More nonprofits are looking into ERM programs

September 17, 2013

More nonprofits are looking into ERM programs

Staying abreast of threats that can derail a nonprofit is critical to its success. Keeping this in mind, a growing number of organizations are joining enterprise risk management programs. In fact, 63 percent of 1,000 risk professionals that responded to a recent RIMS survey said they have either fully or partially integrated an ERM initiative to get a better feel for the organization's strategic and operational risks.

"Although many organizations are still in the infancy of ERM implementation, it is clear that ERM, and the role of the risk professional has become a valued part of corporate culture and business practices," said Carol Fox, director of strategic and enterprise risk practice at RIMS. 

The right questions to ask when assessing risks
While nonprofits are run similarly to for-profit companies, a few things set charitable entites apart. Understanding some of the unique aspects of nonprofits can dramatically increase an organization's potential to fight risks. Here is a list of suggestions from The NonProfit Times for some  questions nonprofit decision-makers can ask when trying to assess risks:

  • What aspects need more attention? Some nonprofits are better at getting donations, while others excel in bringing in volunteers. Looking at where the organization needs help can decrease the chances of the nonprofit suffering from a serious threat.
  • How do we learn from this? The growing number of cyberthreats and hacking incidents that pop up every day makes it nearly inevitable that nonprofits will suffer from a data breach at one time or another. However, it is often how the organization responds that will define its success.
  • What did we find out about the organization? With ERM becoming more popular among nonprofits, decision-makers have a better idea for what risks to look out for. After encountering a threat, organizations can see what aspects of their risk management plan worked well and others that need work.
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