Five Steps to Risk Management in Nonproﬁt and Charitable Organizations
Karen Six Eric Kowalski Social Planning Council for the North Okanagan
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Table of Contents
1. Introduction \ 1 2. What is risk? \ 2 3. What is risk management? \ 2 4. Do volunteers pose greater risks than paid staff? \ 2 5. Five steps for dealing with risk \ 3 6. A few last words \ 11 7. Conclusion \ 11 8. Glossary of legal terms \ 12 9. References \ 13 10. Web sites for articles and other information resources \ 14
The research team, Eric Kowalski, Paul Cabaj and Dr. Marilyn Mardiros, are indebted to the work and commitment of the project steering-committee members, whose advice in this project were invaluable:
• Jane Lister, Executive Director, Community Futures of the North Okanagan; • Ron Fairburn, Manager, Capri Insurance; • Bill Davidson, Retired Pastor; and • Twylla Genest, Coordinator,Vernon and District Volunteer Bureau.
Special thanks are extended to Yania Carrillo for her assistance in administering the surveys and conducting interviews, and Michele Blais for her coordination of the volunteer focus groups.
Knowledge Development Centre
Developing a Risk Management Strategy
In 2004 the Social Planning Council for the North Okanagan conducted researchinto issues of liability and risk related to nonproﬁt organizations in the North Okanagan. During our research we gained input from: Findings from our research study were used to develop recommendations for the nonproﬁt and chartiable sector, the insurance industry, the legal sector, the public sector, and volunteers themselves. The key ﬁndings of the research are in our report, An Exploration ofRisk and Liability Issues Facing Volunteer Programs in the North Okanagan. We have also made some references to our research ﬁndings throughout this guide.
• nonproﬁt organizations that operate • insurance industry representatives; • legal sector representatives; • public sector representatives; and • volunteers.
community service volunteer programs;
Why we wrote this guide
This guidepresents information gathered from a variety of sources – volunteer agency manuals, government and nonproﬁt publications, Web sites, books, and journal articles – that can help nonproﬁt and charitable organizations develop a risk management strategy. It will be of particular interest to organizations that operate with limited funds and few personnel, and that may not have the resources to do theirown research on risk management.1
We found the results of our research to be somewhat concerning. Overall, the nonproﬁt organizations that participated in this research expressed little or no concern about their ability to assess and manage risk within their volunteer programs. Insurance and legal representatives were not optimistic about how well nonproﬁt and charitable organizations...