[Infographic] Questions Nonprofits Should Ask to Assess Their Risk Management Practices
February 13, 2016
If, like the majority of Americans, you have some (or most) of your retirement savings invested in stocks, the last month and a half has been disconcerting (to say the least). The same is true for nonprofit organizations, which count on grants from endowed private foundations and deep-pocketed individual donors to fund key initiatives and, in many cases, keep the lights on. As anyone who was around in 2008, 2002-03, or the early 1990s can tell you, however, when stock portfolios fall in value, foundation grantmaking and individual giving are quick to follow. And volatility in revenue streams is just one of the many organizational risks the typical nonprofit faces.
What's a nonprofit executive to do? The worst thing he or she can do is to do nothing. As Ben Franklin liked to say: "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." So, how does one prepare for risks, both known and unknown, that lie in wait for even the best-managed organization? As the infographic from our friends at accounting giant BDO's global forensics unit reminds us, ask questions. Lots of them.
Does your nonprofit devote time and resources to risk management? What advice would you give to a freshly minted executive director who finds herself too busy to worry about things she has no control over? Inquiring minds want to know...
And, hey, as Sgt. Phil Esterhaus, the character played by actor Michael Conrad in the hit '80s police drama Hill Street Blues, might say: "Let's be careful out there."