Resources

2021: Are You Ready?

I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear. – Rosa Parks By Whitney Claire Thomey A common sentiment among anyone surviving the first year of this new decade is, “I can’t wait for this year to be over!” … Continued

Your Next New Normal: 5 Things to Do to Prepare for What’s Next

By Whitney Claire Thomey At the beginning of 2020, no one could have predicted that a pandemic would knock the world off its proverbial axis or that the ripple effect would touch nearly every aspect of daily life. Organizations have been forced to grapple with an ever-evolving challenge that has required leaders and team members … Continued

Does Your Nonprofit Have Resilience DNA?

Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is “a molecule that contains the biological instructions that make each species unique.” (See www.genome.gov). Did you know that certain information about future health risks is embedded in your DNA? Popular DNA test kits offer the promise of insights we can use to change our habits and lifestyles to improve health and … Continued

The Best of NRMC’s Resilience Resources

Resilience is a subject that is top of mind for many nonprofit leaders today. At NRMC, we believe that building organizational resilience is a core component of effective risk management. Today’s RISK eNews presents a collection of resilience resources developed by our team. Business Continuity Planning Business continuity planning (BCP) is one of the best … Continued

Ready… Set… Learn! Get Ready NOW for What’s NEXT!

“You must dig the well before you’re thirsty and become curious now—not when a crisis inevitably presents itself.” – Ozan Varol, Think Like a Rocket Scientist This week the NRMC team is putting the finishing touches on a new business continuity web application that we hope will motivate and support teams trying to get ready … Continued

Business Continuity Planning: Taking it from the Backburner to Front and Center

(download The Business Continuity Planning issue of Risk Management Essentials, here.) By Whitney Claire Thomey Certain aspects of the risk management discipline are more compelling than others. It’s easy to see how Enterprise Risk Management harnesses the power of your organization’s strategic initiatives and bolsters the opportunity for your mission to grow and succeed. Having candid … Continued

Three Chords & The Truth: Methods for Approaching Business Continuity Planning

(download The Business Continuity Planning issue of Risk Management Essentials, here.) By Melanie Lockwood Herman Many nonprofit leaders are seeking a clear, ‘best practice’ approach to creating a business continuity plan for their organization. Preferably a simple, straightforward approach that won’t take too much time. Or too much effort. Or rock the boat. This article offers … Continued

Cloud Computing – BCP Boon or Boobytrap?

(download The Business Continuity Planning issue of Risk Management Essentials, here.) By Katharine Nesslage Many nonprofits are routinely taking advantage of the “Cloud” to provide low-cost software and data solutions. Gone are the days when organizations were required to purchase and maintain expensive servers on-site to house their applications and data. The allure of being able … Continued

Business Continuity Planning: Taking it from the Backburner to Front and Center

(download The Business Continuity Planning issue of Risk Management Essentials, here.) By Whitney Claire Thomey Certain aspects of the risk management discipline are more compelling than others. It’s easy to see how Enterprise Risk Management harnesses the power of your organization’s strategic initiatives and bolsters the opportunity for your mission to grow and succeed. Having candid … Continued

Take 10: Resume and Thrive Strategies

By Melanie Lockwood Herman and Whitney Claire Thomey The effects of a global pandemic have caused many nonprofits to quickly scale back and shutter programs, send staff home, and redeploy resources to stop the spread of COVID-19. No organization was immune from the need to make fast, and in some cases, immediate decisions about what … Continued

Anything Could Happen: The Wild, Wild West of External Risks

Many nonprofit teams spend a great deal of time worrying about external risks—risks that are truly beyond your control to influence or prevent. This webinar explores the wide world of external risks and offers tips and strategies to build resilience and preparation.

COVID-19: Five Things to Know and Do

By Katharine Nesslage and Whitney Thomey COVID-19 has caused many nonprofits to shift their focus to emergency planning for an infectious disease. NRMC wants to remind organizations that your organization may already have plans in place to help mitigate the risk of a public health crisis. Now is a good time to re-visit contingency plans … Continued

Five Low-Tech Ways to Anticipate and Manage Active Threats

It always pays to be cognizant of what is happening around you. From the risk of an avoidable accident to the dangers of a determined perpetrator, lack of focus and awareness can be devastating or deadly. This webinar explores low-tech ways to anticipate and manage the risks of active threats. Use what you learn watching … Continued

Dangerous Ideas: Negotiating Controversial Art At Cultural Nonprofits

Nota bene: One of the finest sessions among many at our latest Risk Summit in Philadelphia was a program presented by Nick Pozek on the stewardship of cultural nonprofits. Since not everyone had the pleasure of sitting in, NRMC asked Nick if he would write this week’s RISK eNews column, so that our readers could … Continued

Technology Mishaps: Planning for IT and Communications Disasters

By Christy Grano For most of us, the word “disaster” usually brings to mind a natural disaster like a hurricane or a tsunami, but in the risk management world technology disasters immediately come to mind. An unexpected loss of data or communication can bring an entire organization to a halt if power, internet, email, or … Continued

Right Back At It: Fostering Organizational Resilience

“The difference between a strong man and a weak one is that the former does not give up after a defeat.” – Woodrow Wilson Resilience is often defined as the ability to recover after a setback or in the face of adversity, or having the capacity to adapt to new challenges. For many nonprofits, resilience … Continued

The Future is Now: Preparing for the Unknown Crisis

Preparing for a possible future crisis can feel overwhelming and abstract for many nonprofit leaders. With competing priorities and meeting the needs of stakeholders on a day-to-day basis, taking the time to think through how your nonprofit will respond to a currently non-existent crisis can end up taking a back seat. However, when a crisis … Continued

Crisis Management Part 1: Is Your Nonprofit Ready?

An unmanaged crisis could be the apocalypse for your nonprofit. Resolve to keep your reputation and operations intact by acting on the crisis planning and crisis response principles shared in this webinar. Gain the know-how to create a figurative crisis bunker for your nonprofit, including guidance for developing a crisis management plan and a crisis … Continued

Storm Season: Risk Lessons from Tornado Alley

July 8, 2015 By Emily Wilson Dark storm clouds were just beginning to swallow the sky over my college house as my phone started making an eerily familiar sound. While growing up in Alabama, I often heard tornado watch and tornado warning alerts broadcasting from the sirens mounted on posts every few miles along the … Continued

Fight, Flight, or Freeze?

May 13, 2015 By Arley Turner Does your organization have a well thought-out plan to address the risk of an active shooter on your premises? For many organizations, the default response is to implement a “lockdown,” or immediately freeze all activities and shelter in place while waiting for police and emergency assistance. In practice, this … Continued

Year-Round Tips for Sports/Recreation Programs

By the Nonprofit Risk Management Center Sample waivers, check lists and practical help with topics identified here can be found in Playing to Win, A Risk Management Guide for Nonprofit Sports and Recreation Programs. The book aims to help the program administrator and leader, whether in a sports organization or other nonprofit, determine effective, practical … Continued

Weather or Not To Have a Good Tomorrow

By the Nonprofit Risk Management Center  It is the time of year when Mother Nature’s wrath often takes center stage. A recent evening newscast reported the sighting of ten tornados on the ground in one day and four young victims. Experts are calling for 13 named storms in the coming season, three of which are … Continued

Be Proactive in Times of Crisis

By the Nonprofit Risk Management Center Team  The unexpected happens. Even with insightful planning and sound risk management—people are injured, fires destroy, and investments evaporate. When “stuff happens,” savvy nonprofits know that action is needed and that action has to be communicated to stakeholders. Speaking recently about the challenges posed by the economy, Rebecca Rimel, … Continued

Pulling Together a Crisis Management Manual

By the Nonprofit Risk Management Center One simple way to help everyone on the team focus in an emergency is with a Crisis Management Manual. The manual functions as a checklist of what to do when and whom to call when. Each nonprofit’s manual reflects the most likely scenarios the organization will have to face … Continued

Back to Basics: Effective Risk Management May Require Culture Change

By Melanie Lockwood Herman When nonprofit leaders reach out to the NRMC for advice on weaving risk management into the fabric of their organizations they often assume that what’s missing is a long list of policies. While adding new or updating existing policies may be in order, a bigger-picture issue almost always requires more immediate … Continued

Qualities Your Nonprofit Needs in a Crisis

By Melanie Lockwood Herman By the time the power went out for the sixth time Monday afternoon I was no longer surprised nor annoyed by the disappearing text on my computer monitor or the start up music for our voice over internet phone system. But when the pole with the transformer for our building (and … Continued

Crisis Preparation Tips

By Melanie Lockwood Herman As we prepare to turn to the final page of the 2011 calendar, the topic of “crisis management” may not be top of mind for most nonprofit leaders. Yet a common element of many crisis events—its appearance with little or no warning—offers a reminder that there is no true “season” for … Continued

What Not to Do

By Melanie Lockwood Herman It’s finally that time of year when new episodes of my favorite TV shows will be ready and waiting for late-night viewing. Like the nonprofit sector, Hollywood is adapting and learning to do less with less. The dramas we enjoyed during the eighties and nineties have been replaced with “reality” programs … Continued

The Layover

By Melanie Lockwood Herman I generally dread flight layovers of more than an hour in duration. While many fellow frequent fliers seem to find comfort in a long layover believing it reduces the downside risk of a missed connection, I’d much rather sprint from one gate to the next than have to find somewhere to … Continued

Is Your Board Ready for a Crisis?

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Last week I had an opportunity to speak about “Leading During Times of Crisis” at an event sponsored by Independent Sector, Georgetown Law and the Internal Revenue Service. As I prepared my remarks I reflected on the countless calls I have received over the years from board leaders seeking advice about … Continued

6 Tips for Making Risk Management Stick

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Is your road to a great risk management program paved with only the best of intentions? Even skilled and experienced nonprofit leaders sometimes find their risk management efforts falling victim to internal and external booby traps. Consider the following tips to avoid common planning pitfalls: Communicate freely and visibly. An essential … Continued

Are You Too Important to Fail?

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Many nonprofit organizations are created for the noble mission of serving others. But sometimes even the most giving organizations find themselves catering to a need that no longer exists. What then? Do you high-five your colleagues, shutter your doors and send your volunteers home? No. If you suspect that your mission … Continued

Risk Comes With the Territory! What Big Business Execs Can Learn from Values-Based Nonprofit Leaders

By Chris Croll These days we live in a hyper-networked world of “real time” and “always on” media coverage. Few provocative quotes escape notice. From the blogosphere to the business section of your local paper, it seems as if each day brings new stories about corporate executives who could benefit from spending more time discussing … Continued

Don’t Be Naïve: Plan to Survive Your Next Crisis

By Melanie Herman and Alex Ricketts Although interest in crisis management appears to be growing in the nonprofit sector, many leaders continue to naively believe that a crisis-free history, compelling mission and dedicated staff create a protective shield against crisis events. An important truth about crisis events is that no organization is immune. A crisis … Continued

Stop and Think About Inherent Dangers

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Some dangers are so familiar that we don’t give them the attention they are due: distracted driving, crossing a busy street, navigating an escalator, or using a ladder. The potential danger of everyday events popped into my head on Monday as I was tumbling off said ladder. Earlier this week, I … Continued

What to Do During an Earthquake

What to Do During an Earthquake Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake. Be aware that some earthquakes are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur. Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and if you are indoors, stay there until the shaking has stopped and you are … Continued

Avian Flu Precautions

Avian Flu Precautions By Barbara B. Oliver A recent made-for-TV movie has given rise to questions from caring nonprofit leaders about what they should do to prepare for a potential avian flu pandemic. The answer is to step back from the fear the word “pandemic” engenders and look at three critical risk management issues: 1) … Continued

Teambuilding: Rx for Crisis Survival

Teambuilding: Rx for Crisis Survival New Book Offers Practical Tips for Anticipating, Preventing and Surviving a Crisis By Melanie Lockwood Herman and Barbara B. Oliver The following article is excerpted from a new book from the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, Vital Signs: Anticipating, Preventing and Surviving a Crisis in a Nonprofit. For more information, click … Continued

Keeping Your Organization Viable for the Future

Keeping Your Organization Viable for the Future By Dr. Peggy M. Jackson For generations to come, September 11, 2001, will be remembered as a day in which innocent lives were lost and businesses were destroyed. Yet, it doesn’t take a cataclysmic event to threaten the viability of a business or your nonprofit organization. Torrential rainstorms, … Continued

Be Proactive in Times of Crisis

Be Proactive in Times of Crisis The unexpected happens. Even with insightful planning and sound risk management—people are injured, fires destroy, and investments evaporate. When “stuff happens,” savvy nonprofits know that action is needed and that action has to be communicated to stakeholders. Speaking recently about the challenges posed by the economy, Rebecca Rimel, President … Continued