Use these documents to help reduce risks when hosting events or loaning your space to outside organizations.
From concerts and fundraisers to scout meetings, vacation bible school and rehearsal spaces, your church serves the community in many ways. Planning special events and allowing outside organizations to utilize your facility is a wonderful way to build relationships with locals and introduce new people to your mission.
No matter the event or occasion, there are a few risks your church faces that need to be addressed before you host or rent it. From normal property management and rental agreements to requiring certificates of insurance for financial protection, we’re breaking down the in’s and out’s of protecting your property.
Learn, share and implement these 5 tips to keep your church, team and renters safe and happy:
1. Property management
Before you consider hosting a special event or renting out your location, you have to assess the accessibility, safety and upkeep of your building. This includes evaluating slip and fall risks, sprinkler systems, water hazards and kitchen safety, just to name a few. Your evaluation is also the perfect opportunity to post safety tips and instructions in areas like the kitchen to help prevent a fire.
2. Rental agreements
Allowing organizations to borrow or rent your space may be a great example of goodwill and community involvement, but it also opens your property to new exposures and risks. Rental agreements allow your team to lay out the terms and conditions necessary to protect your building. However, Glatfelter Religious Practice Risk Control has found that many rental agreements are incorrectly completed or not worded appropriately. When you create an agreement that is intended to protect your organization from harm or financial loss, the document should be reviewed by an attorney before it is distributed.
3. Liquor liability
Occasionally renting out your meeting and recreation spaces or hosting events and fundraisers can be great ways to supplement your budget — but if alcohol is involved in any way, there are a few precautionary steps you need to take. It’s important to understand your state’s specific liquor laws and how to obtain liquor licenses and permits. After you’ve taken care of the legal precautions regarding selling or distributing alcohol, you need to shift your focus to reducing risks. Servers must be properly trained, ID’s need to be required, limits for selling and consumption should be set and a designated driver program should be considered.
4. Volunteer risks
Whether you’re hosting a summer program or allowing your organization to be rented by outside groups, you should address the risks that come along with volunteers. Screening processes and a background check requirement should be implemented for anyone volunteering at your organization. Prioritize training for new volunteers and continued education for current volunteers – this training should include child abuse prevention as well as safety tips for the work they’ll be doing.
5. Certificate of insurance
So, you’ve completed the four steps we’ve already covered. Now you’re wondering how else you can possibly protect your church, right? Well, there’s more.
Certificate. Of. Insurance.
If you’ve screened the organizations renting your facility, as well as their intentions for use and you have reasonable cause to believe that it could result in damage to your property, it’s time to request proof of financial responsibility. This is an added layer of protection for your church, and it should be implemented whenever possible.
Let us know: how does your church mitigate the risks of special events and rental agreements?
Glatfelter Risk Team
When this team of rockstars isn't immersed in the process of researching how to reduce the risks your organization faces, we share stories of our pets, kids and favorite pizza toppings—on the daily.