How charities assess risks


The recent case of a not-for-profit being sued highlighted some of the risks charities need to be aware of when running various types of fundraising functions. Graham Ballard from RA Partners joined us on the Charity Channel and discussed this example here.

We continue with our Risk Management 101 series, this week focussing on risk assessment. Assessment is not as complicated as it sounds; rather it just involves having a framework, and thinking about the various types of things that could happen at an event.

The key takeaway for charities though is to assess and identify risks or hazards before hosting an event. This helps your organisation make decisions on the amount of risk they can and or are willing to carry and manage. For instance, our organisation wishes to run a Bunnings sausage sizzle to raise money for a specific program. When considering risks, there's quite a few that can be direct or indirect. Some may include risks to the volunteers cooking food, health consequences depending on Covid-19 risks, risks to the general public buying undercooked sausages etc.

When assessing risk, your organisation needs to evaluate and prioritise risks with respect to the importance, impact, and the likelihood of occurring.  

This can be done using a simple table or spreadsheet like the below example;

What this table helps you identify is that if there is a risk of someone burning themselves cooking a sausage – then your organisation can ensure the setup of the BBQ is appropriate, that the person cooking has experience in doing so, that they have appropriate implements, and can reach all parts of the BBQ safely.

Next week we look at how to manage and transfer identified risks.