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

November 16, 2011

2012 Cyber Training Schedule Announced

The Nonprofit Risk Management Center will deliver sixteen informative webinars on a wide range of critical risk topics during 2012.

First Wednesdays webinars cover topics ranging from “Risk and Decision-Making,” to “Managing Social Media Risk” and “Crisis Management and Crisis Communication.” Each one-hour program costs $59. Save $249 by registering for the entire series! Participate “live” or view and listen to recorded programs at your convenience.

Third Thursdays webinars focus on human resource risk. Four, 90-minute programs will be offered during the period January-April 2012. Each webinar costs $89. Save $97 by registering for the four-part series! Participate “live” or view and listen to recorded programs at your convenience.

New! — 2nd Edition of Ready…or Not Released during Risk Summit

At the annual Risk Management & Finance Summit for Nonprofits held in Seattle at the end of September, the Nonprofit Risk Management Center released the 2nd edition of Ready…or Not: A Risk Management Guide for Nonprofit Executives. This easy-to-read, practical guide addresses topics ranging from risk awareness to calibrating risk appetite. Authored by Melanie Herman, the Center’s executive director, Ready…or Not invites readers to embrace risk-taking in their organizations while paying close attention to stakeholder perceptions, risk communication and the relationship between risk and strategy setting. The 2nd edition features updated content throughout, including brand-new chapters on “human factors” in risk management and risk awareness/risk appetite. Learn more or order a copy today, here.

Crisis Preparation Tips

By Melanie Lockwood Herman

As we prepare to turn to the final page of the 2011 calendar, the topic of “crisis management” may not be top of mind for most nonprofit leaders. Yet a common element of many crisis events—its appearance with little or no warning—offers a reminder that there is no true “season” for preparation. Effective nonprofit leaders must be vigilant and diligent from the beginning of the year to the end.

As your organization wraps up the planning process for a bright and mission-focused 2012, I invite you to reflect on your preparation to survive a crisis that may threaten your vital mission. The following questions may help you get started:

  • What have we learned from the last crisis we faced? Have we truly learned from the experience, or simply buried the memories?
  • Who might we need to notify if a crisis were to “hit”? Do we have easily retrievable lists of key stakeholder groups, including: paid and volunteer leaders, donors, participants, parents of participants, media outlets, vendors, etc.
  • What will we say? It may be impossible to write a complete and polished press release—before the crisis unfolds—but there is no need to wait getting started on key themes, such as a clear statement of mission, statement expressing your commitment to safety, etc.
  • Who will be in charge? Who will serve on your crisis response team? Although some adjustments may be necessary due to the nature of an actual crisis, the core members can and should be identified now.
  • Do we have a Plan B? If a crisis makes it impossible to deliver service X or Y, do you have a backup plan? Can certain services or programs be cut back or suspended in the wake of a crisis impacting financial resources, personnel or facilities?

Answering the questions above won’t produce a fully formed crisis management plan. But doing so will ensure that you’re one step ahead of the nonprofit leaders who decide to simply hope for the best. The topics of Crisis Management and Crisis Communications are featured in the 2012 First Wednesdays Webinar series. Check out the line-up of programs for details on dates and topics.

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 consulting assistance to organizations unwilling to leave their missions to chance.

If Evolving Your Risk Management Program to Address Changing Times is Your Goal, We Can Help

Whether you’re trying to better understand your nonprofit’s appetite for risk-taking, sharpen your risk management skills, evolve your risk management efforts in response to changing circumstances, or educate your board about risk-taking and risk management, don’t hesitate to reach out the team at the Nonprofit Risk Management Center for assistance. We can support you in a number of ways. We’re available to help you:

We offer advice and consultation on topics ranging from developing or updating youth protection policies, to strengthening governance practices. Why make the evolutionary journey alone when you can partner with a team of nonprofit specialists who live and breathe nonprofit sector risks? Contact Melanie@nonprofitrisk.org or call (202) 785-3891 to discuss your needs and learn how we can help.



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