Risk Assessment

What if we get sued?
What if somethings happens to the executive director?
What if we have a PR disaster?

Risk assessment for nonprofit boards of directors means asking the question, “What could stop us?” Create a risk profile for significant aspects of your board and the organization. Identify potential problems now to provide your board with time to think and prepare before a crisis develops.

On the Edge of Exceptional

It’s called a “Goldilocks Zone.” Planets have them. Sand dunes have them. NASCAR drivers, too. That narrow range between too much and not enough. Find it, and great things begin to happen.

What Could Sink Us?

Young Hornblower did everything right — given what he knew. But he failed to get the key piece of data that might have saved his ship.

Is Our Board Too Cautious?

A board or a CEO that is too cautious may do as much harm as one that is reckless.

3 Kinds of Risk Nonprofit Leaders Face

In their Harvard Business Review article Managing Risks: A New Framework, Robert S. Kaplan and Anette Mikes provide three qualitative distinctions among the types of risk organizations face. Two of these categories, preventable risks and strategy risks, are internal to the organization and so are within the control of the leadership. The third category includes risks from external sources; leadership may not control the risks, but they can prepare for them. Here’s how.

3 Reasons to Ask: “What Could Kill This Organization?”

It’s a startling question. The answers provide critical guidance for risk management, strategic planning, writing governance policies.

Responding to Sabotage on the Nonprofit Board

Sabotage is disruption and damage, usually done on purpose. How can you respond to sabotage on a nonprofit board?

How to Deliver Bad News as a Nonprofit Board Chair

If a crisis puts the organization’s people, assets, or intended outcomes at risk, then major donors, clients, staff, or the community need to know. Here’s a simple outline of what to say.

Leading Through the Crisis That Hasn’t Happened—Yet

Off-balance. Unable to cope. Distressed to the point of impairment. A crisis is not the aggravating problem that erupts on Tuesday and the staff resolves by Thursday. A crisis is big enough to up-end the organization, and you can’t always see it coming. It may have staff, donors, and even clients questioning their ability or willingness to continue. Your board can prepare to lead through the crisis that hasn’t happened yet. Develop an emergency response plan that adapts quickly to whatever may come.

4 Things Our Whitewater Guide Knew About Risk Management

We hit the bottom of a flume and leapt into the air. The raft went left and a woman at the front went right— into the Class III rapids. She surfaced, legs out in front, and let the life vest carry her along, pushing off rocks with her paddle and arms. Our guide shouted instructions and we manuevered the raft close enough to throw her a rope. As we pulled alongside, two of our crew grasped her life vest and pull her aboard. Cold and little shaken, she took up her paddle and dug in. She was safe again, partly because she had known what to do and so had we. But the reason we knew what to do was that our whitewater guide knew about risk management.