Mission Minute

Residents Who Work At Your Mission: Are They Employees?

Brian H. Merriam, CPCU, ARM, AAI

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Schenectady, New York 12305

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Brian H. Merriam, CPCU, ARM, AAI

Latest posts by Brian H. Merriam, CPCU, ARM, AAI (see all)

It is common amongst shelters around the country that residents are offered the opportunity to work, or put more succinctly, are expected to contribute to the ministry with labor as part of their discipleship and the shelter’s stewardship. It is a beneficial arrangement and allows not only for a repayment,...

Attention Business Owners!

It is difficult to do much business in the current environment without taking advantage of some of the conveniences afforded by technology. As businesses expand the use of time saving and efficiency-improving devices, those involved in organized crime are doing the same.

Everything Changes

In the 30 years of my professional career in risk management and insurance, I have never come across an issue as divisive as the debate over National health insurance. I will admit, right up front, that I am an opponent to the idea. Categorically, I am one of those conservatives who are prone to side with Thomas Jefferson who was quoted as saying, “The role of government is to do for society what society cannot do for itself.” Likewise, I am apt to quote what was printed in the monthly periodical

Rescue Mission Car Sales

Increasingly, AGRM member missions are seeing the financial opportunity of used car sales operations. These operations benefit both the donor and the mission.
The donor obtains a tax-deductible receipt for donating a working automobile to a charitable organization, and the mission receives a vehicle which provides a source of revenue when it is sold. Risks To Be Considered However, the typical insurance policy excludes

Consumer-Driven Health Plans

Now that the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) is underway, many missions are looking for ways to comply with the act, but not bust their budgets. Some tools are available that might make sense to consider. Consumer Driven Health Plans (CDHPs) are growing in popularity. Recently, a major health insurance carrier announced that

Cyber Threat

A growing risk is threatening homeless shelters. This threat is more insidious and less measurable than most risks for which we often prepare. I am writing about what is usually referred to as “cyber-risk”. Unlike buildings that are susceptible to fires and automobiles that are exposed to collisions, cyber risks are imposed upon a mission, not just by a rogue employee, but by people from outside the mission looking to steal without ever stepping foot on the premises. Unlikely, you think? Please don’t be naïve!

Rescue Mission Loss Prevention

I usually avoid the use of clichés, but this one is just too obvious to ignore: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Ben Franklin was certainly right, though I doubt he imagined he would ever be quoted in Rescue Magazine 250 years later! However, when it comes to preventing losses before they happen, he was extremely sage. The amount of money that is lost on insured claims may be huge. Additionally, they are typically a time waster, exacerbated by the work and energy that must be expended to even file a claim. Such possible expenses to the ministry include

Does Your Organization have Enough Liability Insurance

Most leaders have no idea whether or not their business or organization carries enough liability insurance. Many tell me, “I have an umbrella, so that should be fine,” and then end the discussion there. Even those who give the size of their umbrella some thought may not fully appreciate the size of injury payouts. If you fit into this category of “umbrella purchaser,” you probably have

Abuse and Molestation

Due to the personal violation inherent in claims of this nature, the legal principle of “innocent until proven guilty” does not often seem to apply here. Should a mission have a serious fire, you might expect to see an increase in donations coming from the community so as to help restore the affected building. However, when the press reports an allegation of A&M at your mission, the news may be met by mission benefactors with surprising little charity, especially if the accused is

Driving Large Vehicles Safely

“Power lines, roof eaves, and small cars.” One executive director lost no time in describing what donation pick-up drivers need to watch out for. “How do you think I knew that?” he asked, “because they’ve all happened to me!” My observations confirm the executive director’s experience. One of the most frequent claims to come across my desk is a box truck or 15 passenger van hitting another vehicle or building. While the damage is often minor, the costs paid by the insurance company are generally