Fundraising and events

These include events such as Fairs, Fetes, Markets, Picnics, Seminars, Catering, Excursions, Camps, etc.

Please contact Uniting Church Insurance Services if intending to conduct an event involving any type of adventure related activities (incl. Jumping/Bouncy Castles, flying foxes, fireworks, motor races/rallies), or if intending to have animals present at an event. Extra insurance cover may be required for some high risk events or the risk may be excluded from cover altogether. Risk management is essential with adventure and high risk activities. Pursuits of this nature must be referred to Insurance Services well in advance of the proposed activity.

Events which involve food invoke quite specific Food Laws. Please refer to SA Health website "Charity and community groups and food safety"> 

The Event Planning Guide is a helpful tool for all types of events>

Third Party Stallholders

The church’s liability insurance policy will not cover the liability of third party vendors at these functions. Where the stallholder is operating a business, profession or trade, verification of their current liability insurance (Certificate of Currency) must be obtained prior to the event. However, stallholders intending to sell low-risk items (eg. 2nd hand books) can apply for an exemption from providing evidence of liability insurance by completing an “Application for Stallholders” form and submitting it to Insurance Services for approval. It is important to make sure that stallholders or their goods and/or services, do not conflict with the Uniting Church ethos and Christian values. The event organiser is required to perform a risk assessment of the stall (with all its goods/services to be sold) prior to the event commencing.
Fundraising events in the nature of exhibitions and displays involving a third party require the exhibitors to accept full responsibility for any damage or loss to the items on display. Insurance Services are able to assist in this regard.
Events/activities that are likely to be attended by children and/or young people should be Smoke, Drug and Alcohol free.

Financial and administrative risks

  • financial controls (eg. cheque handling, expenditure authorisation, financial reporting, insurance, petty cash box, bank accounts)
  • investment risks (eg. building society crash, share loss, property market)
  • record maintenance (eg. computer backup, file integrity, privacy protection, meeting minutes, member database, accounts database)
  • legal status (incorporation status, Corporate/Government returns etc). What could go wrong? What does the church utterly depend on working? - what if all your records disappeared in a fire? What if the church were sued for ten million dollars? - And ask how well the church would function if that happened. More importantly do you back up your data regularly – ask what you can do to ensure things don’t go wrong.

Unique risks

Professional liability

Church groups are set up to provide a service, to assist, to entertain, to support communities but with any special service that your group provides, there is the margin for things to go wrong. It could be advice, treatment; placing someone in a position you knew was dangerous. What are the possible consequences if something does go wrong? Consider the potential for harm and how serious it could be.
Reminder: Uniting Church policy is not to give advice unless professionally qualified to do so.

General liability

Employees or volunteers (even contractors and visitors) may have personal issues or behavioural problems that could result in causing harm to others (eg. verbal or physical abuse). Ensure your screening service is adequate and all other measures have been taken to guard against these possibilities. If any negative behaviour is observed, ensure it is dealt with immediately. Contact Pastoral Relations for advice and assistance.

Litigation

The church may find itself in a situation where it is innocent of wrong doing but nevertheless the subject of a law suit. Actions against the church of this nature can be very costly to defend.

Assess the situation

Consider all systems and whether they are adequate – including what could go wrong.

Things to look for:

  • Procedures – are there Safe Work Procedures in place and have they been well communicated to all that may need to perform the work.
  • Training – inductions on commencement and regular refresher/new systems training
  • Management/Supervision – including adequate planning, instruction, resources
  • Personal Protective Equipment – identify required/adequate PPE and ensure it gets used, stored and maintained in a good condition
  • Plant & Equipment – ensure correct/appropriate equipment is used, have adequate safeguards and for it to be regularly serviced & maintained in good working order
  • Design and Layout – ensure design and layout is adequate and has good accessibility
  • Work Environment – adequate lighting, safety signage/markings, protection from noise, temperature, weather elements, humidity, ventilation, dust, gases/fumes and general housekeeping
  • Personnel – experience, personal attributes (such as age, physical fitness, build, on medication, etc.) and any current personal issues which could cause distraction, being stressed or over-tired.