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Nonprofit Risk Management Center A source for tools, advice and training to control risks ... so you can focus on your nonprofit's mission

July 18, 2007

Guidelines for Establishing Rental/Lease Policy

Establishing policies for the rental, lease and use of your facilities will make it clear to all parties what is expected. A policy will be set by the board and followed by the staff. An established policy will help the executive director explain the conditions for permission to use your facilities and, when necessary, the reasons for refusal. Such explanations should be in written form and made available to groups making application to use your buildings or grounds.

A policy should establish when your facilities may be used (perhaps not on Sabbath and/or holidays, for instance), and by whom (nonprofits only, for-profits whose products or services match your mission). You can chose to make your facility available under special or emergency conditions to municipal, county or state officials for governmental purposes.

The organization should consider:

  • Will there be a time limit on the number of hours a group can use the facility? Consider staff availability, and scheduled use of the facility by clients or service recipients.
  • What is the maximum number of people allowable per room established by city and fire officials?
  • Should fees be charged? If so, what determines the amount of the fee?
    • Type of Facility. The fee for the use of a gymnasium, auditorium or indoor swimming pool may be higher than the fee charged for a meeting room. Larger areas will accommodate more people and will require more light, heat, maintenance and staff.
    • Time of Use. Use during normal, non-program working hours often will necessitate hiring extra staff.
    • Use of Staff. It may be necessary to impose a special charge if a staff member is asked to work extra hours or is assigned special duties. In most instances, outside groups should be responsible for providing their own qualified leadership. However, if you have a swimming pool, you might want to require that the area to be under supervision of your staff.
    • Nonprofit Versus For-Profit Use. Would use by profit-making groups endanger your tax-exempt status?
  • What is the necessary number and qualifications of supervisory and security staff for the occupancy and use of the facility?
  • Should the equipment and facilities be inspected by the nonprofit for breakage and damage after use by each group?
  • Who is responsible for any breakage or damage, and how closely to the original should repairs/replacement be expected to render the item?
  • Will you give instruction on proper use of equipment (such as, sports equipment, swimming pool) as a condition of use?
  • Will you require that the group returns the facility in the same condition they find it?
  • How will you inform outside groups of fire regulations, exits and procedures for the protection of patrons?
  • Will you require a one-day certificate of insurance coverage from the groups using your facilities?

Once established, take steps to educate the members of your board of directors and the staff about the policy and the procedure outside groups should be instructed to use to apply for use of your facilities.


Hold Harmless Agreements

(Type: limited)

[Name of Organization*] agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless [Name of Nonprofit] and/or any officer, employee or other representative of [Name of Nonprofit] from and against any and all claims, demands, suits, actions, proceedings (formal or informal), investigations, judgments, deficiencies, damages, settlements, liabilities and expenses (including reasonable legal fees and expenses of counsel acceptable to [Name of Nonprofit]) as and when incurred arising out of, based upon or in connection with the [description and date of activity – e.g., use of Name of Nonprofit’s headquarters for ABC Organization’s annual fundraising dinner], except for damages arising out of bodily injury to persons or damage to property resulting directly from the sole negligence of [Name of Nonprofit].

August 1 Webinar

Managing Facility Risks

2–3 pm EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)

Register your VP of operations, maintenance personnel and others to:

  • Develop their third-eye for seeing current and potential risks.
  • Give them samples of what facility risk management policies and procedures look like.
  • Prepare them to review policies and procedures with improvement as the goal.

Register Now

2007 Summit for the Nonprofit Sector

This 2.5-day event offers a unique training, educational and networking opportunity for leadership of the nonprofit sector. Here’s a sample of what’s in store for you.

Oct. 23 — Advanced Topics in Risk Management

Experienced nonprofit ED/CEOs, CFOs, and risk managers have seen it all. From catastrophic losses caused by Mother Nature to negligent conduct or outrageous participant behavior, the experienced risk management professional knows how to weather the storm of risks brewing in the lobby or on the horizon. If you’re a veteran of the risk management team or have been responsible for your nonprofit’s risk management and insurance program for some time, you won’t want to miss this interactive workshop covering emerging risks in the nonprofit landscape. Connect with peers who bring years of experience and insight gained from having been there and done that.

READ about more Risk Management Sessions. REGISTER for the conference online.

RESERVE your choice of rooms at the Marriott Winston-Salem for the 2007 Summit for the Nonprofit Sector, being held Oct. 24-26 in collaboration with the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits, a state association and one of the Center’s 10 satellite offices, and ncgives.

© 2007 Nonprofit Risk Management Center

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