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Learn More About VOPA

Learn More About VOPA

We need U.S. Lions to urge their Member of Congress to co-sponsor the Volunteer Organization Protection Act of 2017 (“VOPA”). U.S. House Bill 2432.

Why Support the VOPA?

Nonprofit organizations are involved in a wide range of activities, many of which expose the organization, its officers and volunteers to potential liability. Although their intent is to serve the public interest, these organizations and their volunteers may inadvertently cause harm to others and are thus susceptible to typical tort claims.

Nonprofit organizations play a very important role in the American society and economy, but are now being drawn into lawsuits on a scale previously reserved for private businesses. This phenomenon can endanger the existence of Lions clubs even as public demand for their services grows. In this age of frivolous lawsuits, providing enhanced protection to local service organizations that simply want to help their fellow citizens is a common sense appeal.

Lions Clubs International is proud to have taken the lead on this important measure, but we cannot do it alone. The successful passage of this legislation and the fiscal health of Lions clubs and local nonprofit organizations depend on the strength of Lions across the U.S.

What is the VOPA?

In 1997, U.S. Congress adopted the Volunteer Protection Act (“Act”), which provides protection from tort claims that might be filed against individual volunteers of nonprofit organizations. However, the Act does not completely protect nonprofit organizations from liability caused by a volunteer.

Recognizing the need to provide enhanced protection to local service club organizations, Lions Clubs International engaged Congressman Steve Chabot of Ohio to develop a bill to correct this issue. The Volunteer Organization Protection Act of 2017 (“VOPA”) was subsequently introduced into Congress this year!

The bill would amend the Act by affording similar liability protections to volunteer organizations as are already provided to individual volunteers, except in cases of willful misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct or flagrant indifference to safety. The bill does not raise the standard of liability for organizations – it merely protects organizations, such as Lions clubs, from being drawn into lawsuits for the wrongful acts of individual volunteers. 

More Information

The Volunteer Organization Protection Act of 2017 has the support of a broad group of organizations, representing more than two million U.S. volunteers, standing united to strengthen volunteerism and service in the United States of America. Click here for a complete list of organizations.

Contact Us

To learn more please contact us at governmentrelations@lionsclubs.org.

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