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Business and charity

Charities beyond lockdown

A lot has changed in the last 18 months – for some sectors more than others. In the charity world, traditional methods of raising money have been halted, charity shops have been forced to shut and the spotlight shone more brightly on the need for charity funding than ever before. We know this because we’ve been there through it all. We’ve helped support charities with their vehicle insurance as they’ve adapted their services to aid vaccination transport. And we’ve supported key workers by extending their motor insurance to cover them when driving in locations where their normal policy may not cover them. Now that we start to welcome more freedom into our lives and businesses are starting to reopen, what do charities need to consider as they work towards a new ‘normal’? Let’s take a look!

1. Deciding on the future of remote working

We recently wrote about how remote working could bridge your charity’s funding gap. With the future of working from home being discussed so widely over the last few months, the impacts of Covid-19 have seen many employers encouraging a remote (or at least partially-remote) workforce to reap the benefits that come with being home-based.

Whether your organisation is able to function fully with a remote workforce or not, a clear decision, communication and justification to staff/volunteers will be paramount in making sure your charity’s next transition goes as smoothly as possible.

Also, regardless of the future of remote working within your charity, it’s highly likely that you’ll need to update your policies, procedures and risk management plans in light of Covid-19 (if you haven’t already!).

If you’re pleased with your staff’s performance whilst working from home, but aren’t sure how they feel about remote working, it can be beneficial to undertake a charity-wide feedback survey to make sure you’re taking everyone’s opinions into account.

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2. Planning and setting rules for the reopening of charity shops

If you’re the owner or manager of a charity shop which is yet to reopen, you’ll need to set a reopening plan so that you can make sure your shop is as prepared as possible. Some things to think about include:

  • Making opening times as clear as you can.
  • Rolling out additional safety measures.
  • Making covid rules very clear to customers.
  • Training staff on new rules and what to do should a customer not adhere to them.
  • Outline donation rules so those looking to donate know what they can/can’t bring and what they need to do before donating.
  • Outline a risk management plan.
  • Outline a clear process from the point of donation to displaying items on the shop floor.
  • Advertise for new staff/volunteers as early as possible.

3. Getting your vehicles back on the road

If you had to stop your services throughout the pandemic, you may have found yourself registering your vehicles as off the road (SORN) to save money on tax and insurance. If this is the case, before hitting the road again, you’ll need to tax and insure your vehicles, whilst also making sure they are roadworthy and have up to date MOT certificates.

If your charity's motor insurance is due for renewal, Endsleigh can help. We can provide cover for a single vehicle or a fleet of minibuses, covering all your vehicles under one roof with our charity motor fleet insurance. Cover is offered on an “any driver” basis, which includes volunteers.

And did you know that we’re the trusted insurance partner for Community Transport Association members? You can speak to one of our specialist charity account managers to get a fleet insurance quote.

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4. Planning for fundraising events

The future of events has been questioned a lot over the last year or so. Will they or won’t they take place? Will organisations play it safe and do another year of virtual events, or live in hope that their in-person plans will go ahead?

Whatever you choose to do, a certain and early decision will be key to its success. If you choose to run an in-person event, you’ll need to consider things like:

  • Risk management
  • Social distancing design and management
  • Enforcing Covid-19 related rules
  • A backup plan in case government rules change
  • Staff and volunteer numbers
  • Venue capacity vs safe social distancing numbers
  • If you decide to keep things virtual, you'll need to think about things like:
  • How reliable is your IT equipment?
  • What platforms will you be using?
  • Staff and volunteer numbers
  • Equipment for staff and volunteers
  • Enlisting key moderators, participants and speakers
  • What platforms are the most accessible for your audience?
  • A plan for technical difficulties
  • What data will you be collecting and how will this affect your GDPR procedures?

These aren’t exhaustive lists, but you get the idea.

5. Getting a Business Continuity Plan in place

Having a Business Continuity Plan helps you consider emerging risks to your charity and have a plan should a disaster strike. Having one of these plans in place means that charities who do deal with threatening incidents are much better placed to recover than those who don’t.

It can help you develop recovery plans for all kinds of risks and natural disasters including pandemics, cyber risks, extreme weather, service impact and acts of terrorism.

You can read more about Business Continuity Plans here, where we provide you with lots of useful information for your charity. This includes links to the government’s downloadable Business Continuity Management Template and going further into the importance of charity insurance within your Business Continuity Plan.

Safeguard your charity

Regardless of whether you’re gearing back up to have a (covid-safe) office full of staff, are set for remote working for the near future, or are planning to reopen your charity shop, the importance of having charity insurance in place has never been clearer. Protect your charity’s income, fulfil your legal requirements and safeguard your organisation’s future with charity insurance from Endsleigh. With over thirty years’ experience and over 3,000 not-for-profit customers in the UK, we work with market-leading insurers to provide competitive coverage, expert consultation and specialist advice for charities, community groups and not for profit organisations.

Related articles:

Protecting your charity from a costly cyber attack

How charities are supporting the national effort with transport for COVID-19 vaccinations

Case Study: How charities have adapted during the pandemic

Laptop security guide for charities.

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