics, they see so few people coming that’s kind of ah, catch twenty two argument, of course, if your site is just impossible to read, well, people aren’t had come or there at least not going to stay on the site, so then you won’t have those hyre numbers, but if you do know your audience and or you know you’re content, maybe the content you you have is something that inherently is for people who are on a computer looking it up. You know, i recognize there’s, some nuance, that argument, but i think for most organizations, it is something that we need to work on doesn’t mean you have to drop everything you’re doing and make sure you have a mobile friendly website by monday morning, but i think recognizing that it is important and will only become more important going forward anyway, we can start making certain changes priorities now and build out for more complete mobile friendly websites. Overtime. Okay, thank you and thank you for keeping this all in perspective. And that was why i pointed out that it’s just search results that air from mobile devices. So while you may be impinged, you’re not going to be lost in certain google search results, okay? Let’s keep things in perspective, especially single, especially since my sight was flagged by beth cantor as being non mobile friendly when she was if you block this issue and she was talking about you being on the show, and she pointed out that tony martignetti dot com is not mobile friendly. Thank youfor, yeah, she called it right out, but what i would say and this isn’t a biased opinion because i’m on your show. I think that there are a few different kinds of web sites when it comes to qualifying for being not mobile friendly, so their websites that you click through and of course it looks just like it does on the web on your phone, which is how the tony martignetti site look, but when i’m looking at your site on the web, it’s also pretty straight forward, right? There’s a big main section of posts of content and then a sidebar. So if you are on a mobile device, it’s easier to just tap that main column and view that content, then say, if you were on, i mean, we can even use the antenna website. Our home page looks just like yours that you know you’re going to see the full thing just zoomed down into a tiny device, but because our home pages and designed like yours where they’re just kind of one column of content and then a sidebar it’s difficult to know how to drill down how to tap and scroll in because it’s just so big. So i would say for you at least, even though it isn’t necessarily passing all of the tests and getting all the green check boxes by google’s mobile test, it is still something that i could functionally access. Where, as you know, we definitely don’t think that the inten website if you hit the home page, at least, is easy to navigate by trying to come in. Okay. And we’re gonna, we’re gonna go out for a break. And then we’ll talk about where there’s mobile friendly test site is. So that people contest their own sites and will keep, continue keeping this in perspective. And we’re gonna talk about bitcoin and digital currency. Stay with us. Like what you’re hearing a non-profit radio tony’s got more on youtube, you’ll find clips from stand up comedy tv spots and exclusive interviews catch guests like seth gordon. Craig newmark, the founder of craigslist marquis of eco enterprises, charles best from donors choose dot org’s aria finger do something that worked. And levine from new york universities heimans center on philanthropy tony tweets to he finds the best content from the most knowledgeable, interesting people in and around non-profits to share on his stream. If you have valuable info, he wants to re tweet you during the show. You can join the conversation on twitter using hashtag non-profit radio twitter is an easy way to reach tony he’s at tony martignetti narasimhan t i g e n e t t i remember there’s a g before the end he hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy fund-raising fundamentals is a short monthly show devoted to getting over your fund-raising hartals just like non-profit radio, toni talks to leading thinkers, experts and cool people with great ideas. As one fan said, tony picks their brains and i don’t have to leave my office fund-raising fundamentals was recently dubbed the most helpful non-profit podcast you have for her. You can also join the conversation on facebook, where you can ask questions before or after the show. The guests were there, too. Get insider show alerts by email, tony tells you who’s on each week and always includes link so that you can contact guests directly. To sign up, visit the facebook page for tony martignetti dot com. Welcome back to big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent let’s do some live listener lovelace start abroad this time today in korea, we’ve got young sun, young, jean and soul all checking in korea on your haserot japan, only only tokyo today maybe others will check in, but a couple in tokyo can eat you are and also brooklyn now i’m sorry, that’s not very nice. Brooklyn, new york thank you for listening. Brooklyn that’s unkind sorry, you’re united arab emirates, you a even with us three, four times or so welcome from the united arab emirates we cannot see your city, but we know that you’re with us live, listener love always podcast pleasantries to people on the time shift, wherever you are, whatever device you’re listening on. I know it’s, i know we’re mobile abila optimized for podcast purposes, so you could be listening on the tablet or mobile or other or phone whatever you’ve got netbook we are ah, we’re optimized for that on the audio side, so podcast pleasantries and, of course, affiliate affections and i’m going to give a special shout out to our affiliate km jozy in the mid willamette valley. Because we’ve got amy amy on right now we’ve got the mid willamette valley around the portland and kaiser area non-profit radio for the capital and kaiser affiliate affections toe everybody throughout the country listening and one of the affiliate stations. Okay, i’m jozy have you ever been down there to visit them in? Ah, in portland and kaiser? Amy, i’ve never visited the station, but i’ve certainly been tio most everywhere in their service area. Have you ok, you’ve been down to the mid willamette valley? Oh, yes, ok, i’m hoping to get there and on the west coast trip after you have to let them know this mobile friendly test site that my sight failed. This’s what you were referring, teo green check boxes, green checks and little or you get red x is it’s i think if you just search mobile friendly test site and google, you’ll you’ll get it instantly. I also tweeted it already while we were talking on the non-profit radio hashtag that’s from the general you are if you’re listening and you’re really quick and you’ve got your browser open, you could just type in. Google dot com slash web masters flash tools flash mobile dash friendly. And it all take you to the test. Okay. All right. That’s. Very multi-channel of you. Thank you. I got red x is for, um, uh, text is too small. Lynx too close together and ah, there’s something else and was content wider than the screen. Um, yes. Yeah, that may. That may have been the third one that there were three things and i only wrote down two for somebody. Yeah, may be content to what? Yeah, something like that. That’s, right? That’s, right? All right, but we’re gonna work on it. We’re going to first look at the percentage of people who come from a mobile device. I would say, though, that my podcast in defense but the podcast site where people go to actually listen. If you’re not subscribed, we gotto listen. That is mobile friendly. So i passed one out of two sites is good. Exactly. And i think that’s a great segue way, whether you mentioned is that or not too how to think about what you should do with your life. Folks that are listening are also getting those red xs and failing failing the test you don’t necessarily overnight. And like i said before monday morning, you don’t need to come into the office with a whole new site that’s totally mobile friendly, but if you know that there are specific pieces of content, parts of your website, certain actions that you’re regularly promoting make those the top priority for being mobile friendly for you. Tony, you know that you’re not necessarily telling people every day on twitter say hey, go read every part of my website you’re telling people to go listen to the show live or or go download the podcast and listen, you know, on their commute home and that pathway that clicking through from twitter over to the listen side and browsing whichever episode they want to listen to. That experience is mobile friendly on dh that’s i think what really matters right now for your content, you can work overtime to optimize the rest of your site, but the pieces you’re regularly promoting and the pieces of content people would probably want to access from all different kinds of devices you have made accessible school. All right, i feel all right about that. Yeah, things keep things in perspective. Exactly. Exactly. I mean on the other side, you know, i’ve i’ve said the inten website also failed those tests, you know don’t feel bad about that, but we knew that, you know, over a year ago when we started and is part of why we started our website redesign and have definitely made accessibility a central part of the redesign. So, you know, we didn’t know that april twenty first, when google was changing that over was coming, but our site a launch next month, the new site. But in the meantime, you know those pieces where we know people are trying to visit from all different kinds of devices we have made mobile friendly, you know, from the very beginning and that’s been the case since we launched those different tools. So the conference website, you know, when your live at the mtc and you want to look up the schedule, that experience has been mobile friendly from the beginning, our community platform where people are, you know, participating in online discussions, things like that, that pathway, you know, getting an email notification that somebody replied to you and log him in and, you know, participating there that those processes are mobile friendly. Even though hitting the home page of intend that organ, at least for one more months is not all right. Well, very sensible on dh planned out. Okay, i see sam. Sam just went to the site and he’s checking the double diamond and talking alternative sites that we both passed. Sam, no talking alternative did not did not. All right, well, he’s, keeping it in perspective again. All right, set a four times already. Anything else you wanna say about this mobile friendly issue before we moved to digital currency and bitcoin? I guess the last thing that i would say is if you’re going on tio, you’re going online where and running the test. Checking out your sight know that on the google site where you’re doing these tests, they have also included some really helpful overviews of what to do, depending on what kind of site you have. So you can get tips specific to the type of website you have if you’re using droop a laure, wordpress or tumbler or you know, whatever, however your side is built, they’ve anticipated that and those questions and there are some some really easy to follow steps on you. Know potential ways to make your sight mobile friendly without having to do an entire website redesign. Excellent. Thank you, bitcoin. Now i first got introduced on while the show to bitcoin from non-profit technology conference last year twenty fourteen there were a couple of guests from canada holly, holly, wag was one and jason shimatsu, holly wagon, jason, jim and jason especially was talking a good deal about bitcoin, but it’s becoming now, and i’m probably just in the past year, it’s becoming a lot more popular. Wall street journal had an article, so you thought it made sense to talk about yeah, attention has definitely been bitcoin proponent in the end ten community and i think this year at the mtc, he and david neff and a few others had facilitated a conversation during one of the connect sessions as well. So if folks are interested in talking more theirs definitely a contingent in the end ten community that is happy to answer questions that already taking that coin as donations that they’re non-profits i’m happy to get folks connected. Is that conversations they want tohave after today? Outstanding thank you. And of course, you don’t have to. Be an intend member toe get a lot of the benefits on dh participation at intent, but you should be a member because it’s really a great value, but you don’t have to be so let’s acquaint people with bitcoin this this digital currency? Can you do that? Yes. So i think you know there’s, at least in my conversations with organizations there’s two pieces to try to conceptualize one is the actual currency bit he like what? What does that mean? Like a kind of money that i can’t put in my wallet? So that’s just how it’s going to be you know you can’t request that it turns into a money you can put in your wallet, but it is a digital currency totally operated and administered online. The the record of you know how many bitcoins honey you have versus how many i have is is part of the public record and administration of the currency online, so at any time you can go online and see what the what what it’s valued at what a single bitcoin is value that and how much bitcoin is in circulation and where the other part that i definitely hear. From organizations when we’re talking about bitcoin is how how does that translate? Like, how would we touch that as a non profit organization? And i think one way to think about it is, you know, when we when organization started accepting donations on line one one kind of action that a lot of organizations are very familiar with now was setting up a paypal account, right? So we set up that account, we connected it probably to our organization’s bank account for direct deposit and everything. And then we just put on our website that button, right that’s the button that donate by paypal that’s basically the same experience you khun offer now to people you can sign up with a bitcoin processor bit pay is probably the most prominent and it’s the same thing you’d get you set up your account so it’s connected to your bank account, because in the end you really will be getting bitcoins converted by bit pay into direct cash donations, so your end of the equation will still be that same experience where it’s cash that’s being donated and you’re sending off that email that thanks for your donation of you know x amount of dollars and here’s, our charitable information, you know, for your tax violence? Yes, it helps quite a your enough. They’re so bit pays managing. Okay, somebody on, you know and tens website click the button i you know, bit pays taking the donations of those bitcoins, converting them in there current, you know, real value into cash and putting that into our accounts. Yes. So it it’s worth having a processor so that you are dealing with u s dollars or canadian dollars or whatever your currency you might be british. Don’t imagine there’s many non-profit who want to unnecessarily be accepting bitcoin donations as bitcoin. Managing them is bitcoin and then looking for opportunities tio use that bitcoin is a currency where their pay, you know, be accepted these donations we’re keeping it as bitcoin. And then we’re changing this out and that’s for two reasons. One now you’re an organization who’s got, you know your bank account and most of your money on your financials all managed. And then over here you have this one. Probably very tiny pool of a totally different currency, which is just a difficult administration process, right? But the other part of that is that last year, the us government said bitcoin is actually considered for taxable purposes as property and not his currency, so that means you would need to be men, you know, managing and eligible to be paying a gains and all of that, you probably don’t want todo, right? Yeah, the easiest way to think about that the implication of that part of it is if you were trading in securities, it’s it’s treated luxuries like property, which is security is stocks and bonds we’re talking about, not like, like currency or cash, and you don’t want to be dealing in that and in that and having to worry about fluctuations and exactly like you just said capital gains and losses, and so, um, especially because bitcoin for organizations who are now accepting donations is bitcoin, you know what they’re actually getting in, that donation is similar to, you know, maybe other kind of alternative online donation campaigns where what you’re getting is a donation of three dollars or ten dollars, you know at a time so the idea that you would be getting all of these kind of small little chunks of bitcoin that you’re having tio account for and track and voter henschel li pai against capital gains and losses like, oh my gosh, that just sounds like work you don’t want to dio so using processor that will just convert that at that moment of donation into the cash on your end and give you that donation, you know, you send your your e mail receipt to that donor and you’re done standard process i think it’s so much more realistic we have ah, we have run out of time, so i’m just going to say this that another advantage to bitcoin is that the the processing fees are lower than credit card fees on dh, of course. Well, in many cases, there isn’t a b okay. Ah, and we’ll have ah links on the facebook page takeaways amy sample ward on twitter at amy rs ward. Thank you very much, amy, thanks so much for having me. My pleasure as always. Thank you, tony’s. Take two and volunteer issues coming up. First opportunity collaboration. This is the annual unconference in x stop a mexico. It was last october was my first time going again this october. The subject is poverty alleviation in all its different forms, and there were people working around social justice or working directly with the poor. There were people doing health and sanitation. I met people doing water projects, for instance, whatever it is that you’re doing in a poverty region to alleviate, and ideally reduce well should, say, eliminate, ideally, eliminate the poverty. Um, if it’s, if that’s the type of work that you’re doing, then opportunity, collaboration is something that i suggest you check out. Amy sample ward is going to be there actually, this year, they are at opportunity, collaboration, dot net. If you’re at work, is it all related to poverty reduction? I was honored by hermandad last night. The organization that does water projects brings fresh water, too poor parts of the dominican republic. And you were with me. You really did make it a double honor because non-profit radio listeners stepped up and i thank you very much. I’ll have details next week, after all the gifts have come in. Ah, and i’ll do the video, etcetera, but i’ll have a little more for us next week. But at this point, thank you very much. That’s tony’s, take two for friday, twenty fourth of april sixteenth show of the year. And i’m very pleased that our other west coast contributors here that’s jean takagi he’s, managing editor, managing attorney of neo non-profit and exempt organizations law group in san francisco. He edits the popular non-profit law blogged dot com and on twitter he’s at g tak e ta ke welcome back, jean. Hi, tony. Great to be back. Oh, thank you. Great to have you back. Um, we’re talking today about volunteers. There’s there could be issues that non-profits maybe overlooking and they may think just because it’s a good hearted volunteer and they’re non-profit doing good charitable work that there won’t be any legal problems. Yeah. It’s an interesting thing. I want to say that volunteers are really the life blood of many, many the vast majority of non-profit. So we really love volunteers. But we want to think about protecting our organizations and protecting our volunteers as well. So i think we at least have to consider some of the possible liabilities that might be created by the acts of volunteers. And in some circumstances, they could be considered employees. Yeah, volunteers could be considered employees if you decide you want to pay for their services. So sometimes that that seems pretty obvious. If you pay somebody there, they’re probably either an employee or an independent contractor. But a lot of people think, well, if i pay somebody who used to be a volunteer, maybe i can keep them on volunteer status. As long as i call that payment a stipend. That may not be true. It all okay. That’s. That’s? Yeah. That’s just doesn’t smell good either. No. Okay, so what are what are some of our, uh, issues as we as we drill down some of the potential liability? Well, i just think about if you if you hired a volunteer and you decided that you were going to go, you know, you had a summer camping program supervising children, and you brought in a volunteer. And that volunteer ended up doing something terrible that got one of the children hurt. Now, what type of responsibility should the non-profit have, you know, would respect protecting that child, who, whose parents decided to send them to that summer cap and trusted the vault, the non-profit teo, to protect that child. So that’s sort of just opens up the the sort of kan, if you will, or pandora’s box of all of the potential issues that might be involved with bringing in a volunteer. Okay, that’s, ah, that’s, a cool example. The the recruitment right or the or the hiring of volunteers, for instance, right? So, i mean, if you if you hired in that example, if you hired somebody that had a criminal record of sexual abuse and predatory behavior again, children, my gosh, you know, you should be held responsible for not not doing some level of screening when when allowing that an employee or volunteer teo interact and possibly supervised kids in those situations for employees, oftentimes you must screen them. You must do a background check by law. In many cases, when they’re working with children with volunteers, they might not fit under the same category in terms of the, uh, legal protections for the children. But it really is up to the non-profit to create some polish he’s to make sure that when they’re recruiting, when they’re hiring, that they’re doing so without negligence and doing so with reasonable care under the circumstances. Yeah, you’re also concerned about how much authority of volunteer has yeah, you know, so, you know, we can imagine again if we put that volunteer, and maybe we did screen that person, so there is no criminal problem in no predatory behavior. But the person has never actually worked with children before, and now all of a sudden there’s a fight between the kids or, you know, kid has an allergic reaction to food, and he doesn’t know or she doesn’t know what to do and so clearly delegating authority, providing some sort of supervision, some sort of training for that person, probably limiting their authority, especially in the beginning so that you’ve got somebody who knows what to do it in, you know, totally foreseeable circumstances when you’re working with children or when you’re working in whatever environment the volunteer is going to be working, it is really important you just don’t want to throw the volunteer out there and say, do this, and you’re on, you’re on your own, you know, in this conversation, a lot of what we’re talking about just sounds like it’s perfectly parallel with the the way you bring on ah, new employees, i think so. So the more responsibility of volunteer has and it’s close to ninety percent of all organizations that are completely run by volunteers. So that’s really a lot of non-profits that that really dependent on their volunteers and of the other? You know, ten to fifteen percent, a lot of the programmatic work is aided by the assistance of volunteers, so we’ve got to be very careful if they’re really taking on the rolls, even though they’re doing it out of the, you know, goodness of their heart if they’re taking on the rules of responsibilities, of running a program, supervising other individuals, supervising children, you know, and doing whatever work that needs to be done that you’re going to rely on is the non-profit that it’s going to be okay? You’ve got to make sure that you pick the right people and that you adequately equipped and trained them so that they could do the job they were set out to do so then also following this parallel than discipline do write an evaluation, yes, just the same way you might hyre volunteer, especially if they’re going to be working a lot of hours, or they have a lot of supervisory authority or just a lot of the individual autonomy and doing what they’re doing without a lot of direct oversight, you’re going to also hold them to your, you know, code of conduct, which is something i would recommend. That organization tack for their volunteers? Certainly a job description that’s very clear in terms of what is expected, who that person supervisor is and, you know, the statement that they must take the direction of that supervisor who’s in charge, and if they’re not following that code of honor, or if they’re in subordinate t the supervision, i think you’ve got to be ableto have some disciplinary procedures similar to an employee, but of course they’re not they don’t get the employees protection that employee’s house. So, you know, if if you feel like there’s just an unsafe or very bad environment caused by a volunteer, you have to be prepared to terminate that volunteer should there be a contract with volunteers or something that they signed that’s not legally binding as a contract? Yeah. And, um, really good showing your legal back-up sarrantonio agreement might might not be binding on a volunteer that’s entering into a contract for providing free services to the non-profit it may or may not be binding, depending upon how you phrase it, i think most non-profits don’t necessarily want it have legal, you know, lawsuits resulting from a breach of contract by a volunteer who failed to do their duties. But some sort of informal, maybe non binding agreement or memorandum of understanding for the volunteer, i think is great. So even if we call it a volunteer agreement just specifying what their duties are what’s expected of them and what type of disciplinary actions might follow if they’re unable to perform their jobs or unwilling to perform theirjob, i think all of that is a good idea. Okay, um, we’ve been talking about protecting the non-profit. How about protections for the volunteers? I mean, there is something called a volunteer protection act. Yeah, and i think for a lot of volunteers, many of them serve on the board of organizations. I know i served on a few boards, and i would like to know that i’m protected in case something i do in the scope of my duties for that organization result in a lawsuit coming and perhaps the lawsuit that that hyre where the lawsuit alleges that both the organization and the volunteer director are defendants, the volunteer director will be looking for some sort of protection in that case if here she was totally acting reasonably in the scope of their duties. But if their suit, personally, some money might have to come out from their personal countess organization doesn’t have the money to indemnify the director, even though the organization may be required to understate laws. So we’ve got this federal volunteer protection act that’s out there that says that volunteers generally aren’t liable for simple negligence if the actor within the scope of the volunteers responsibility, but that’s another good reason for having some sort of written agreement that actually spells out the volunteers responsibilities so that’s actually very clear and that would be protected for the volunteer is well, in that case, i should let you know that that limited protection is contingent on many things, and if somebody that got hurt said that the director or other volunteer was grossly negligent and simply negligent, then the volunteer at protection act may not protect that. Volunteer it all, so insurance becomes a very important thing to protect volunteers. And for the organization itself, toe have adequate insurance of for liability for directors and officers, which often cover other employees and agents and volunteers. That would be important. Finally, i think the protection that volunteers have to worry about is what if the volunteer themselves gets hurt in the scope of the duty so they’re volunteer at the summer camp, who in this case is perfectly doing a great job in his excellent is wonderful for the children, but he trips over a log on a hiking path and breaks his arm. Who pays for that? And if the non-profit is goingto, you know, have to pay for that. Dino coverage will not will not cover that, probably volunteer accident insurance at the non-profit might consider getting to protect their volunteers. In case that happens, guys, the volunteers may be personally responsible for paying their own medical costs, even though they were acting completely in the scope of the responsibilities for the non-profit the d a know that you mentioned the directors and officers insurance, you and i have talked a good bit about that when we’ve talked about board generally bored issues and protections, and we have talked about to the you just mentioned the potential for personal liability of board members as as fiduciaries to the organization, but now you were talking broader, and that could be personal liability for non board members. If volunteers are going outside the scope of their responsibilities, it sounds like yeah, so if they’re going outside of the scope of the responsibility, volunteers could certainly be held liable and non-profits or small and don’t have a lot of money and the non-profit doesn’t have any insurance. Well, then the person that got hurt might say, you know, i don’t really want to do it, but i’ve got to sue you because you’ve got the deeper pockets than this non-profit that has no money, no, you’re going to have to pay for my medical costs because you had me on this hiking trail and i tripped and it was dangerous, and i didn’t sign a waiver of liability, which may be something else we could talk about, so, you know, i’m gonna have to sue you, and you’re gonna have to pay for it and there’s no insurance to cover that, then, you know, wait, we just have a couple of minutes. Before a break, and then we’re gonna move on to ah sametz use around the sweet briar college closing, but the the volunteer does always have the possibility of just saying that they don’t want to do something, just say no, yeah, that’s sometimes got to be the best volunteer tre tek shin and the non-profits have to make sure that the volunteers feel comfortable of saying, i don’t have the skills or the background or the experience to do what you’re asking of me, so you can either train me and i could get up to speed on that or you’ve got to find somebody else. Those volunteers field pressured into doing something that they can’t handle that’s going to look really bad on the non-profit well, maybe i’m not qualified. Teo, be the range official on the shooting at the shooting range or the archery range. Yeah example, and there was a lawsuit filed where somebody was instructing on scuba diving ono instructed, and it wasn’t a certified scuba divers. Oh, no, don’t well, i was i was a lifeguard at the town pool when i was sixteen. All right, all right, i think what? Let’s, go out. A little early for our break. When we come back, jean and i, i’ll have a little more live. Listen, love domestic this time, and jean and i are going to move to the sweet briar college closing. Stay with us. Like what you’re hearing a non-profit radio tony’s got more on youtube, you’ll find clips from stand up comedy tv spots and exclusive interviews catch guests like seth gordon, craig newmark, the founder of craigslist marquis of eco enterprises, charles best from donors choose dot org’s aria finger do something that worked neo-sage levine from new york universities heimans center on philanthropy tony tweets to he finds the best content from the most knowledgeable, interesting people in and around non-profits to share on his stream. If you have valuable info, he wants to retweet you during the show. You can join the conversation on twitter using hashtag non-profit radio twitter is an easy way to reach tony he’s at tony martignetti narasimhan t i g e n e t t i remember there’s a g before the end he hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy fund-raising fundamentals is a short monthly show devoted to getting over your fund-raising hartals just like non-profit radio, toni talks to leading thinkers, experts and cool people with great ideas. As one fan said, tony picks their brains and i don’t have to leave my office fund-raising fundamentals was recently dubbed the most helpful non-profit podcast you have ever heard. You can also join the conversation on facebook, where you can ask questions before or after the show. The guests were there, too. Get insider show alerts by email, tony tells you who’s on each week and always includes link so that you can contact guest directly. To sign up, visit the facebook page for tony martignetti dot com. If you have big dreams in a small budget tune into tony martignetti non-profit radio, i d’oh. I’m adam braun, founder of pencils of promise. Let’s do domestic live listener love and i want to give a shout out to brooklyn, new york. I feel bad that i was mean to them. Brooklyn, new york love you love you. Thank you for being with us. Woodbridge, new jersey, seattle, washington, oregon. We can’t see that i don’t know what town, but oregon is with us st louis, missouri, san francisco, california and multiple san francisco’s not only gene altum pandu jersey welcome live listener love going out to all our domestic live listeners. And then we joined a couple of a couple joined us from abroad. Denmark i am not going to offend you by attempting to pronounce the name of your city in denmark. But we see you denmark and we see loads in poland live listener love jean sweet briar college is having some trouble getting a lot of popular press because they’re closing. Andi just have, you know, like five minutes or so teo sort of summarized there’s a possibility that the court in in california may substitute its judgment for the board and determining whether sweet prior should close. Yeah, i think it’s in virginia, virginia, i’m sorry. That’s right. Sweet. Bar virginia, you’re absolutely right. Thank you. Yes, it’s, you know, woman’s college in virginia and the board decided that it’s going to close down shut down the non-profit after the summer session and they said basically, they’ve got insurmountable financial challenges. Um and, you know, boards generally have the authority where there isn’t a voting membership structures, so not a voting member ship structure like a union or a homeowner’s association, but most non-profits just are run by their boards, and when there isn’t this voting member substructure board generally have the authority to close down the organization if they think that the best way to advance the mission uh, it is to close down because other organizations just khun khun operate mohr effectively and more efficiently, and they no longer had the capacity to do so. But in this case, the a lot of, you know, teachers, faculty, duitz i’m nam and i write, you know, we’re saying this is ridiculous, you know, this is maybe just a failure of this board and this president to be able to turn this college around, um and they even convinced the county’s er attorney to file a suit on behalf. Of virginia seeking to block that closing and force the removal of the board and the president. But the judge said that, you know, the county didn’t, you know, not quite have the right to sue on charitable trust grounds, but did have the right to say that, you know, to sue at least there was no decision made on this, but did have the right to sue on violating the charitable solicitation laws, which basically say, if you’ve given money to support the advancement of the mission of the school that may be closing, the school is not in the advancement of the mission, so you can start to use money you raised recently that where were you already knew you were going to close the school and use that money to close the school so that’s basically the limited judgment that that the judge has made and now a whole bunch of other lawsuits, all looking at all these different legal theories are sort of popping up. And so this goes to the er intended purpose of the gifts no one gave to sweet briar with the intention of the money being used to close the college right? I right now that i think they’re proceeding with the closing, the board and the president, but they’re using unrestricted funds now there’s a question about even if we didn’t specify that this fund was specifically or, you know, a professor or one part of it wasn’t designated, but yeah, even argast resonated, but we don’t think you could use it to close down the non-profit now, personally, i don’t think that argument is goingto work because, again sometimes advancing the non-profits mission is not necessarily keeping it afloat if it’s just bleeding money and not doing a very good job purse during the mission, there has to be some discretion if if the board is in charge of the organization to be able to close down and i don’t know sweet briars like sort of specific governance issue’s on whether the board has really tried that, and it is somewhat problematic that they didn’t actually go out and seek some help from the alumni and students and faculties and donors and supporters about what they were doing and that they continued to generally fund-raising when they already you made the decision to close down, i think those are all problematic statement, but i do find it difficult to have a court come in and say that no, you can’t shut down the non-profit all, you have to keep operating. So you feel that the undesignated unrestricted gif ts to a non-profit really are to be used at the discretion of the board and the trustees. Yeah, but they’re held up toe a fiduciary duty, you know, to work in the best interest of the organization. And in that case, you know, really in the best interest of the organization’s mission of how well it can advance the mission and it’s interesting you you opened with the best way to advance the mission may be to close the institution. Yeah, in some cases it is and, you know, no institution lives forever, you know, every institution that we know of has some life. Okay? Okay, um, the we still have a couple of minutes left. There’s the issue of i wasn’t sure we’d have time for this, but the standing, whether whether alumni have the right to sue a college, help us understand that he has i mean, i think that would be the case of any non-profit organization do. Other people apart from the board members have the right to sue the non-profit because they feel like the non-profit isn’t doing a good job. Well, if that was the case, they would probably see the non-profit and the board members. And if that was the case, i don’t think you’ll find very many people deciding to volunteers, board members. Mmm. So some people that do have standing in this case are voting members again, you know, typically you see those in, like, labor unions, homeowner’s association’s, professional associations where members actually elect the board members and you might get the proxy notice just like a shareholder has for-profit corporation to vote for who you want on the way ported nineteen members are like shareholders and have the right to suit the organization and the board, but if they don’t have voting members, we probably don’t want people in the general public to be able to sue a non-profit because they don’t think the non-profit is doing a good job, and they may not see any of the, you know, the things that the board members see in terms of understanding what non-profit is actually going through it’s, not you. Know, they may not know anything else about the non-profit that back-up, you know that it provided the service that they want benefited from, and they don’t want it to stop. Even though we asked donors to invest in our organization, the law is not seeing them as investors, shareholders. The way, ah, shareholder, that that allex board members is seen in the law. We have to write, so they fired all the contribution that i make to a charity doesn’t give me the right to sue the charity, because i don’t like what they do. We gotta leave it there. Gene takagi, thank you so much. Managing attorney of neo and it’s, the non-profit law, blawg dot com and is at gi tak on twitter. Thank you very much, gene. Next week, we have two ntcdinosaur views, multi-channel storytelling and your disaster recovery plan, one’s, uplifting and the others potential crisis. If you’re not managing things right, if you missed any part of today’s show, find it on tony martignetti dot com, where in the world else would you go? I don’t really sing that very well. Where in the world else would you go? We’ll drop this shortly. Don’t worry, opportunity, collaboration, the world convenes for poverty reduction, it’s, an outstanding unconference it will ruin you for every other conference, really that’s, true opportunity, collaboration, dot net. Our creative producer is claire meyerhoff. Sam liebowitz is the line producer, shows social media is by susan chavez, susan chavez, dot com and our music is by scott stein. Be with me next week for non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and be great. What’s not to love about non-profit radio tony gets the best guests check this out from seth godin this’s the first revolution since tv nineteen fifty and henry ford nineteen twenty it’s the revolution of our lifetime here’s a smart, simple idea from craigslist founder craig newmark yeah insights, orn presentation or anything? People don’t really need the fancy stuff they need something which is simple and fast. When’s the best time to post on facebook facebook’s andrew noise nose at traffic is at an all time hyre on nine a, m or p m so that’s when you should be posting your most meaningful post here’s aria finger ceo of do something dot or ge young people are not going to be involved in social change if it’s boring and they don’t see the impact of what they’re doing. So you got to make it fun and applicable to these young people look so otherwise a fifteen and sixteen year old they have better things to do if they have xbox, they have tv, they have their cell phones me dar is the founder of idealist took two or three years for foundation staff to sort of dane toe. Add an email address card. It was like it was phone. This email thing is right and that’s why should i give it away? Charles best founded donors choose dot or ge somehow they’ve gotten in touch kind of off line as it were on dh and no two exchanges of brownies and visits and physical gift. Mark echo is the founder and ceo of eco enterprises. You may be wearing his hoodies and shirts. Tony talked to him. Yeah, you know, i just i i’m a big believer that’s not what you make in life. It sze you know, tell you make people feel this public radio host majora carter innovation is in the power of understanding that you don’t just put money on a situation expected to hell. You put money in a situation and invested and expected to grow and savvy advice for success from eric sabiston. What separates those who achieve from those who do not is in direct proportion to one’s ability to ask others for help. The smartest experts and leading thinkers air on tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent.

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