D&O Insurance for Nonprofits 101: Understanding the Basics

Learn how D&O insurance for nonprofits safeguards against wrongful acts, legal fees, and more, ensuring your organization's protection and peace of mind.

Quick Guide: D&O Insurance for Nonprofits
Why You Need It: Protects board members’ personal assets from lawsuits.
Average Cost: Median of $70 per month.
Coverage Includes: Legal fees, settlements, breaches of fiduciary duty, compliance failures, and more.

Facing the possibility of legal action can be a daunting prospect for any nonprofit organization. But did you know that having Directors & Officers (D&O) insurance can safeguard your nonprofit and its board members against a wide array of legal challenges? In this introduction, we’re diving into the basics of D&O insurance specifically tailored for nonprofits.

At Griffith & Harris, we understand the unique pressures faced by nonprofits and the importance of protecting not just the organization’s assets but also those of the individuals steering its course. D&O insurance isn’t just a safety net; it’s a crucial layer of protection that every nonprofit needs in today’s litigious environment.

Let’s break down why D&O insurance is essential, how it covers your needs, and what you can expect in terms of costs. Whether you’re a small community group or a growing nonprofit, getting informed is the first step towards securing your mission for the long haul.

Detailed infographic explaining what D&O Insurance covers, the benefits for nonprofits, and how to evaluate your organization's needs - d and o insurance for nonprofits infographic pillar-4-steps

Why Nonprofits Need D&O Insurance

Running a nonprofit organization comes with its set of challenges, including legal risks that could impact not only the organization’s mission but also the personal assets of its directors and officers. This is where D&O insurance for nonprofits becomes an essential safeguard.

Protection Against Wrongful Act Allegations

Nonprofits can face allegations of wrongful acts arising from their operations. These can include errors, misleading statements, breaches of duty, or misuse of funds. D&O insurance helps protect against claims made against the organization’s leaders, covering legal fees, settlements, and judgments.

Defense Costs Can Be Staggering

Legal defense costs can quickly escalate, even if the claims are unfounded. Without D&O insurance, these expenses could drain the nonprofit’s resources, diverting funds away from its core mission. D&O insurance provides a financial safety net, ensuring that legal costs do not jeopardize the organization’s future.

Judgments and Settlements

If a lawsuit against a nonprofit leads to a judgment or settlement, the costs can be significant. D&O insurance for nonprofits covers these financial liabilities, protecting the organization’s assets and the personal assets of its directors and officers.

Personal Liability of Board Members

Many people involved in nonprofits may not realize that they can be held personally liable for the actions of the organization. This risk can deter qualified individuals from joining a board. D&O insurance offers peace of mind to current and potential board members, knowing they are protected from personal financial loss due to their involvement in the nonprofit.

Attract and Retain Top Talent

Knowing that a nonprofit has D&O insurance can be a significant factor in attracting and retaining talented directors and officers. It signals that the organization takes risk management seriously and is committed to protecting its leadership team.

Nonprofits are driven by their mission to serve the community, but they must also navigate the complex landscape of legal liabilities. D&O insurance for nonprofits is not just about managing risks; it’s about ensuring the organization can continue to make a positive impact without the fear of legal entanglements draining its resources. At Griffith & Harris, we understand the unique challenges faced by nonprofits, and we’re here to help you find the right coverage to protect your organization and its leaders. Discover more about how we can support your nonprofit by visiting our D&O Insurance page.

In our next section, we’ll dive deeper into understanding D&O insurance coverage, exploring what’s included and how it can safeguard your nonprofit against a range of legal challenges. Stay tuned to ensure your organization is fully protected.

Understanding D&O Insurance Coverage

When it comes to protecting your nonprofit, understanding the scope and importance of D&O insurance coverage is crucial. Let’s break down the key aspects of this insurance and how it stands as a shield for your organization and its leaders.

What Does D&O Insurance Cover?

D&O insurance plays a vital role in safeguarding your nonprofit’s directors and officers from personal financial loss stemming from legal actions. Here’s what’s typically covered:

  • Legal Fees: The backbone of D&O insurance is its coverage of legal fees that arise from defending against lawsuits. Legal battles can be costly, and having coverage can make all the difference.
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty: When decisions made by directors or officers are questioned for not being in the nonprofit’s best interest, D&O insurance is there to cover the fallout.
  • Failure to Comply with Regulations: Nonprofits must adhere to various regulations. If an alleged failure to comply leads to legal action, D&O insurance can cover defense costs.
  • Lack of Corporate Governance: Issues arising from the governance of the nonprofit, such as mismanagement or unethical decisions, are covered under D&O insurance.
  • Creditor Claims: If creditors pursue legal action due to the organization’s financial management, D&O insurance provides protection.
  • Reporting Errors: Mistakes in financial or operational reporting that lead to legal challenges are covered.
  • Misleading Statements: If someone claims that a director or officer made misleading statements that led to harm or loss, D&O insurance offers protection.
  • Breach of Duty and Misuse of Funds or Authority: Allegations of misusing the nonprofit’s resources or authority, including misappropriation of funds, fall under the coverage of D&O insurance.

Why It Matters

Without D&O insurance, individual board members and directors could face personal financial ruin from lawsuits, regardless of the lawsuit’s outcome. It’s not just about the potential for losing a lawsuit; the cost of defending against a claim can be overwhelming.

For a nonprofit, the implications go beyond financial loss. The reputation of the organization is at stake, which can affect fundraising efforts, volunteer engagement, and the ability to fulfill its mission. Having D&O insurance demonstrates a commitment to responsible governance and financial stewardship, making it an essential component of your nonprofit’s risk management strategy.

Getting the Right Coverage

Not all D&O policies are created equal, and the needs of each nonprofit vary. It’s important to work with an insurer who understands the unique challenges and risks faced by nonprofits. At Griffith & Harris, we specialize in providing tailored D&O insurance solutions for nonprofits. Our team is here to help you assess your risks and ensure you have the right level of coverage to protect your organization and its leaders.

To learn more about how D&O insurance can benefit your nonprofit, reach out to us. Let’s ensure your nonprofit is well-protected so you can focus on what matters most – your mission. Visit our D&O Insurance page for more details.

The Cost of D&O Insurance for Nonprofits

When it comes to running a nonprofit, managing risks efficiently is crucial. One key element in your risk management toolkit should be Directors & Officers (D&O) insurance. Understanding the costs associated with this insurance can help you budget effectively and ensure your nonprofit’s leaders are well-protected. Here’s a simple breakdown to help you grasp the cost factors of d and o insurance for nonprofits.

What Influences the Cost?

Several factors can influence the cost of your D&O insurance policy. Here are the main ones:

  • Nonprofit Services Offered: The type of services your nonprofit provides can significantly impact your insurance costs. For instance, organizations offering counseling services might face different risks compared to those involved in pet adoption.

  • Median Cost: On average, most nonprofits pay around $70 per month for D&O insurance. However, this is a median value, and your organization’s cost could vary depending on several factors.

  • Size and Activities of the Organization: The more complex your nonprofit’s operations are, the higher your premiums are likely to be. This complexity could be due to the size of your organization, the scope of your activities, or both.

  • Number of Board Members and Employees: The more people involved in the governance and operation of your nonprofit, the greater the risk of potential claims, which can affect your insurance costs.

How to Estimate Your Costs

While the above factors provide a guideline, the best way to get an accurate estimate of your D&O insurance costs is to get a quote tailored to your nonprofit’s specific needs. At Griffith & Harris, we specialize in helping nonprofits like yours navigate these waters. By understanding your organization’s unique aspects, we can provide a more accurate estimate and help you find a policy that offers the best value. For more information, visit our Board Insurance page.

Why It’s Worth the Investment

Investing in D&O insurance is crucial for protecting the personal assets of your board members and officers from potential lawsuits. Without this coverage, individuals in your organization could be financially liable for claims of wrongful acts in the management of the nonprofit. This protection is not just for peace of mind; it’s also a strategic tool for attracting and retaining top talent on your board.


Understanding the cost of D&O insurance for nonprofits is vital for effective budgeting and risk management. The cost can vary based on several factors, including the services offered, the size of the organization, and the number of people involved in its operation. At Griffith & Harris, we’re committed to helping you find the right coverage at a competitive rate. Protecting your leaders ensures they can focus on advancing your mission without the worry of personal financial risk.

To explore your options and get a tailored quote, don’t hesitate to contact us. Let us help you secure the future success of your nonprofit with the right D&O insurance coverage.

Types of Claims Covered by D&O Insurance

When it comes to protecting your nonprofit’s leadership, understanding the types of claims that Directors & Officers (D&O) insurance covers is crucial. This coverage plays a vital role by safeguarding against various legal and financial risks that can arise in the day-to-day operations of a nonprofit. Here’s a breakdown of common claims covered under D&O insurance for nonprofits:


Mistakes happen, no matter how cautious your board members or officers are. An error in judgment or an oversight can lead to significant legal and financial consequences. D&O insurance helps cover the costs associated with these errors, ensuring your nonprofit can continue its mission without crippling financial burdens.

Misleading Statements

In nonprofits, transparency and trust are paramount. However, unintentional misleading statements can occur. Whether it’s during fundraising activities or in financial reports, these inaccuracies can lead to legal action. D&O insurance provides protection against claims arising from such misleading statements.

Breach of Duty

Board members and officers have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the nonprofit. A perceived failure in this duty can lead to allegations of mismanagement. D&O insurance helps cover defense costs and any resulting settlements, protecting individual assets and the nonprofit’s reputation.

Misuse of Funds or Authority

Allegations of misappropriating funds or abusing authority can severely impact a nonprofit’s operations and trustworthiness. D&O insurance acts as a safety net, offering financial protection against claims of misuse or mismanagement of funds and authority.

Common Allegations

Nonprofits face a unique set of challenges and risks, from compliance issues to employment practices. Common allegations include:
– Breaches of fiduciary duty
– Failure to comply with regulations or laws
– Lack of corporate governance
– Creditor claims, especially in financial distress situations
– Reporting errors and omissions

Each of these can lead to costly legal battles. D&O insurance covers legal fees, settlements, and any financial losses, ensuring that your nonprofit and its leadership can weather these challenges.

In summary, D&O insurance for nonprofits provides a critical layer of protection against a wide range of claims. It covers errors, misleading statements, breaches of duty, misuse of funds, and other common allegations that could otherwise financially devastate both the individuals involved and the organization.

As leaders in providing tailored insurance solutions for nonprofits, we at Griffith & Harris understand the importance of securing robust D&O insurance. It not only shields your board members and officers from personal financial loss but also ensures your nonprofit’s longevity and success. To learn more about how D&O insurance can safeguard your organization, visit our Directors and Officers Liability page. Let us help you navigate the complexities of D&O coverage, so you can focus on what matters most – your mission.

Additional Insurance Nonprofits Should Consider

While D&O insurance for nonprofits is crucial, it’s not the only coverage your organization might need. Let’s dive into other essential policies that can further protect your nonprofit.

General Liability Insurance

This is your nonprofit’s safety net for common risks. It covers claims of bodily injury, property damage, and even some personal and advertising injuries to third parties. Think of it as a broad protective umbrella for everyday operations. For more on this, check out our comprehensive guide on General Liability Insurance.

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)

A BOP bundles General Liability Insurance with Property Insurance, often at a more affordable rate than purchasing each policy separately. This combo is an excellent choice for nonprofits that own or lease physical space or have valuable equipment. It not only covers injury claims but also property damage or loss.

Professional Liability Insurance

Also known as Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance, this policy covers claims against your nonprofit that arise from the services you provide. If your organization offers counseling, educational programs, or any advice-based service, this coverage is a must-have. It protects against allegations of negligence, misrepresentation, and more.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

If your nonprofit has employees, workers’ comp is generally required by law. It covers medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs for employees who get injured or sick on the job. This policy is crucial for maintaining a safe workplace and ensuring that injured workers get the care they need without financially crippling your nonprofit.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)

In today’s litigious environment, EPLI is increasingly important. It protects your nonprofit against claims by employees alleging discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment, and other employment-related issues. Given the potential cost of these claims, EPLI is an essential layer of protection for your organization.

Why These Policies Matter

Running a nonprofit involves various risks, from everyday accidents that can happen at your office or during an event to more specific claims related to the professional services you offer. While D&O insurance for nonprofits covers the personal liability of your directors and officers, these additional policies cover a broader range of potential risks. Together, they ensure your nonprofit can continue its mission even when facing unexpected challenges.

At Griffith & Harris, we understand the unique needs of nonprofit organizations. We’re here to help you assess your risks and find the right combination of policies to protect your organization. Contact us today to learn how we can support your insurance needs, allowing you to focus on what you do best—making a difference in your community.

How to Apply for D&O Insurance

Navigating insurance can seem daunting, but applying for d and o insurance for nonprofits doesn’t have to be complicated. Here at Griffith & Harris, we’re committed to making the process as straightforward and stress-free as possible. Let’s break down the steps to get your nonprofit the protection it deserves.

Assess Your Needs

First things first, it’s crucial to understand what your nonprofit specifically needs from a D&O insurance policy. Consider the size of your organization, the activities you engage in, and the potential risks your directors and officers might face. This initial assessment will guide you in finding a policy that covers your unique vulnerabilities.

Online Application Made Easy

Gone are the days of cumbersome paper applications. With our easy online application process, you can start applying for D&O insurance from the comfort of your office—or anywhere else, for that matter. You’ll need to provide some basic information about your nonprofit, including details about your operations, financials, and the members of your board.

Understanding Coverage Options

D&O insurance for nonprofits can vary widely in terms of what’s covered. At Griffith & Harris, we offer policies that include protection against legal fees, settlements, and judgments related to wrongful act allegations, breach of duty, and more. We also ensure you understand the importance of having Commercial General Liability coverage as a prerequisite for certain D&O policies. For organizations without employees, our flat-rate D&O option might be the perfect fit.

D&O Insurance Coverage Options - d and o insurance for nonprofits

The Role of EPLI

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) is another critical consideration for many nonprofits. This coverage can protect your organization from claims related to employment practices, making it a valuable addition to your D&O policy. We’ll help you understand how EPLI can fit into your overall insurance strategy.

Finalizing Your Application

Once you’ve completed your application and chosen your coverage options, it’s time to review and finalize everything. We recommend taking a close look at your policy details to ensure it meets all your needs. If you have any questions or concerns, our team is here to provide guidance. After you’re satisfied with your policy, simply sign the documents to initiate your coverage.

Rapid Coverage Timeline

We understand that time is of the essence. That’s why we strive to process applications quickly, so you can get the protection you need without delay. In many cases, coverage can begin in less than 24 hours after your application is finalized.

At Griffith & Harris, we’re dedicated to supporting nonprofits with tailored insurance solutions. Applying for D&O insurance is a critical step in safeguarding your organization’s future—and we’re here to assist every step of the way.

Protecting your directors and officers with the right insurance not only shields them from personal liability but also strengthens your organization’s ability to attract and retain top talent. If you’re ready to explore your options or have any questions about the application process, reach out to us. Let’s ensure your nonprofit is well-protected, so you can focus on your mission with peace of mind.

Attracting and Retaining Qualified Directors with D&O Insurance

In the nonprofit world, having a strong, competent board of directors is not just beneficial—it’s essential. These individuals steer the organization towards its mission, making pivotal decisions that affect its future and integrity. Here, we’ll dive into how Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance plays a crucial role in not only safeguarding these key players but also in making your nonprofit an attractive place for top talent.

Why Top Talent Looks for D&O Insurance

Protection for Defense Costs, Settlements, Judgments

First and foremost, D&O insurance offers peace of mind to your board members. It covers the legal fees, settlements, and judgments that may arise from lawsuits. This kind of financial backing is crucial, as legal battles can be costly and prolonged. When potential directors know that they won’t have to bear these costs personally, they’re more likely to join and stay with your nonprofit.

Attracting Top Talent

The best and brightest in any field look for stability and protection in their roles. D&O insurance signals to prospective board members that your nonprofit values and safeguards its leadership. This assurance makes your organization more appealing to qualified individuals looking to contribute their skills to a worthy cause.

Protecting Personal Assets of Directors and Board Members

One of the biggest fears for anyone considering a directorship role is the risk to their personal assets. D&O insurance addresses this concern head-on by providing a safety net, ensuring that their personal finances are not on the line for decisions made in the best interest of the nonprofit. This level of protection is a significant draw for experienced professionals who might otherwise be hesitant to take on the risk.

The Griffith & Harris Advantage

At Griffith & Harris, we understand the unique needs and challenges faced by nonprofits. We specialize in providing comprehensive D&O insurance tailored to protect and attract the leadership your organization needs to thrive. With our expertise, we can help you navigate the complexities of D&O coverage, ensuring that your directors and officers feel secure in their roles.


D&O insurance is more than just a policy—it’s a strategic tool for building a strong, resilient, and talented board of directors. By offering this protection, you not only safeguard your nonprofit’s leaders against personal liability but also position your organization as a desirable place for skilled professionals looking to make a difference. If attracting and retaining top talent is a priority for your nonprofit, consider D&O insurance with Griffith & Harris. Together, we can ensure that your leadership team has the confidence and security to guide your nonprofit toward its mission.


In nonprofits, the unexpected can happen at any time. Legal claims, whether grounded in errors, misleading statements, or breaches of duty, can not only threaten the financial stability of your organization but also the personal assets of its directors and officers. That’s where D&O insurance for nonprofits plays a crucial role. By safeguarding against a wide array of claims, from misuse of funds to failure in complying with regulations, D&O insurance ensures that your nonprofit can continue its mission without the looming threat of legal liabilities.

At Griffith & Harris, we understand the unique challenges faced by nonprofits and the importance of having robust protection in place. Our D&O insurance solutions are tailored to meet the specific needs of your organization, offering peace of mind to your directors and officers. This coverage not only aids in attracting and retaining qualified board members but also fortifies your nonprofit’s reputation and overall resilience.

The cost of D&O insurance is a small price to pay for the substantial protection it provides. Whether your nonprofit focuses on counseling, pet adoption, or any other noble cause, having the right insurance coverage ensures you’re prepared for the hurdles the future may bring.

As you consider safeguarding your nonprofit, our team at Griffith & Harris is here to help. We’re dedicated to providing personalized insurance solutions that support your mission and protect your team. For more information on D&O insurance or to explore additional insurance options that may benefit your nonprofit, we invite you to visit our website.

For further reading and to understand more about the insurance options available to your nonprofit, consider exploring the following pages on our website:

Let us help you navigate the complexities of nonprofit insurance so you can focus on what matters most—your mission. Griffith & Harris is your partner in protection, committed to securing the future of your nonprofit through comprehensive and affordable insurance solutions.

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