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

July 26, 2012

Early-Bird Discount to RISK SUMMIT Ends Tomorrow

Tomorrow, at the stroke of midnight on Friday, July 27th, the Early-Bird discount for the 2012 RISK SUMMIT will expire. If you have been thinking about joining your fellow risk management “rock stars” at the only national conference designed for nonprofit risk professionals, register today to save $100 and avoid the late registration penalty. The schedule for the August 26-28 conference is available on the SUMMIT program page. Click on the “Register Now” link to snap up one of the quickly disappearing registration slots.

Summer Newsletter Now Available

A brand-new Summer edition of Risk Management Essentials is now available. We’re calling this edition “The Fundraising Issue.” Check out RME for articles on top fundraising risks and charitable registration. The newsletter is available in several formats at: www.nonprofitrisk.org/library/newsletter/newsletter.shtml.

Mind the Gap

By Melanie Lockwood Herman

Readers who have been to a “tube” station in London will instantly recognize the title of today’s essay on risk. Introduced in 1969 on the London Underground, “Mind the Gap” signs were posted to warn riders to exercise care when stepping over the varying-in-size gap that exists between the station platform and the train. The phrase is now used in transit systems worldwide from Singapore to Stockholm.

While waiting for a mechanic to finish routine maintenance on my Mini Cooper this morning I heard a promo for TV coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games. The mention of London reminded me of the simple, but effective “Mind the Gap” signs I’ve seen on my trips across the pond, and led me to ponder the frequent “gaps” that go unnoticed and therefore unattended in risk management programs.

While pondering strategies for increasing the winning percentage (or sustaining the winning streak!) of your risk management program, ask whether the following gaps may be present:

  • A gap between the intent of your volunteer policies… and your volunteers’ understanding of those policies.
  • A gap between the knowledge required to provide thoughtful fiscal oversight… and the demonstrated fiscal literacy of your current board. Hint: if board members don’t ask any questions when the Finance Committee delivers its report, the word “gap” is probably an understatement.
  • A gap between your proudly proclaimed commitment to safety… and your track record of injuries, accidents and near misses.
  • A gap between the 100% participation target for your staff and volunteer training, and actual attendance at “required” education sessions.
  • A gap between your lofty statement expressing a “commitment to transparency” and your willingness to let stakeholders peek behind the organizational curtain of secrecy.
  • A gap between your resolution to “adopt best practices in youth protection” and your track record of reaching out for help to implement best-in-class program design, screening, training and supervision.
  • A gap between your intent to embrace “enterprise risk management” and the narrow scope of your silo-based, operational risk management program.
  • A gap between your statement, that “our most important assets are our people” and staff morale.
  • A gap between your avowed “trust in employees” and your inclination to micromanage them.
  • A gap between your resolve to “hire the best and the brightest” and your compensation and benefits package.
  • A gap between nonprofit sector and risk management industry “best practices” and business as usual.

If you’re keen to spot other “gaps” in your risk management efforts, AND close any of the applicable gaps listed above, consider joining our team of risk leaders for the 18th annual RISK SUMMIT sponsored by the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, this August 26-28 in Chicago. As indicated at the top of this issue of the eNews, the Early-Bird discount will disappear tomorrow. Register today to avoid disappointment. To learn more about the conference, visit the SUMMIT webpage. Click on the PROGRAM tab to see the line-up of sessions and speakers.

Melanie Lockwood Herman is Executive Director of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center. She welcomes your ideas about any risk management topic, suggestions for simple but clever warning signs, and questions about the Centerís 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.



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