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

February 1, 2012

To Lead

By Melanie Lockwood Herman

I am blessed to be able to witness the work of and work with many great leaders. Few days go by when I don’t learn from a member of my own board, from colleagues with whom I sit on other boards, or from members of the management teams and boards I have the privilege of advising. With three different lenses through which to see leadership in action, I’m grateful for what feels like a kaleidoscopic view. Reflecting on what I have experienced in recent weeks, I wanted to share a personal take on what it means… to lead.

Leadership means…

  • Inviting feedback on your toughest decisions—knowing full well that some of that feedback will be critical;
  • Having the courage to be transparent about the decisions you make as a leader;
  • Never believing that you are the smartest person in the room and entering every boardroom eager to learn from others;
  • Bringing your toughest questions, rather than your brilliant solutions, to discussions with other leaders you trust and respect;
  • Being truly humble by living up to your commitments;
  • Learning to disagree without being disagreeable;
  • Being on the lookout for emerging leaders who can take your place, take the baton or add strength, talent or a contrary point of view to the ranks;
  • Recognizing when it’s time to step away or step down and leave an organization you love in the trusted care of others; and
  • Always treating peers, partners, direct-reports, volunteers and donors in the manner you wish to be treated in return.

With Gratitude

This week I’m feeling deeply grateful to Holly Ross, Executive Director of NTEN, and Alison Carl White, Executive Director of NPower NW, who will deliver the 2nd webinar in our First Wednesdays series of monthly webinars. Holly and Alison will address the timely topic of “Managing Social Media Risk and Reward” in the live program that will take place today at 2 pm Eastern. Members, customers and staff professionals of our AFFILIATE members will enjoy complimentary access to the recorded program, after 5 pm Eastern today. It’s not too late to either REGISTER for the program, or ENROLL as an AFFILIATE of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center.

I’m also grateful to our newest AFFILIATE Members: the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy, the California Association of Nonprofits, and Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Inc. Thank you for expressing your public support for the Center’s mission!

Why Join?

As a Center AFFILIATE your nonprofit’s members, chapters, councils and affiliates will enjoy access to an array of free and discounted risk resources, including complimentary viewing of this year’s First Wednesday Webinar series and unlimited technical assistance by telephone and email. Nonprofit AFFILIATES include national nonprofit federations, regional agencies, and local organizations. The nonprofit customers of for-profit AFFILIATES (brokers, background checking companies, specialty carriers, law firms, CPA firms, and management consulting firms) enjoy the same access to money-saving risk resources.

The cost to nonprofit AFFILIATES is $75 per month, and the cost to for-profit AFFILIATES is $100 per month. If only ONE of your staff, chapters, or members calls us each month or watches a single webinar, you’ll save money AND benefit in a tangible way from your membership in the only national nonprofit dedicated to helping nonprofit sector leaders become risk aware and resilient in our changing and uncertain world.

We hope you’ll visit the AFFILIATES Program webpage, peruse the list of benefits, and click to enroll. And don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions about the program. Welcome aboard!

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.

No Surprises: Harmonizing Risk & Reward in Volunteer Management—5th Edition

Now available as a 5th edition, No Surprises is the Center’s best-selling book on volunteer risk management. If your nonprofit engages volunteers to advance your mission, you’ll find practical wisdom and value in this handy reference guide, available in hard copy and eBook formats. This easy-to-read guide addresses topics ranging from volunteer screening to volunteer supervision and discipline. Authored by Melanie Herman, the Center’s executive director, No Surprises invites readers to embrace risk-taking in volunteer management while paying close attention to the nature of volunteer service, evolving volunteer roles, public relations issues involving volunteers, and much, much more. Learn more or order a copy today, here.

New Edition of Risk Management Essentials, Now Available

The latest edition edition of the Center’s newsletter, Risk Management Essentials, is now available. This special “volunteer issue” includes answers to the top questions we received about volunteers during 2011. Read the issue’s feature articles online, view or print a PDF version, or peruse the “turn the page” edition online at: www.nonprofitrisk.org/library/newsletter/rme.html.

Policy Drafting Help is a Click Away: My Risk Management Policies

If you’re looking for help developing custom risk management policies for your nonprofit, look no further. The Center is pleased to offer My Risk Management Policies, an affordable, easy-to-use online tool that helps you create custom policies in a matter of minutes. Policy templates are organized into 22 categories. Creating a new social media policy, youth protection policy or code of conduct is a snap using My Risk Management Policies, and requires far less time that it takes to find a mildly suitable sample using an Internet search engine.

Evolving Risk Management Programs: Our Specialty

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.

2012 Cyber Training Schedule Announced

The Center’s monthly webinar education program is off to a great start. During 2012 we will deliver a total of sixteen informative webinars on a wide range of critical risk topics. It’s not too late to take advantage of these accessible, informative workshops. Keep in mind that if you enroll as a Center AFFILIATE, you’ll enjoy complimentary access to the recordings of the First Wednesdays series—a $459 savings.

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.



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