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Preparing Nonprofit Clients for Post-Pandemic Trends and Challenges

Nonprofit organizations provide essential services to communities across the country. With long lines and restricted access to critical resources, the importance of these organizations for people in need was further emphasized during the pandemic.

However, nonprofit organizations themselves are highly vulnerable to economic uncertainty. New Agent Authority research from Nationwide found 81% of nonprofit decision makers are concerned about their organization’s ability to make it through the economic downturn brought on by COVID-19.

With nearly 6-in-10 nonprofits negatively impacted by COVID-19, challenges are steep. One-in-three nonprofit decision makers believe mental health problems and opioid use among the patients they serve are increasing. Additionally, 83% report the pandemic has exacerbated challenges associated with treating patients with opioid addiction. Further, 80% of nonprofit organizations are struggling to find enough employees or volunteers to administer their services.

Despite the mounting challenges facing the sector, nonprofit decision makers are optimistic for the economy and their business’ improvement over the next six and 12 months.

“To overcome the burdens they face, many nonprofits have adapted their operations or brought on new strategies to keep their business going,” said Cheryl Tamasitis, Regional Vice President of Nationwide’s Specialty Care practice. “Many organizations are investing in technology and it’s important for agents to understand how those investments may change clients’ operations and the risks they face.”

Through the pandemic, 1-in-5 nonprofits didn’t have proper technology in place to maintain operations or accommodate social distancing among employees, patients, or community members. Today, these organizations overwhelmingly say they’ve invested in technology in the past year to keep their organization going (92%), to meet the changing needs of their clients (91%), and to monitor employee or volunteer efficiency (91%).

These investments, and the pandemic’s lingering impacts, have caused nonprofits to rely more on technology now than ever before.

Interestingly, a top concern for nonprofit operators is the safety of workers driving company vehicles, yet less than half are taking advantage of vehicle telematics to monitor and improve safe driving behaviors.

“Telematics programs, like Nationwide’s Vantage 360 Premium Partner Program, offer easy ways for nonprofit organizations to improve their fleet safety while also leveraging operational benefits that can help them save on their bottom line,” said Tamasitis.

The survey also revealed multiple areas of opportunity for nonprofit-serving insurance agents to counsel clients on the pressing issues they’re facing:

          1. Many nonprofit owners struggle with understanding their insurance coverage and seek agents with deep knowledge in their industry

More than 80% of nonprofit owners say they have difficulties with following insurance terminology or understanding the best coverage or level of protection needed for their organization. To help with these worries, nearly 90% say it’s important that they work with an agent with specialized knowledge and training in their industry who’s able to meet their complex needs.

Agent takeaway: Nonprofit-focused agents should look for ways to demonstrate their unique understanding of their clients’ particular needs and their ability to offer the combination of insurance solutions and loss control services needed to adequately protect them.

          2. As reliance on technology continues to grow, agents can advise clients about safe and efficient use

One-third of nonprofit owners are seeking an insurance agent’s guidance on implementing new technology in their operations. The survey also revealed 65% of nonprofit business owners have been victim to a cyberattack, and more than half say the attacks had a financial impact on their business or jeopardized confidential patient information. Although 80% reported having cyber insurance coverage, 33% of those without cyber insurance say they didn’t know it was available.

Agent takeaway: With cyberthreats increasing, especially as work takes place from workers’ homes, agents will play a key role in helping clients understand their current and future cyber risks as clients rely more on technology.

“Nationwide offers a dedicated team of nonprofit industry experts, across underwriting, loss control and claims, who can help agents provide the comprehensive protection their clients need in tandem with risk management approaches to improve safety across the organization,” said Tamasitis. “A lack of protection can be incredibly costly for these budget-strapped businesses, so it’s critical to work with a carrier with deep expertise and a breadth of solutions to be able to cover the wide-ranging exposures nonprofit clients can face.”