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10 Fundamentals For Risk Reporting

10 Fundamentals For Risk Reporting


When considering organizational risk, nonprofit leaders are tasked with looking forward while also tracing the past when considering . With a sound perspective of the past important to informing the future, risk reporting becomes a valuable tool for organizations.


During a Risk Summit workshop, “Hello, Risk! Dynamic Risk Reporting Tips and Strategies,” Melanie Herman, executive director of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center provided 10 risk-reporting fundamentals.


* Tell a story, don’t read a statistical table or uninspired chart. Highlight your point rather than bogging the audience down with statistics.

* Remember to link risk reporting to the mission and strategy of your organization. Is the organization succeeding or failing to achieve a certain goal based on the data?

* Use risk reporting to illustrate successes, failures and opportunities. Identify actions needed in response to findings.

* Be conscious of the fact that the purpose of reporting risks is to engage your audience in a discussion.

* Show wide-angle and close-up views of information. For example, one chart may illustrate the number of injuries associated with a particular organizational function and another chart may detail the how those injuries took place.

* Acknowledge when you do not understand something or when data is not currently available to provide an insight.

* Build discussion questions into your reports. What changes in direction make sense based on the findings? Is the organization allocating appropriate resources to a particular program?

* Tell it like it is as opposed to how you wish it was. Charts can be manipulated, but avoid sugar coating the facts.

* Look toward the future. Don’t be afraid to make forecasts.

* Evaluate your risk reporting results. Did your audience understand the information provided right away? Did the presentation lead to discussions, new approaches and a to-do list?

As we celebrate our 36th year, NPT remains dedicated to supplying breaking news, in-depth reporting, and special issue coverage to help nonprofit executives run their organizations more effectively.