Cell Phone Usage

February 29, 2012

We have our cell phones with us almost all the time, they’re ringing, vibrating, and beeping constantly, but the worst part is that they are distracting employees with texts for plans later that night, facebook, twitter, and other social networks. Creating and endorsing a cell phone policy for your business might be necessary. It is important to understand that emergencies happen, so explain to your employees that you may be reached by your work phone in case of emergency. A well thought out cell phone usage policy will address serious issues concerning the safety, security, and privacy of cell phone usage.

When creating a cell phone usage policy for your Animal rescue, here are some guidelines:

  1. You need an introduction that explains the general purpose of the policy.
  2. Section 1 should include general use at work, unsafe work situations, and using while driving.
  3. Section 2 should contain personal use of company – owned cell phones.
  4. Section 3 should include the review of monthly charges for cell phones given by the work place
  5. Section 4 should state that the management should set a good example for other volunteers employees through not using their cell phones at work.

Once you get through all of these sections you are able to set up a policy and have each employee sign it stating that they agree with the terms of the cell phone usage in the work place. Remember, you are not only keeping them from being distracted by this, you are also saving them from potential dangers.


Last week we provided you with the first six steps to producing a crisis management plan for your Animal Welfare Organization.  Have you finished these steps thus far?  If you have not or if you overlooked that post make sure you read it in combination with today’s steps.

  •  Practice communicating throughout a disaster by outlining key crisis communication documents. A summary statement explains what occurred, what you’re doing, and how the organization feels. CAREFUL the press can bend your words when they examine this. A question and answer information sheet can be supplied to the representative, so obscured information isn’t released.
  •  Plan a media kit and outline a media contact strategy. The media kit offers background information on your organization, and the media contact strategy is a preparation to keep media informed during an incident.
  • Evaluate your insurance program instead of supposing you’ll be sheltered during a crisis.
  • Create a crisis response team.
  • Document your strategies in a Crisis Management Manual in an easy and straightforward reading format.
  • Analyze your presentation before the crisis has faded away.

            It’s almost coming up on that time of the year again, the flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and the birds are chirping, along with all of that happiness comes the dreaded spring cleaning. Here are a few tips on how to get it done and over with:

  1. Plan out what you will be cleaning, when you will be cleaning it, and for how long. Make a detailed list of what needs cleaned in what room and be realistic about the time you need to spend on it.
  2. Make appointments early. Many people are getting their spring cleaning done at the same time, so the carpet cleaning business may not be able to squeeze you in for a couple weeks. This is why you need to schedule ahead of time.
  3. Get all of your equipment and supplies out and ready before you start cleaning. This is good for many reasons including no trips to the store in the middle of cleaning, and it will go by faster because you won’t have to search for things as you are cleaning.
  4. There are many organizations that will take your clothes that don’t fit or that you never wear and other items around the house, so when your cleaning, fill up some boxes or bags and drop them by goodwill or another place that accepts those kind of donations.
  5. Get your groove on! Setting up a playlist for your cleaning time will help keep you happy and energetic.

That dreaded time of spring can easily be a bit less dreadful by following these simple tips. Just remember what you tell your kids, your room won’t clean itself.

There are a lot of questions that you probably have when shopping for insurance.  What type of insurance do I need?  Why do I need insurance?  Will I need it if I am extra careful?  Even more specific, each policy can have their own questions.  Below are the most commonly asked questions regarding Directors and Officers (D&O)  insurance with answers.

  1. Why does my organization need D&O coverage?  Organization are composed of board members.  These members are at risk if a lawsuit arises against the organization.  If there is a misappropriation of funds, the board member will be protected from losing their personal assets.
  2. What does D&O cover? It covers the directors and officers of the organization against lawsuits that may arise. 
  3. Isn’t it expensive? No, it is quite affordable.  Depending on the details of your organization it can be as low as $500.
  4. How do I obtain D&O insurance?  Just give us a call, or submit a quote request through the website.

The trick to surviving an emergency is to prepare for it so you are not caught off guard if a crisis occurs. There are twelve steps to help you carry on through a crisis but six will be discussed today.

  1. Recognize situations that could be the reason for a crisis in your facility. This may be past occurrences, incidents other similar organizations have undergone, affairs with other organizations, and the nature of your services and clientele.
  2. Produce an index with all contact information for all staff and volunteers.
  3. Get proper support for your computer, software, and databases at least weekly.
  4. Perform an inventory of your animal welfare organization’s assets including equipment, furnishings, records, and software.
  5. Find a legal adviser nearby that you can call upon on a regular basis for advice.
  6. Devise a crisis communication procedure by answering, who, how, what, and who. Who will verbalize for your nonprofit? How will the mission be explained? What will you use to contact employees? Who will be responsible for contacting key personnel?

These are first 6 steps to helping your Animal Welfare Organization survive a crisis, make sure you revisit next week for the final steps.

Insuring Volunteers & Actions

February 15, 2012

It is important to not only make sure that your animal organization is protected, but also the volunteers that our vital to your organization and the animals’ well-being.  Volunteers should be covered under your general liability policy but you should verify this with your insurance agent.  In addition to this, an animal welfare organization should also have a volunteer accident policy.  This will ensure that they are covered for any accidents that may happen while they are working or volunteering for the organization.  This will also make sure that your general liability policy does not increase in premium due to claims. 

If you have questions about volunteer coverage for your animal welfare organization, please visit www.awoiponline.com.

The IRS has formed a whirlwind for Animal Welfare Organizations by accumulating the new IRS Form 990 and instituting regulations with consequences for extreme compensation for CEO’s and charity tax exemptions. Needless to state, the boards are being observed narrowly and must look into how well they are communicating their good governance policy. If you chose “no” to having a governance policy on the New 990, you are expected to be audited, however if “yes” is chosen you must visibly explain how the policy is put into practice. What are correct governance practices in accordance with the New 990? You should include a mission statement, a depiction of executive compensation, review the 990 before filling it out, create a conflict of interest policy, and have the 3 most recent 990s close by.

Meet Harmony Reina!

February 12, 2012

Harmony Reina, the account manager of AWOIP, brings seven years of experience to the team along with patience and a positive attitude. When Harmony has free time she enjoys spending time with family, bowling, and cooking. Harmony’s friends and family would describe her as very generous, outspoken, independent, strong-willed, and a great mother.