The relevance of the nonprofit sector is growing, especially with the end of the global pandemic in view. Nonprofit services help to provide aid to the communities that they serve. At the same time, they also inspire transformation among their partners.
However, as nonprofit organizations are geared towards helping other people, they are not entirely immune to legal problems. Nonetheless, the demand for the services of nonprofits has been steadily increasing worldwide.
Various organizations were forced to evolve in light of the global health crisis. These transitions are expected to persist even in the post-pandemic world. Nonprofits will have to go through drastic changes, particularly digitally, to provide better services.
Common Legal Troubles
Nonprofit organizations are still subjected to legal proceedings regardless of their intentions. There are three specific lawsuits that nonprofits are prone to receive: personal injury lawsuits, contract disputes, and breach of employment laws.
While these legal problems are not necessarily severe, tackling them can be quite taxing on resources. If you wish to protect your nonprofit from these common lawsuits, learn about some certain steps you can take.
Minimize Risk Factors
Personal injury lawsuits are probably the least likely legal problems your nonprofit can run into. However, these can lead to some extreme losses, especially in terms of your finance. Personal injury claims usually arise when one party causes an injury to another, whether intentional or not.
A fairly simple way to mitigate this legal inconvenience is by evaluating the areas that are most at risk to your volunteers or partners. Lawyers for personal injury will generally have to determine liability on the party at fault before being obligated to provide relief to the victim. All it takes for you to dodge this issue is by implementing good management and adequate supervision.
When nonprofit organizations acquiring various things, like equipment or the services of professionals, it’s usually established without any formal agreement. This can easily lead to contract disputes, especially when an item or professional fails to accomplish their function.
It’s always important for you to put all of your nonprofit’s transactions into writing with the signatures of all the concerned parties. This way, it can be much easier to present evidence in case disputes or misunderstandings arise. The contract doesn’t have to be filled with legal jargon; simple language should be enough as long as it’s understandable.
Acknowledge Employment Laws
Legal claims related to employment are quite possibly the most frequent problems that nonprofits can encounter. These will usually include sexual harassment, wrongful termination, discrimination, and wage disputes. Many of these can also apply to both volunteers and full-time employees.
It can be typical for nonprofit organizations to take a few shortcuts on their workers, given their financial restrictions. While most people who enter into nonprofits find the work fulfilling, other disgruntled employees will most likely nitpick on your employment practices. It’s imperative to always adhere to federal and state laws regarding the rights of your employees.
Despite being small and scattered, the nonprofit sector actually accounts for 5% to 10% of the country’s economy and approximately 10% of U.S. employment. These figures are expected to increase in the post-pandemic world, especially as demand for nonprofit services continues to rise. However, your nonprofit must embrace certain key trends to prepare for the months ahead.
Improve Digital Capabilities
Digital services and experiences will continue to propel nonprofit services forward. After coping with the global pandemic for more than a year, it’s bound to leave some lasting effects even after the crisis has passed. As such, your nonprofit should take these circumstances into account.
Consider finding more innovative ways to digitize your operations, from acquiring more staff to securing reliable data. Opening these channels and platforms to establish better connections with your communities and partners will be vital for your nonprofit.
Modified Grants Process
The grants process is also highly likely to undergo drastic changes. Grants are essential resources for nonprofits, especially when it comes to funding and providing services. However, the shifts in the various steps related to grant acquisition have been underway even before the pandemic outbreak.
Expect to have more collaborative efforts between grantors and the grantees instead of the extensively laborious processes of the past. An increase in efficiency and transparency between both parties should also be maintained. Make sure your nonprofit can accommodate these changes.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
The nonprofit sector continues to serve as a beacon of hope for many, especially in the wake of a global crisis. However, this does not necessarily spare them from legal troubles. You need to take the necessary steps to guarantee your nonprofit’s protection from these issues.
Moreover, the pandemic has forced drastic transitions on nonprofits, particularly in terms of digitization. As the demand for nonprofit services grows in the post-pandemic world, encourage your nonprofit to adopt significant changes that will definitely improve the aid you are aiming to provide.