2021: A Risk Leadership Odyssey

Attend this star-studded workshop featuring graduates of the Risk Leadership Certificate Program (RLCP) facilitated by the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, as well as other renowned risk leaders from across the nonprofit galaxy. Learn what these professionals accomplished in 2020 and what they plan to conquer next in 2021. Leave this workshop with fresh inspiration for launching your own risk career through space and time, while stewarding your team’s mission through the charitable cosmos.

A Study in Scarlet: Investigating Compliance Program Trends and Outcomes

Put on your deerstalker cap and participate in a critical review of what’s hot and what’s not in the compliance world. Investigate the effectiveness and outcomes of best practices and trends to determine which compliance practices will best support your mission in 2021 and beyond. Put your theories to the test against data and anecdotal evidence to solve the mystery of compliance complacency. Leave this session ready to deliver greater value to your nonprofit’s mission through your compliance program.

Business Continuity Lessons & Insights from COVID-19

Join Melanie Lockwood Herman, risk raconteur and Executive Director of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, for a thought-provoking session on planning for resilience. Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is a discipline focused on minimizing interruptions to core operations in the face of a disruptive event. As most risk leaders well know, creating a truly comprehensive business continuity plan for a complex nonprofit takes time. During the COVID-19 crisis, many leaders learned some powerful—and painful—business continuity lessons. This workshop explores experiences and insights from business continuity and resilience work during COVID-19 and the three most essential steps in creating a flexible BCP that will help your agency be resilient and confident in the face of unavoidable, disruptive risks.

Best Bets in Business Continuity Planning

Worried you can’t bet on your organization to withstand a disaster or keep mission-critical services available during a business interruption? Join this session to make Business Continuity Planning more tangible, realistic, and productive for your team. Learn from the session presenter how to lead your organization through disaster to survival—and even success. Gain an understanding of what BCP is, what constitutes an effective plan, how to implement a plan (and when to try Plan B), and the realities of survival throughout the lifecycle of crisis to recovery.

Compliance, Internal Audit and Risk: Perfect Puzzle or Discordant Duties

Do these functions exist in harmony at your nonprofit? Does this triumphant trio empower employees or cause confusion and complaints? Align your compliance, internal audit and risk functions by learning from a team of nonprofit professionals who cracked this tough nut at their organizations. Strike a beneficial balance between taking mission-advancing risks, respecting organizational rules and values, and undertaking fearlessly fruitful reviews of internal controls, processes and systems.

Culture Club: Inspiring a Risk-Aware, Just Culture in your Nonprofit

Increase risk reporting and advance accountability at your nonprofit by learning to cultivate a Just Culture. Learn how to foster cultural norms that empower employees to candidly discuss their concerns and proactively report on risks, incidents, and more. Shift from a blame-oriented culture to one focused on collective learning that analyzes and addresses harm from a systems perspective. This approach calls for disciplining employees for inappropriate behavior, rather than for harm, which often stems from myriad underlying factors—not just individual decisions and actions. Leave this session ready to reconnect with your team so you can collectively identify risks, address harm, and enact justice rather than punishment.

Data Privacy Risk: What's Changing and What You Need to Know

After cyber attacks continued to increase in magnitude, sophistication, and cost in 2019, governments and organizations around the globe tried to keep pace. The frequent fluctuations of cyber threats, privacy regulations, and organizational vulnerabilities make data privacy a top-of-mind risk for nonprofit executives in 2020 and far into the future. Attend this hard-hitting session to explore recent and imminent regulatory shifts, emerging cyber threats, and how you can proactively address your nonprofit’s greatest weaknesses to better safeguard your data, your mission, and your reputation.

ERM Master Class

Join experienced practitioners of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) to explore the lifecycles, structures, oversight models, processes, practices, and policies related to ERM in their organizations. Whether you’re working to cultivate ERM capabilities or planning the next phase of your existing ERM program, you’ll walk away from this session with tested tactics for evolving a holistic, proactive, organization-wide approach to risk management. You will also have a chance to gauge your own team’s ERM progress against a sample three-year ERM roadmap designed by the presenters.

Evolving Risk Management Systems and Capabilities

Are you striving to move from “on fire” to “proactive” risk management? Do your risk management capabilities feel flimsy and nascent no matter how much effort you make to formalize or enhance them? This workshop explores the “dos and don’ts” of upgrading your risk management systems, practices, processes and tools—with the goal of enhancing your actual capabilities. Rethink those over-engineered risk tools and procedures that result in burden rather than nonprofit stewardship. Learn how to adapt existing best practices and conventions to make risk management a mission-supporting function—one that truly helps your nonprofit instead of hindering it.

Finance Function or Dysfunction?: Building the Finance Capabilities Your Mission Deserves

Explore the journeys of nonprofit CFOs who led the evolution of the finance function at their respective organizations. During this session, each CFO presenter will share a capacity-building case study with action steps you can consider implementing at your nonprofit. Start your own journey from finance dysfunction to a mission-sustaining finance function by attending this session.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now: My Next 10 Years as a Risk Leader

Attend this session to learn risk leadership lessons from veteran risk professionals with significant nonprofit sector experience. Enjoy each presenter’s “before and after” reflections about their experimental risk assessment tools and lessons learned from failed risk mitigation activities—as well as the complex cultural barriers that these risk leaders overcame throughout their careers. Leave this workshop with invigorated inspiration for your own future as a risk leader, armed with the advice that these pros learned through years of experience.

Follow the White Rabbit: Infusing a Spirit of Innovation into Your Risk Program

While undertaking her Adventures in Wonderland, the fantastical realms, peculiar creatures, and literary nonsense all give rise to Alice’s admirable qualities of reason, responsibility, curiosity, courage, justice, intelligence, dignity and more. Give a risk management professional the same injection of imagination and topsy-turvydom to see how much they can grow—taller or shorter, of course! Participate in this unusual, interactive workshop to get in touch with your creative side and challenge your deepest-held notions about risk leadership. Return home ready to infuse innovation—and maybe a little fun—into your nonprofit’s risk management program.

Insurance Industry Trends and Developments

Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to learn from the best and brightest nonprofit sector-serving insurance industry leaders, who gather at the Risk Summit each year. Attend this session to hear from a panel of insurance carrier executives, who will share the industry trends and changes they anticipate in the coming year—and how your nonprofit might be affected. Send your most pressing questions to session moderator and Nonprofit Risk Management Center CEO, Melanie Lockwood Herman, at with subject line “Risk Summit: Insurance Panel Question.”

Move On Up: Amplify Your Risk Program's Impact

Intensify the impact of your team’s risk management capabilities with seven essential steps for more effective risk management and risk leadership. Each step shared in this session will focus on enhancing your risk program to support mission-advancement and the achievement of your team’s goals. Leave this session with fresh ideas for driving impact including:

  • Embedding risk assessment and risk mitigation dialogue into your existing decision-making forums and planning processes in order to streamline your risk management efforts
  • Prioritizing identified risks and potential risk management initiatives using creative approaches that reduce the administrative burden on your team
  • Evaluating the outcomes and effectiveness of your risk management practices over time

Along with practical steps shared by the session presenter, participants in this session will benefit from peer-to-peer learning by breaking into small groups to share specific steps they have taken to amplify risk management practices and mission impact in their own organizations.

Phoenix Force: Reboot Your Risk Program

Is risk management’s effectiveness waning at your nonprofit? Your risk program can rise from the ashes with an impact-centered reboot. During this session, the presenter will critique the risk management notions, practices, processes, and tools that often result in organizational drag and burden without benefit. Refocus on results-oriented, intentional risk management and learn about creative alternatives to conventional tactics that can breathe new life into your team’s risk program.

Kindred Spirit Networking Sessions

GC Peer Networking – This session is for General Counsel and senior attorneys who champion risk management and ERM in their respective nonprofit organizations. This peer networking group was formed in November 2017; this Risk Summit session will be the group’s seventh gathering. Missed the earlier get-togethers? No worries! Join your peers for a fruitful but informal information-sharing opportunity. Facilitator: TBD

Insurance Professionals Peer Networking – Join fellow insurance professionals who specialize in protecting nonprofit missions. This session offers a time and place to candidly discuss some of the challenges you face and also the change to build your network by connecting with specialists outside your geographic area and nonprofit niche. Inspired by the positive feedback and enthusiasm for a similar session held during the early years of the Risk Summit, the NRMC team is excited to bring back this networking and learning workshop for our insurance industry risk champions. Facilitator: TBD

Finance Professionals – Many senior nonprofit finance professionals lead operational and enterprise risk functions. And with audit and finance committees showing an increased interest in their risk oversight roles, the need to evolve risk reporting beyond the realm of finance has never been greater. Attend this roundtable to hear insights and lessons from fellow finance leaders who have embraced their risk roles and responsibilities. Bring your ideas, insights and questions to share with a group of peers who love numbers (and risk!) as much as you do. Facilitator: TBD

Risk Professionals Networking – Join your fellow Risk Champions for a fast-paced peer networking session. Whether you’re a full-time Risk Manager, Director of Risk Management/ERM or compliance/ethics leader, or you’re wearing a risk manager’s hat as one of many, attend this session to learn about the touch challenges and successful strategies that colleagues are facing and conquering across the nonprofit and NGO sectors. Facilitator: TBD


Risk Summit Spect-APP-ular

This first-ever Risk Summit session offers a demo of popular risk management apps and software available for purchase by your nonprofit. From risk monitoring to incident management to simplifying and automating risk management processes, these apps and software packages do it all. Hear directly from corporate representatives about how their tech products can elevate your team’s risk management capabilities and serve your mission.

Rock Ready: Responding to a Data Breach

Bulletproof your data breach response plan with five principles of protection shared in this timely session. Implement these practical principles to safeguard your nonprofit’s mission and reputation when your next data breach occurs. This session also offers an interactive debrief exercise based on the response undertaken by a real nonprofit team after suffering a privacy breach. Leave this session with rock solid confidence that your team can ready itself to conquer any data breach that comes your way.

Scaling Back and Back Up Again: Risk Implications and Insights

COVID-19 was the penultimate external risk event: the onset and evolution of the crisis were beyond your agency’s ability to control, and it was highly disruptive to ‘normal’ operations. For most nonprofits, the concept of ‘normal’ disappeared altogether. This workshop explores risk lessons, insights, implications, and inspiration born from the necessity to scale back operations and staffing swiftly. The session also explores the risk implications of bringing your programs and personnel back online.

Stranger Things or Brave New World: Employment Trends, Risk and Your Nonprofit

Keeping up with employment practices risk can sometimes feel as wild as finding yourself in a futuristic, dystopian universe filled with frightening demogorgons or citizens engineered for predetermined social classes. To emerge as the triumphant hero in your nonprofit’s employment risk story, participate in this workshop led by employment trends and legal risk experts. Turn fantasy into reality by exploring myth-busting factoids and mini case studies the presenters will share along with other employment practices highlights and predictions for 2021.

Terms and Conditions: The Insurance Quiz Show

Attend this session to enjoy a quiz show-style rundown of insurance policy terms and conditions. This interactive session features quiz categories such as: Loss Reporting, Subrogation Rights, Property Valuation, Cancellation and Nonrenewal, Potent Potables, and more. Bring your insurance insights and questions—and your competitive streak—for a chance to win:

  • A prize
  • A deeper knowledge of your insurer’s requirements and your nonprofit’s requirements as an insured
  • and of course… glory and bragging rights!

The Dating Game: Risk Oversight Options

Before committing to a risk oversight model at your nonprofit, attend this session to weigh your options. This session will explore both the concept and application of risk oversight, covering topics including:

  • Risk oversight roles and responsibilities of a board committee versus the full board
  • Which board committee is best suited for risk oversight
  • Aligning board-led risk oversight with staff-led risk management
  • Incorporating strategic risk management into your board’s risk oversight capabilities
  • Evaluating and enhancing an adopted risk oversight structure and capabilities

No questions are off-limits in this Dating Game, so bring your quirkiest queries and find your risk oversight match!

The Finance Risk Fundamentals Pyramid

Pair up and participate in a Pyramid-style game to review finance risk fundamentals during this ses-sion. Workshop attendees will all play rounds simultaneously, but only one pair will advance to the Winner’s Circle for the final round of competition. After each round of play, your game show hosts will present a thorough review of the finance concepts used in the round. Return to your nonprofit as a winner with refreshed proficiency in finance risk.

Through the Looking Glass: The Legal Risk Landscape

Wish you had a crystal ball to foresee shifting legal exposures that might affect your nonprofit in 2021? Look no further than this workshop led by legal gurus from firms with vast experience counseling nonprofit leadership teams. Enjoy a fast-paced tour of the top regulatory changes and legal risks these psychic presenters anticipate in the coming year.

To Click or Not to Click: Strategies for Staff to Shield Against Social Engineering

“I changed all my passwords to ‘incorrect.’ So whenever I forget, it will tell me ‘Your password is incorrect.’” — Michael Scott, Dunder Mifflin, Inc. (aka Steve Carell, The Office)

We can’t all be cyber geniuses like Michael Scott. Everyone from executives to entry-level staff can fall victim to a social engineering scam that strips sensitive data away from its rightful server. Want to amp up your team’s clicking caution? Attend this session to gain tried-and-true data privacy tactics that reduce an organization’s vulnerability to social engineering. This session explores the most common social engineering deceptions, what makes your team vulnerable, and the practical steps you can take to ensure that your data stays safe and sound.

We Were on a BREAK: Ethics, Decision-Making and ERM

You might recall when Ross and Rachel of the sitcom Friends were haunted by their lengthy disagreement and resulting ethics showdown in the wake of their break-up… or break? As it turns out, nonprofit teams face similar misunderstandings. Practicing Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) offers nonprofit teams opportunities to collaboratively challenge and validate management decisions before acting upon them. Attend this session to renew your ethical decision-making practices while learning to balance the legal, financial, and other obligations faced by your team. Get clarity with your team before your individual ethics results in a break, a break-up, or worse!

You Can’t Fight Fate: Scenario Planning and Alternate Futures

Many risk management professionals recognize risk as uncertainty and the effect that uncertainty has on a team’s ability to achieve its goals. When we conceptualize risk as uncertainty, we are reminded of the impossibility of predicting the future. While no nonprofit leader can serve as a seer or psychic of risk events, we can all learn to better anticipate and plan for alternate futures by using techniques like Scenario Planning. Return to your organization with a process for anticipating alternate futures and enable your team to develop resilience, plan for contingencies, and thrive in the face of uncertainty.