Posted: July 13th, 2022 11:11am +00:00 | By Phil Walden

What to be aware of when implementing an ERM strategy within a charity

JCAD have a number of charities making use of our risk management software to ensure the achievement of their strategic objectives. Examples include the British Council, the Institute of Engineering & Technology, Girls Day School Trust and Macmillan.

I thought it would be useful to gain some insight from our most recent project and so spoke with Jordan Wall, Senior Risk & Compliance Officer from Macmillan.

What are the key drivers for pursuing a meaningful risk management strategy within a charity?

“Great risk management is vital in charities to better understand our risk exposure to support innovation and growth. This enables us to be more adventurous in how we raise funds and reach new audiences in a challenging environment (i.e. rise in the cost of living) for our charitable cause whilst protecting our reputation, assets, people etc.”

Are these dissimilar from any other medium to large business?

“It could be argued that is it more important since charities are reliant on public funding- without reputational risk management you risk losing all your funding and not being able to deliver charitable goals anymore. This risk of regulatory fines for non-compliance is also more impactful as this will take vital funds that should be spent on supporting people living with cancer”

Are there specific areas of charity compliance that ERM strengthens and who within a charity needs to participate to make an ERM program successful?

“Charity commission requirements, fundraising regulator etc. Everyone is responsible for managing and/or escalating risks. Buy in from leadership is pivotal for success”

Finally as a risk professional what do you believe are the top three skills?

Pragmatism.  Risk management needs to be an integral part of an organisations strategic objectives. An engaging can do attitude – people automatically think risk is boring and don’t want to prioritise it so you need to be able to switch the narrative and talk about opportunities not failure. Realism. Have a realistic understanding of the maturity of the organisation. A comprehensive framework is great but only if it will land and be effectively implemented

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