SUBSCRIBE
REQUEST DEMO

5 Reasons Your Nonprofit Needs a Contactless Waiver Solution

Posted by Daryl McCarl on Aug 24, 2021 12:10:12 PM

What does managing a volunteer event, coordinating a retreat for your nonprofit’s staff, and hosting a 5K fundraiser run on your nonprofit’s Giving Day all have in common? You’ll need a waiver to make them happen!

Waivers are an essential but sometimes overlooked precaution in the nonprofit world. Not only can waivers protect you from liability issues, but they can also convey to your supporters that you care about their safety and are not trying to cut any corners.

Because waivers are a necessity, you might be wondering how you can streamline the signing process so that all paperwork is complete without wasting precious time. On top of that, you probably want to avoid disorganized stacks of waivers sitting on your front desk waiting to be filed away.

Fortunately, these hassles can be avoided with the help of digital waivers. Digital waivers provide your organizations with all of the safety benefits of waivers without the logistical headache. By investing in electronic waivers, you can:

  1. Prevent the spread of germs.
  2. Allow participants to sign your waiver remotely.
  3. Improve security.
  4. Save time.
  5. Build a trustworthy brand.

If waivers are a nonprofit essential, why not make the process as straightforward and easy as possible? Let’s take a closer look at why you should implement a hands-free waiver solution for all of your nonprofit’s needs.

1. Prevent the spread of germs.

The implications of the pandemic have forever changed how nonprofits handle registering new volunteers or bringing people into their facility. Although some nonprofits had already begun to use technology to handle paperwork, the need to reduce the spread of germs has increased the need for contactless or remote procedures.

With this dramatic shift towards contactless paperwork among all types of organizations, it seems abnormal to still rely on the old way of doing things. If you’re still using paper forms, you likely have cups of clean and used pens sitting on your desk, which requires your staff to waste time disinfecting the used ones at the end of the day. Additionally, you could also be increasing the overall period of contact between visitors and staff, which could be dangerous for both.

Electronic waivers completely eliminate these problems. Whether you create a waiver kiosk with your tablet or require your visitors to sign their waivers at home, digital waivers will reduce the amount of interaction between visitors at your facility.

There’s no need to worry about sharing pens or increasing the risk of transmission in those at your next fundraiser or volunteer training. Digital waivers make it safer for your nonprofit to get back to bringing people together without creating unnecessary risk. But the benefits of online waivers don’t just prevent the spread of germs — they also have all kinds of other advantages that can increase your efficiency and strengthen your organization.

2. Allow participants to sign your waiver remotely.

Let’s say your nonprofit is hosting its biggest outdoor fundraising event of the season. You’ve brought in all kinds of fun activities, such as a rock-climbing wall, a paintball field, or a zip lining adventure. All of these activities are a great way to bring your community together, but they also pose a risk without the right event waivers.

Trying to get all of your participants to sign their forms during the event can lead to long lines and dissatisfied attendees. Plus, it can be even more difficult for the operators of your fun activities to know who has signed a waiver and who hasn’t.

If this logistical nightmare sounds all too familiar, don’t worry. Digital waivers make it easy for participants at any of your events to sign their forms remotely, eliminating the long lines and verification issues you might have encountered otherwise. All you have to do is include your waiver in your registration process and you’re done!

Some other benefits of allowing your participants to sign your waiver remotely include:

  • Convenience: Your participants will certainly appreciate the ease of being able to sign their waivers at home. Rather than spending time in line, they can get right to the fun activities they signed up for.
  • Efficiency: Not only will electronic waivers reduce lines at your facility, but they will also save your staff hours of valuable time by streamlining the verification process and ensuring everyone has signed their waivers. You can also say goodbye to those clunky filing cabinets required to store paper waivers.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: The days of spending money on printing are over. With digital waivers, you can significantly reduce the cost of this step in the process.

Even if extreme activities like rock climbing are not a part of your nonprofit’s standard event calendar, simplifying the waiver process for any type of activity will improve your participants’ experience and make your staff’s lives easier.

3. Improve security.

How many times have you had a stack of waivers sitting on your front desk waiting to be filed away? If you’ve just hosted a large event requiring hundreds of waivers, taking the time to put them in filing cabinets (and find them again) will certainly take up a lot of time. However, waivers are definitely something that you don’t want to leave sitting out, especially if they contain sensitive information. And on the off chance that goes wrong, misplaced waivers can cause problems.

By digitizing your waivers, you can avoid these potential security issues. Not only will you not have to worry about losing an important waiver, but you’ll also be able to easily pull up a participant’s signed form if needed.

With secure online waiver software, you can also offer additional safety benefits. For example, your waiver software may have a photo-capture feature that can help you verify the identities of the participants signing your waivers. This way, you can match a waiver with its signer, especially if there’s a medical emergency in which someone can’t verify their own identity.

Using digital waivers can keep your participant’s information safer than it would be in a filing cabinet, and will help you stay more organized while you’re at it.

4. Save time.

Electronic waivers can also save your participants and your staff hours of time. As mentioned earlier, digital waivers can reduce times in line during registration and the hours spent filing away waivers. However, online waivers have additional time-saving benefits, such as:

  • Helping you manage donor data: Using the information in your waiver database, you can create a spreadsheet with participants’ contact information and level of engagement. This way, you get a better sense of who has been very involved with your organization and would be open to a donation solicitation.
  • Keeping track of when waivers need renewal: Avoid wasting time sifting through waivers to determine if they’re still active by setting automatic reminders of when waivers have expired, whether based on date, the participant’s age, or any other factor.
  • Flagging certain questions: Know which participants need special attention because of an allergy, health risk, or other aspects by flagging certain forms if a participant selects a specific option.
  • Streamlining check-in: Use your waivers as a quick and easy indicator of how many participants are in your facility or event and how many more need to arrive.
  • Sending email marketing: Easily export your participant’s contact information into email marketing software to send updates.

Having quick and easy access to your participant’s information can help you save time with other outreach or fundraising activities. For instance, maybe you want to explore volunteer grant opportunities with your volunteer team. According to this Double the Donation resource on volunteer grants, 40% of Fortune 500 companies offer grant options for nonprofits, but without knowing where your volunteers work, you can’t maximize this opportunity.

To resolve this problem, you could create a custom question on your digital waiver. Ask volunteers to provide this information on their electronic waivers and then verify if their company provides any volunteer grant options. Rather than jumping through hoops to gather all of the information you need, use your waiver database to manage participant data and save time.

5. Build a trustworthy brand.

Your nonprofit’s brand identity is essential to building meaningful relationships with your supporters. In fact, this Eleven Fifty Seven source on nonprofit branding says that supporters must interact with your brand 5-7 times in order to remember it. For this reason, your waivers can play a part in strengthening your brand.

Digital waiver software offers customization options, which make it easy to brand your waivers and keep them updated through any rebranding.

With these capabilities, it’s highly recommended that you include some brand indicators on your waivers, such as your logo, color palette, and typography. This way, your supporters know that they are in the right place and are more likely to feel comfortable signing your waiver. A branded waiver is also important for volunteer retention, as your volunteers will be more likely to trust your organization.

Requiring a waiver to participate in your nonprofit’s activities demonstrates that your supporters’ safety is important to you. Waivers can also convey professionalism and legitimacy, which is important if you’re a newcomer to the sector. Upgrading your waivers to a digital platform will also show that you’re tech-savvy and committed to providing convenience.


Electronic waivers not only make your team’s life easier, but they have all kinds of additional benefits, such as simplifying information management and strengthening your brand. Plus, with the looming uncertainty of the pandemic, it’s best to lean on the side of caution and reduce contact as much as possible. With online waivers, the days of long lines, hours spent filing, and stress over misplaced waivers are long gone.

The takeaway: Digital waivers can make the often convoluted waiver signing process significantly easier by saving time, keeping your records organized, and preventing safety threats.

Topics: Nonprofit Communication, Nonprofit Events, Nonprofit fundraising events, nonprofit technology, Fundraising events, Fundraising Trends

Daryl McCarl

Written by Daryl McCarl

Daryl McCarl is the Director of Business Development at Smartwaiver, the leading digital waiver service trusted by thousands of organizations around the world. www.smartwaiver.com

    Lists by Topic

    see all

    Subscribe to the GG Blog