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. Another source of inspiration is the creativity of risk thought leaders who engage their peers in the development or implementation of risk management strategies.

We also try to inspire our clients and AFFILIATE members to embrace risk-taking as a key to mission fulfillment. With risk and mission in mind, I wrote a poem for this week’s RISK eNews.

Molly Up to Bat

An event, a surprise, a fear come to life.

The big moment at the softball game.

My sister steps up, lights glaring, her breath visible in the cold night air.

Copying the others by slapping her bat on the plate. She never did that before.

The man beside me eagerly munches his hot dog.

A tasty reward after watching his son run home.

I squint my eyes, peering at my sister under bright field lights.

I hear the umpire yell twice: “STRIKE!”

Is it fate or chance? Will she strike out or win?

The boy on the mound winds up with a grin.

Focus is written in the lines of my sister’s face as she readies herself to take a swing of faith.

Children cheer in the stands as I shiver, chilly with uncertainty.

I watch, though I am tempted to look away, cowardly.

The ball takes years to cross the neatly trimmed grass, slowed by my nerves… my motherly concern.

I twist the tassels of my scarf as I wait to hear the call…

Then the ‘CRACK’ rings loud as her bat hits the ball!

Her coach screams “HOME!” and she stumbles into a giddy run.

Adrenaline surges through my heart as I begin to jump.

The painted diamond lights her way as she streaks past third.

Smiling ear to ear, she slides into the dirt.

Crowds chant my sister’s name at her first game of softball.

“Molly! Molly! Molly!”

Three swings to risk it all.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your risk management program, read one of our popular eBooks:

Erin Gloeckner is Director of Consulting Services at the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, where she coordinates and supports consulting projects for a diverse array of clients. Erin welcomes your feedback on this article or questions about risk issues at erin@nonprofitrisk.org or 703.777.3504.