Recommended Reading: Foundations Don’t Know What They’re Risking

In its summer 2017 edition, The Foundation Review, published an article called “Foundations Don’t Know What They’re Risking”, in which their authors, Maya Winkelstein, and Shelley Whelpton, highlighted the importance of risk management in the philanthropy sector. According to this article, there are critical gaps in philanthropy’s approach to risk management.

Non-profits operate in volatile and challenging environments; they are exposed to different kind of risks that can cause some type of undesirable effect. The article explains the existence of critical gaps in philanthropy’s definitions of and approach to risk management, also provides a framework for the sector to design and adopt risk-management practices that allow them to better operate in this in volatile and challenging environment.

Winkelstein & Whelpton (2017) article is based in a survey done by the Open Road Alliance, and its qualitative analysis of existing foundation policies and procedures related to risk. The results suggest a need for contingency funding – and a lack among most funders and nonprofits of the basic structures, systems, and policies to address risk, which in turn leads to a breakdown in communication between funders and grantees.

Reading the article, you can get some interesting insights about risk management, and the risk assessment cycle: Identify assess, and prioritize risks, determine and take steps to mitigate against and manage the risk identified, create contingency plans based on level of risk, and monitor projects, taking note of the lessons learned.

Finally, I encourage you to read Winkelstein & Whelpton (2017) article, as the world is unpredictable; no amount of planning can prevent disruption by unscripted events, but this article through quantitative and qualitative research coupled with illustrative case studies, can help you to understand the importance of risk management and the relevance of its adoption throughout the philanthropic sector.

You can read “Foundations Don’t Know What They’re Risking”. Winkelstein & Whelpton (2017) clicking on this link: