A SOURCE for Tools, Advice, and Training to control risks... so you can Focus on your Nonprofit's mission.

March 2, 2011

Choosing Preparation Over Panic

By Melanie Lockwood Herman

The subjects of employee benefits and employee “rights,” have been front and center in the news as of late. Another front-page / home-page topic on the domestic news front is the growing federal deficit. School children (and taxpayers!) across the country are trying to grasp the idea of $12.4 Trillion. At the Nonprofit Risk Management Center we have observed that fear of how things will turn out causes some nonprofit leaders to worry or even panic while inspiring others to prepare. Rather than trying to forecast or anticipate exactly how things will turn out, author Randy Park reminds leaders to prepare for “alternate futures.”

I definitely favor preparation over panic. I’ve learned the hard way that preparation—though not necessarily stress free— is far less likely to cause stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, or incivility in a nonprofit workplace.

A new report released this week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation offers an interesting look at the effects of federal health care reform at the state level. The report, titled “Health Care Reform Across the States: Increased Insurance Coverage and Federal Spending on the Exchanges and Medicaid,” was authored by senior researchers at the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center.

The Center’s upcoming Nonprofit Employee Benefits Conference offers your nonprofit an affordable opportunity to choose preparation over panic. The conference begins with a plenary session examining the impact of federal health care reform on nonprofit employers. Concerns raised by our nonprofit clients about rising benefits costs and increasing regulatory complexity led to the creation of this program. The conference program, presented by industry experts, will explore various aspects of employee benefits, from managing/containing costs, to being more strategic in designing benefits programs. The topics that will be offered at this new event are ones not typically covered in our annual Summit, held in the Fall. We promise to provide a worthwhile, engaging, affordable and informative program with practical take-home ideas and strategies.

If you haven’t done so already, I invite you to:

  • peruse the conference program found at the PROGRAM tab on the Nonprofit Employee Benefits conference webpage; or
  • forward this enews to the leader responsible for managing employee benefits in your nonprofit.

If you’re choosing preparation over panic when it comes to funding and managing employee benefits in 2011 and beyond, and you want to be credible in assuring the board that your organization will be compliant with increasingly complex regulations, plan to join us in New York this May.

Melanie Lockwood Herman is Executive Director of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center. She welcomes your ideas about any risk management topic, feedback on this article and questions about the Center’s resources at Melanie@nonprofitrisk.org or (202) 785-3891. The Center provides risk management tools and resources at www.nonprofitrisk.org and offers custom consulting assistance. Melanie’s recent books include No Surprises: Harmonizing Risk and Reward in Volunteer Management-5th Edition, available as an old fashioned hard copy book or as a downloadable PDF.



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