By Lauren Dettering
At the Not-for-Profit roundtable on March 13, Dan Fagin, Chief Operating Officer of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, moderated a panel on risk management. Dan oversees the Jewish Federation’s Risk Management, Finance/Accounting, HR, IT, Marketing, Security, and Building & Maintenance activities. The panel consisted of Carolyn Karageorges, CPA, Assistant Vice President of Internal Audit at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Richard Kelly, Chief Financial Officer at Archdiocese of Cincinnati, and Chad Kolde, CPA, CFE, Audit Manager at Barnes Dennig.
Risk Factors for Non Profits
- Risk exists everywhere and it is not always easily measurable.
- Risk management requires a broad perspective and strategic planning, and follows a structured process.
- It’s important to identify risks, respond to these risks, implement the chosen report, and monitor the risk by actively managing it.
- There is huge value in having a risk management plan. Better alignment of risk appetite strategy enhances our risk response decisions, reduces surprises and losses, improves utilization of resources, allows for more effective growth and improves overall decision making.
- Both management and the board are involved in collaborating a risk management approach.
- Within your organization it is important to build a risk-aware culture.
- To make your organization more aware of risks you should align the interests of decision makers with your organization’s stake holders, assign the right people to the proper roles, have a system of rewards and punishments, ensure culture allows for occasional failure, and provide support and structure.
Risk Management Alignment
The panel discussed various methods as to how they implement risk management within their own organizations as well as how they align risk appetite with strategy. While each answer presented a different perspective, it was clear that risk management was critical to the success of each non profit’s respective mission.