Re: Call for OPW project ideas


These contracts are very standard in the US. Some examples form local nonprofits in Chicago:
1. Habitat for Humanity
2. Pumping Station:One
3. Friends of the Chicago River

On Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 6:53 PM, Jan Claeys <lists janc be> wrote:
Benjamin Berg schreef op ma 10-11-2014 om 16:30 [+0100]:
> [1] I have don't remember seeing an indemnification (or even much of a
> contract) when helping at events done by charitable organizations here
> in germany. My guess is that it is simply not really necessary, though
> it could also be that many organizations are not that careful.

I don't know German law, but in Belgium/Flanders the law says that:

      * Any non-profit that works with volunteers, is required to
        provide its volunteers with documentation (this can be oral, but
        most non-profits do it on paper, and some will require you to
        sign for receiving it, because that's easier to prove) that
        explains their rights & plights, including insurance, education
        offers[1], code of conduct, etc. (this is not (usually) a
        contract though)
      * Any non-profit that is a legal entity (or is part of a larger
        non-profit that is a legal entity) that works with volunteers,
        is legally liable for the actions of their volunteers while
        doing what they are supposed to do as a volunteer (unless they
        can prove gross misconduct or the like, of course),
      * Any non-profit that is a legal entity (or is part of a larger
        non-profit that is a legal entity) that works with volunteers,
        is legally required to have an insurance covering damage,
        including civil liability, caused by or to their volunteers (to
        some degree; insurances that cover more than legally required
        are possible)

In addition: currently the minimal required insurance for non-profits is
paid for by the Nationale Loterij ("national lottery") on request, so
volunteers are often insured for free (to some degree).

When I was on the board of a non-profit, that insurance requirement &
the offer by the Nationale Loterij didn't exist yet, but IIRC we paid a
couple 100 euro / year for the insurance that we had back then (even
before it was a requirement, most non-profits had insurances like that,
because it solves most likely disputes with volunteers easily for what
is a rather modest amount).

I wouldn't be surprised if Germany has some similar laws and/or
arrangements that make individual agreements unnecessary in most cases,
while also spreading responsibility quite fairly (and avoiding most
stupid lawsuits because of the insurance).

[1] education in this case could mean that OPW mentor volunteers have
access to educational material guiding their work, and maybe having
support from a person/organisation with experience in it (this person
could also be a volunteer, of course).

Jan Claeys

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