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

October 17, 2012

Webinar Training Series - ALL NEW TOPICS FOR 2013!

The Nonprofit Risk Management Center invites you to attend our series of one-hour educational webinars during 2013. We will deliver one webinar per month, covering topics ranging from risk oversight, to reference checking, conflicts of interest and the erosion of the “icons” of HR. Each one-hour program costs $59. However, we recognize that saving money means freeing up resources for your mission, so we are pleased to offer Early Bird pricing. You can save up to 40% ($288) on webinars by registering before midnight on December 3, 2012. Join us for one webinar, or for the entire series!

# of Webinars Purchased BEFORE Midnight on December 3, 2012* Total Cost Savings Price per Webinar
1 $55 7% $55
3 $150 15% $50
6 $282 25% $47
9 $369 35% $41
12 $420 40% $35

*Registration must be paid in full by check or credit card by December 3, 2012.

NEW in 2013 Ė Webinar Giveaways and Twitter Q&A Soirees!

The Nonprofit Risk Management Center strives to make webinars rewarding for registrants. This year we are adding two new features to our Wednesday webinars: both ensure more bang for your buck. At each LIVE webinar, we will randomly select one participant as the winner of a special prize. Prizes will include copies of our e-books or licenses to My Risk Management Plan,- our popular program that helps nonprofit leaders create custom-fit risk management plans.

We are also adding a Twitter Q&A Soiree to each webinar. LIVE webinar participants will be invited to communicate with us via Twitter after each webinar. Center staff will be responding to your tweets for 48 hours post-webinar. Twitter Q&A Soirees are an extra opportunity for us to pose your thorniest questions and receive expert guidance.

AFFILIATE Members Get More and Save More! Consider becoming an Affiliate Member if you want to receive more risk management perks. Our Members enjoy free, unlimited access to the 2013 webinars, 90+ recorded webinars, free RISK HELP from Center experts throughout the year, and savings on valuable resources including books, online programs, and registration for our annual RISK SUMMIT. Affiliate Membership is only $75/month for nonprofit organizations and $100/month for for-profit firms. Learn more about program benefits or enroll today.

Training Wheels

By Melanie Lockwood Herman

Last week I wrote about the connection between riding a vintage motorcycle in less than perfect weather conditions and the fact that things worth doing aren’t always easy to do. The feedback from readers led me to reflect on my first ride on a motorcycle: at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic RiderCourseSM. When I arrived for the weekend-long course, I was surprised to see real motorcycles in the parking lot where the course was being held. For some reason I had envisioned that I would be learning to ride on a bike with something akin to training wheels. I could not imagine staying upright on a motorcycle on the first go, without a safety net. But as I quickly discovered, one learns to ride a motorcycle by riding a motorcycle.

Many nonprofit employees find themselves in a similar situation. Instead of being given ample time to learn how to do the job they are asked to deliver, perform and execute on the very first day. We’re expected to learn as we go. There are few if any opportunities to practice our jobs with a safety net; most nonprofit employees learn by doing. Your nonprofit’s clients, customers and consumers need your help today. Their needs and wants can’t wait for a steep learning curve.

Given the lack of apprenticeship roles in the nonprofit sector and the demand to “learn as you go,” what’s the key to protecting the safety of clients and your mission when employees are truly new on the job? I can’t think of anything more important than training. And even your brightest staff need training to perform at a high level. Here are some tips for designing risk management training that will not only stick, but also provide the biggest bang for your training buck.

Risk Training Tips

  • Encourage staff to request training opportunities. In many cases your staff will recognize their training needs long before you do. Invite all new hires to raise their hands (without fear of reprisal) for admitting that “I’d like to be trained on that!” Allowing staff to pretend that they know the rules of your road or how to address difficult issues is a recipe for poor performance and potential legal liability.
  • Incorporate more than one training format. Some topics can be taught via online courses and webinars, while others are better presented in-person to allow for eye contact and interaction between the presenter and attendees. Make a commitment to supplement in-person training (the most costly form of training) with less costly options, such as webinars and online courses. But donít be penny wise and pound foolish by eliminating all in-person training. If you are training staff members on prohibited activities or other sensitive subjects, it is imperative to train in-person to increase understanding and compliance.
  • Provide training on your key policies and procedures. Handing a new employee a manual and telling them to “read it” isn’t training. Schedule training opportunities to review key policies, including “what to do if…” and which actions, behaviors and conduct are strictly forbidden. There are two sure ways to help staff members understand key policies: repetition and frequency. Review training on key policies often so your staff members will both remember and comply!
  • Customize training to your culture, environment, clients and programs. Many of your staff will benefit from training on “best practice” topics. But whether you’re retaining an outside presenter or tapping an in-house expert, make certain that a portion of all training programs covers topics and issues that are highly specific to your mission and operations.

Let’s face it: training is fundamental to success on the job. And while the courses we took in high school or college provide a backdrop for our work at nonprofit organizations, none fully prepared us for the job we are doing today. On the job training is essential to mission fulfillment. And when you provide high quality risk and safety training to your staff, you’re doing more than investing in great performance. You’re investing in the safety and welfare of your clients, consumers and participants, as well as the well-being of your nonprofit’s mission. It’s time to put the “training wheels” back on the risk management program in your nonprofit and reinvest in the people that bring your mission to life.

Melanie Lockwood Herman is Executive Director of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center. She welcomes your ideas about any risk management topic, suggestions for best-in-class risk management, 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.



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