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In this webinar, Friends learn about basic types of insurance important for small nonprofits, including General Liability, Directors & Officers Liability, and Volunteer Accident coverage. We discussed insurance matters specific to Friends groups, including the ways in which private insurance compliments partnership agreements and is important even with the existence of various immunity/liability protection statutes designed to protect nonprofits.
Vice President, Conservation Practice
Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.
Meghan Mullee is Vice President of Alliant’s Conserve-A-Nation® Insurance Program, the largest specialty program for environmental nonprofits in the country. Meghan’s work focuses on nonprofit clients engaged in land conservation, environmental education, watershed restoration, and wildlife habitat preservation. She helps conservation organizations to clarify and evaluate risk and brokers insurance solutions for conservation clients at the national, regional, and local levels.
Recording and Slides (Mar. 15, 2023)
Hi everyone- thanks to CORFA and NWRA for hosting the webinar about Friends and Insurance. I wanted to clarify a few things that may have become conflated during the presentation. It was excellent information, but I know how confusing all these forms and policies can feel.
An Friends Partnership Agreement (FPA) is required to be signed, current, and in place (i.e. not expired) for all Friends groups, and outlines the relationship between the Friends as a GROUP and USFWS. It is good for five years, but should be revisited every year (in a meeting or discussion between the Service and the Friends) to be sure it is still accurate. Additions or edits can be made at that meeting as well. The FPA is a document specific to UWFWS and the Friends. It described what the Service will do, and what the Friends group will do.
The volunteer service agreement (also referred to as the OF-301a, or the VSA) is an interagency form, is good for one year, and is between an individual (a friend or a private citizen) and the Service. The VSA outlines what service a particular individual will perform for the USFWS. There is also a group volunteer agreement which is usually used for an event- you still use the volunteer agreement (the OF 301a) and then have all the volunteers for that event sign the group agreement, the OF 301b. The VSA protects the individual(s) in case of a tort or liability claim. It does not, nor has it ever, protected a 501(c)3 such as a Friends group.
AGAIN, all Friends groups must have a signed FPA at all times. And, all individuals performing tasks on behalf of the Service must have those tasks outlined on a VSA.
National Friends Coordinator
National Wildlife Refuge System
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service