Center AFFILIATES   —   J. Craig & Page T. Smith Scholarships Foundation, Inc.         TD&T CPAs and Advisors, P.C.         The Flea Theater         Providence Academy         Purchase Day Camp         Center for Nonprofit Stewardship         ability beyond         Ipso Facto Theatricals         The Salk Institute         Frisco Family Services         United States Liability Insurance Group         Lindsay Insurance Group, Inc.         The Ford Family Foundation         Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, Inc.         United States Breastfeeding Committee, Inc.         The Miller Group         Kaiser Family Foundation         YMCA of the USA         Communities In Schools         Gulf Coast Community Foundation         Health Care For All         Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations         ANCOR (American Network of Community Options and Resources)         Housing Authority Insurance Group, Inc.         Pennsylvania School Boards Association         Edtec Central, LLC         Independent Living Services         Michigan Nonprofit Association         Cato & Cato LLP         Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.         Land Trust Alliance         The Salvation Army, National Corporation         YWCA USA         Riverport Insurance Company         Council Services Plus, Inc.         Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations         Bridge House Corporation         501c Agencies Trust         Every Citizen Has Opportunities, Inc. (ECHO)         Great American Insurance Group         Berkley Public Entity Managers         Maine Association of Nonprofits         Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life         HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy         Sunshine         Speech and Language Development Center         Community Action Partnership         PowderHorn Consulting         Association for Energy Affordability, Inc.         Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. And our Group of Companies         Florida Nonprofit Alliance         n4a         Career Opportunities Development, Inc.         First Nonprofit Group         Austin Community College Center for Community Based & Nonprofit Organizations         GROW Associates, Inc         National MS Society         Helping Hand Center         United Community Ministries         N.C. Center for Nonprofits         Chubb Group of Insurance Companies         US Olympic Committee         Arkansas Nonprofit Alliance         PSA Insurance & Financial Services         Beyond Z         The Nature Conservancy         State Bank Financial         Munich Reinsurance America, Inc.         Harleysville Insurance         Kentucky Nonprofit Network         Philadelphia Insurance Companies         Maryland Nonprofits         Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Inc.         Loudoun Human Services Network         CapSpecialty Insurance         Cain Consulting Group Inc.         California Association of Nonprofits         Gulf Coast Social Services         Catholic Charities Community Services         The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc.         International Planned Parenthood Federation - WHR         Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence                        


Screen with Confidence and Safety

Have you ever experienced an ‘uh-oh’ moment when you realized you didn’t hire the right person for the job? Then maybe it’s time to revamp your staff screening process with the brand new Staff Screening Notebook. Written by John C. Patterson, an expert with over 25 years of experience in quality staff screening and client safety, the Notebook approaches staff screening with a comprehensive 10-step screening process that offers users the greatest chance of selecting the best possible candidates for paid and volunteer roles at a nonprofit.

Aside from an in-depth review of the 10-step screening process, the Notebook also addresses: the history and evolution of staff screening in the nonprofit sector; legal considerations pertaining to screening; screening considerations for volunteer roles; staff screening myths; and, common screening mistakes. More than five thousand nonprofit organizations have purchased prior editions of the Staff Screening Notebook for guidance on effective screening. Join the club and make your commitment to best-in-class screening today.

2014 / 102 pages / ISBN 978-1-893210-31-8 / $20.00 / Order the Staff Screening Notebook

Put Legal Fears to Rest

If you’re ever been intimidated by an onerous contract, have woken up in a cold sweat after a nightmare involving lawyers, or you’re simply determined to better understand the legal risks facing the nonprofit you serve, the cure you’ve been craving is finally available. The brand-new edition of Exposed: A Legal Field Guide for Nonprofit Executives offers a tour of the maze-like world of legal liability custom-fit for nonprofit leaders. The principal authors of Exposed are two lawyers with decades of experience advising secular and religious nonprofits. With support from a savvy research and writing team, Melanie Herman and Mark Chopko present an updated version of their book written specifically for non-lawyer nonprofit executives, managers and board members. Exposed walks the reader through important legal terms and concepts, and offers practical strategies for managing risk in the increasingly complex world of nonprofit governance and service delivery.

In addition to updated content and fresh advice from start to finish, the second edition of Exposed features three brand new chapters covering information technology risks, nonprofit mergers and acquisitions, and risk considerations for nonprofits starting offices and operations overseas. This practical primer will help you overcome the feeling of being exposed to legal liability while providing a jolt of confidence and a do-able list of proactive risk strategies.

2014 / 200 pages / ISBN 978-1-893210-29-5 / $30.00 / Order Exposed

Bulk orders of both new books are available. To request a quote for a bulk order, contact Kay Nakamura at 703.777.3504 or

The Nitty Gritty of a Risk Committee

By Melanie Lockwood Herman

“Let’s form a committee!” is the frequent battle cry of nonprofit leaders facing a complex problem for which there are no obvious, immediate or cheap solutions. When more than one brain is needed to ponder a perplexing problem, forming a committee seems to be a good first step. But are risk committees worth the time and nurturing they require? At the Nonprofit Risk Management Center we answer this question with a resounding, “Yes!” That’s not to say that we haven’t heard about some ineffective and nearly useless committees in our many years as an advisor to nonprofits. But the concept is sound and with a little finesse, every nonprofit can recruit and deploy a committee that will strengthen, support and help sustain a strong and effective risk management program. more…

Mission Statement


Our mission is to help nonprofit leaders become risk aware. We help leaders identify and appreciate critical risks and take action. We offer RISK HELP™, Web tools, in-person and virtual training, and custom consulting solutions. We provide reliable counsel on risk issues ranging from employment practices, to risk oversight and governance, enterprise risk management, fraud prevention, financial risk management, and youth protection. The Center has a 20-year history of advising best-in-class nonprofits and delivering practical resources to help nonprofits pursue their missions. The Nonprofit Risk Management Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization led by a volunteer Board of Directors.

How to be the World’s Smartest Risk Manager

By Melanie Lockwood Herman

I’ve just finished the National Geographic book, “How to Be the World’s Smartest Traveler.” Who doesn’t want to be the world’s “smartest” anything?! As a big fan of the expression, “don’t believe everything you read,” I had no expectation of becoming the world’s smartest traveler when I cracked the cover of this book. But I figured that the chance of any truth in the subtitle—“and save time, money and hassle”—made this a wise purchase.

Before I test my new travel smarts at Dulles Airport, I want to take a few minutes to interpret some of the book’s great advice for readers who aspire to be the best possible risk champion in their organization. more…

Employee or Volunteer: What’s the Difference?

By Melanie Lockwood Herman

Nonprofit organizations frequently depend on the service and commitment of volunteers as well as the labor of employees. The skills and talents of both types of workers bring nonprofit missions to life. At first glance, the simple difference between these two types of workers is that employees get paid and volunteers don’t. Yet many nonprofit leaders have discovered that there is more to distinguishing between employees and volunteers than whether an individual receives a regular paycheck. This article explores two subtopics under the umbrella issue of employee versus volunteer status: whether employees may also volunteer, and the consequences of compensating volunteers.

When Employees Also Volunteer

May your nonprofit’s paid employees also serve as unpaid volunteers? Each year the Center receives numerous calls and email messages from leaders who tell us that their dedicated, paid staff are eager to volunteer in the evenings and on weekends. In some cases these willing staff volunteer to work “off the clock,” while in other instances they sign up or formally apply for volunteer roles, such as volunteer ticket takers, coaches or special event staff, or as volunteer mentors in the nonprofit’s mentoring program. But we also receive calls from employees who want to know whether they can be forced to “volunteer” and on occasion from employees who are indignant after having been told that they cannot volunteer their services in the agency where they are employed. more…

Risk Management Webinars: Affordable and Convenient

Check out our Webinar Vault featuring brand-new topics and content.

Webinars offer high-quality, affordable and convenient training delivered to your desktop. Participate in “live” programs or listen to recorded programs at your convenience. You’ll receive expert instruction and helpful handout materials. All Center webinars are recorded and archived so you can listen and watch on the Web when it’s convenient to do so. After signing up for a webinar you’ll receive a confirmation email with a link where you can download the handout materials and view the archived recording as many times as you wish.

Disaster Preparedness Resources


Best Practices in Staff Screening

December 1st

Every nonprofit screens prospective volunteers and staff, although "screening" can be quite informal in some organizations, and highly sophisticated and complex in others. This webinar explores how to design or update a screening process based on the risks of various paid and volunteer positions, as well as the mission and resources of the organization. At the end of this webinar you'll have valuable insights you can apply to modernize your screening process. From the application for service or employment to the interview, reference check and background check, find out how an effective screening process can support and fortify your risk management program.