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