Resources

How to Honor and Respect Your Volunteers

April 13, 2016 By Melanie Lockwood Herman Nonprofits across the country are showcasing their creative talents to celebrate the contributions of volunteers during the month of April, “National Volunteer Month.” Here at the NRMC we receive quite a few calls from volunteers. Unfortunately, since we’re all about ‘risk,’ many of these callers contact us to … Continued

Art Appreciation in a World of Risk

March 23, 2016 Art Appreciation in a World of Risk By Melanie Lockwood Herman Last week I took advantage of an opportunity to combine two of my favorite pastimes: reading and relaxation. While on a short vacation, I read 33 Artists in 3 Acts, by art world chronicler Sarah Thornton. In her never dull book, … Continued

The Risk Management Process

By the Nonprofit Risk Management Center Measures to address risk should be practical and within the reach of the organization. Every nonprofit, from the largest to the smallest, can and should take time to look into the future and predict both downside and upside risks. In fact risk management is extremely important for small nonprofits … Continued

Keeping Our Eye on the Ball

By the Nonprofit Risk Management Center  Just days ago the Commissioner of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division of the IRS, Steve Miller, told exempt organization lawyers gathered in Washington that the IRS will be “more aggressive” in monitoring the “efficiency and effectiveness” of charitable organizations. And this week, grantmakers from all over the … Continued

2010: An Odyssey of Your Making

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Instead of dreaming about sugar-plums, many nonprofit leaders will fall asleep tomorrow evening dreaming about better times for the organizations they serve. Let’s face it, 2009 was a rough year for the vast majority of organizations that provide vital social services, deliver inspired cultural programs, and conduct research and advocacy to … Continued

New Year, New List: Establish a Risk Management To Do List

By Melanie Lockwood Herman It’s a new year, and here at the Center we’ve got a whole year’s worth of tips and trainings for you. Our web site currently features a new issue of Risk Management Essentials kicked off with an article by Melanie Herman, Executive Director of the Center, that is designed to help … Continued

Lucky Me

By Melanie Lockwood Herman It’s a big day for my favorite color as well as the day when Americans with even remote connections to the Emerald Isle celebrate all things Irish. School children will enjoy shamrock-shaped cookies and learn about leprechauns. Restaurants from one coast to the other will dust off recipes for corned beef … Continued

People Who Need People

A SOURCE for Tools, Advice, and Training to control risks… so you can Focus on your Nonprofit’s mission.   June 29, 2011 People Who Need People By Melanie Lockwood Herman Without people the mission of your nonprofit is all promise and no action. As a result, you’re probably well aware of the importance of effective … Continued

With Lots of Help from Our Friends

Gratitude is both a powerful sentiment and action-inspiring virtue. But too often we assume that others know that their efforts or labor are appreciated. We take employees, volunteers, supporters and even loved ones for granted. A fellow lawyer by the name of Cicero once wrote, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the … Continued

Training Wheels

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Last week I wrote about the connection between riding a vintage motorcycle in less than perfect weather conditions and the fact that things worth doing aren’t always easy to do. The feedback from readers led me to reflect on my first ride on a motorcycle: at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic … Continued

Normalcy

By Melanie Lockwood Herman When a member of my family questions my somewhat eccentric father about a recent purchase, Dad’s standard response is “normal is boring.” Family members have learned that there is no point questioning any acquisition—whether it’s a vintage motorcycle found on eBay, or a fiberglass sailboat from Craigslist that is in desperate … 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

Tell Me a Story

By Melanie Lockwood Herman  Simple, clearly written policies represent one way to engage in risk communication. But don’t limit your risk communication methods to written policies. In some cases the use of stories may be a better way to share why a risk issue is important, how it relates to mission-fulfillment, and what you expect … Continued

Choosing Preparation Over Panic

By Melanie Lockwood Herman The subjects of employee benefits and employee “rights,” have been front and center in the news as of late. Another front-page / home-page topic on the domestic news front is the growing federal deficit. School children (and taxpayers!) across the country are trying to grasp the idea of $12.4 Trillion. At … Continued

This Is It

By Melanie Herman Several years ago I took my daughter to see the documentary, “This Is It,” about the rehearsals for Michael Jackson’s come-back tour. Prior to seeing the film I can’t say I was a fan of MJ’s music. But somehow, the film’s ‘behind the scenes’ look at the ill-fated tour got me hooked … Continued

A Complaint is a Rose Waiting to Bloom

By Kay Nakamura Every nonprofit has received a call or member complaint. It doesn’t feel good. It is awful to know that you have let someone who believed in you down but should you chalk it up to a one-time event and let it pass? Embrace the negative! It is feedback in its truest form. … Continued

Soft Power and Quiet Persistence

By Melanie Lockwood Herman During a short trip to the University of Notre Dame this week I had an opportunity to visit the impressive campus bookstore and pick up a copy of Susan Cain’s book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.” I’ve been buried in the text ever since. … Continued

Inspired by Risk

By Erin Gloeckner The staff members at the Nonprofit Risk Management Center find inspiration from many sources. We are moved by the ambitious missions of our consulting clients. We admire the unwavering dedication of our volunteer board. We marvel at the steadfast commitment of nonprofit leaders who embrace our tough love advice about risk management. … Continued

Risk Aversion Conversion

By Erin Gloeckner The topic of risk-taking was front and center in a recent Wall Street Journal article, “Risk-Averse Culture Infects U.S. Workers, Entrepreneurs” by Ben Casselman. According to the author, the risk-taking, dream-chasing spirit is dwindling in the hearts of American workers and business owners. Economists agree that the American economy was historically spurred … Continued

What’s a Pilot

What’s a Pilot? The term “pilot project” is often used by nonprofit leaders to describe an experiment with something new. “We’re embarking on a pilot project” may refer to an experiment with strategy, target audience to be served, or a newly formed partnership or collaboration. According to Harvard Business School Professor Amy C. Edmondson, “pilot … Continued

Calculated Risk: Fear of Excellence

Calculated Risk: Journey of a Lifetime by Dennis M. Kirschbaum, ARM Think globalization is a new concept? Think again. This summer my journey of a thousand miles began with a single step — on to a Washington, D.C. metro train. Every year the Smithsonian Institution sponsors its Folklife Festival, which brings together three different cultures … Continued

New Resources Emerge from Collaboration

A recent collaboration between ChoicePoint and the Nonprofit Risk Management Center has led to the creation of a Risk Management ToolKit for customers of ChoicePoint’s state of the art background checking services. As part of the company’s continuing efforts to help nonprofits effectively manage risk, ChoicePoint has launched a new Web site and toolkit. The … Continued

Managing Risk in Turbulent Times

Managing Risk in Turbulent Times Mix equal measures of optimism and resolve and bake until golden By Melanie Lockwood Herman I’ve been told that I am an incurable optimist. No matter where I stand or sit, I can’t help thinking that tomorrow is a fount of wonderful possibilities. I’ll admit that there have been a few … Continued