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

May 9, 2012

Tangram and ProSight Specialty Insurance Join Corporate Sustainer Program

The Nonprofit Risk Management Center is pleased to announce that Tangram Insurance Services and ProSight Specialty Insurance have signed on as a brand new Corporate Sustainer of the Center. As a Corporate Sustainer, Tangram & ProSight demonstrate their commitment to the Center’s mission of helping nonprofit leaders become more risk aware and continue to improve the quality of their organizations. In addition to joining the ranks of the Center’s elite sponsorship program, Tangram & ProSight will be among the corporate sponsors of the Center’s 18th annual conference scheduled for August 26-28, 2012 in Chicago.

“The staff and board team at the Center are thrilled to welcome the partnership of Tangram Insurance Services and ProSight Specialty to our Corporate Sustainers program,” notes Melanie Herman, Executive Director of the Center. “The Tangram & ProSight Non-Profit Social Service Program is a truly unique workers compensation program designed specifically for this industry. I am especially grateful to Tangram and ProSight for beginning their journey with the Center at our highest level of support. The support and assistance we are receiving from the companies will be invaluable as we continue to design and deliver innovative risk management tools and resources for the nonprofit sector.”

“We are excited to about our partnership with the Nonprofit Risk Management Center,” says Rekha Skantharaja, Senior Vice President of Tangram. “We have been committed to providing workers compensation insurance to the nonprofit industry for over a decade and are passionate about the clients we serve. Our sponsorship allows us to support the great work of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center in the community we seek to help.” more…

6 Tips for Making Risk Management Stick

By Melanie Lockwood Herman

Is your road to a great risk management program paved with only the best of intentions? Even skilled and experienced nonprofit leaders sometimes find their risk management efforts falling victim to internal and external booby traps. Consider the following tips to avoid common planning pitfalls:

  1. Communicate freely and visibly. An essential part of any risk management framework is communication but, unfortunately, “communicate” is too often an afterthought. When you wait until your risk management strategies have been fully outlined to communicate them to stakeholders, you are setting a potentially disastrous trap for your program. When people feel uninformed or “out of the loop,” they generally resist new ideas, programs and policies, however great they may be.
  2. Shift your focus. Instead putting most of your energy into “preventing losses," shift your focus to spend as much if not greater effort on the efficacy of response strategies and your nonprofit’s “bounce back” ability after a major loss or crisis. Over time, every nonprofit will face their share of losses and even crisis events. To quote former Center board member Felix Kloman, “Resilience… is the essence of effective risk management.”
  3. Start small and experiment. Consider testing new risk management activities, policies or processes on a small group instead of unleashing an unproven approach on your entire workforce or clientele all at once. Better yet, involve hard-to-please constituents in the design of any new risk management activity. Those involved in early versions of your approach will likely be your most effective ambassadors once the plan is rolled out.
  4. Keep it simple. When you aim for simplicity in your risk management policies you do yourself and those who must comply with those policies an invaluable favor. As you review draft policies, identify words, phrases and sections that are unnecessary and therefore can be deleted, rather than asking, “what’s missing?” or “what else could we include?”
  5. Embrace redundancy. A risk management program aimed at protecting a nonprofit’s mission, financial assets and vulnerable program participants should include overlapping strategies to avoid any single point of failure. Like a car with anti-lock brakes, a camera on the rear bumper, always-on headlights, and side-impact airbags, a “safe” program has built-in redundancies. Never rely on a single policy, staff person or piece of equipment to keep your mission, people and facilities safe.
  6. Strive for feedback, not perfection. The delay in rolling out many risk management strategies is often due to the desire to create the “perfect” solution that will be widely embraced. Instead of over-thinking your approach, build easy-to-access feedback mechanisms into your programs which encourage others to make suggestions… or to submit complaints.

Following these six tips will help you make your risk management policies “stick” and also help you avoid common pitfalls inherent in the design, launch and implementation of a risk management program.

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 (703) 777-3504. 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.

What do rock stars and risk management professionals have in common?

They hang out at the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown Chicago!

The Nonprofit Risk Management Center is pleased to announce that the location of the 2012 Risk Management & Finance SUMMIT for Nonprofits will be the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago near the famous Magnificent Mile. Join us August 26-28 for informative risk management sessions, inspiring keynotes and a vendor expo that will allow you to keep your organization from getting stuck, “between a rock and a hard place.”

The Hard Rock Hotel Chicago stretches 40 stories tall and features upscale accommodations and beautiful views of the city skyline. Situated on Michigan Avenue, the hotel is steps away from Millennium Park, the Theatre District and the best shopping, dining and attractions in the Windy City. The contemporary ambience of the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago blends seamlessly within the walls of the landmark Carbide & Carbon Building, a historic Burnham masterpiece fashioned from green terra cotta and black polished granite. The hotel is located on the corner of Michigan Avenue and East Wacker Place/South Water Street.

The hotel is offering discounted conference rates as low as $159 per night for SUMMIT attendees who reserve rooms before August 4, 2012. To book your hotel reservation in our limited block, please use the following link: Nonprofit Risk Management Hotel Reservations.



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