Charities today face a multitude of risks. Interaction with the public, the need for funding and increased use of technology open the sector up to a host of threats. It is crucial for trustees to effectively manage these risks, responding strategically with the help of regular assessments and reviews.
Risk assessments are used to identify how great a risk there is of an accident occurring and also, in the event of an accident, what the severity is likely to be. By carrying out a risk assessment, charities are prompted to take action to minimize any risks. In doing so, this helps to provide them with a defence in a court of law in the event that a claim is brought against them.
As charitable organisations differ in the size and scope of their operation, so will their required risk management strategies. Generally, larger organisations will be required to carry out more in-depth and complex assessments in order to fully identify and manage risks. Strategies must be tailored to each unique charity, taking into consideration any risks unique to certain organisations.
Insurers demand risk assessments as they can be crucial in defending a claim in the event of an accident. If a member of the public is injured at a charity event, this could lead to considerable expenses being incurred, some of which may be insured, but others which may have to be provided by said charity. They could also be faced with adverse publicity even if they have not been negligent. As such, anything that can be done to prevent an injury to a member of the public or damage to third party property should be done.
When carrying out these assessments, some risks may seem obvious, but claims will often arise from the most obscure of events. It is impossible to foresee each and every eventuality – carrying out risk assessments shows that serious consideration has been given to ensuring the safety of everyone who attends an event organised by and/or for the benefit of a charitable organization.
In the golden age of technology, cyber-attacks have become a daily threat – sadly, this is no different within the charity sector. These incidents can either be accidental or deliberate, causing massive disruption either way. They can result in the loss of sensitive data, money and reputational damage, all of which can be catastrophic for these organisations. Phishing is the most common cyber-risks facing charities, with 81% of those who reported a cyber-attack or breach listing this as the cause.1 It is important to remember there are many other cyber-risks which require different levels of assessment and risk management. We recommend that charities plan for individual risks of this nature separately.
It is also now important for charities to adapt around social distancing measures as a result of COVID-19 – there are new obstacles to consider when trying to minimise risk. These measures will obviously affect any face-to-face events. If social distancing cannot be implemented at a pre-planned event, consider opting for a virtual one with the help of applications such as Zoom or Skype.
Other considerable risks facing charities:
- Lack of funding/financial troubles
- Reputational damage
- Compliance/due diligence
Brunel Insurance Brokers has the expertise to provide guidance on ways in which to minimise the risk of a claim occurring and/or how to deal with a claim if one does arise. Our in-house claims and risk management teams will support and challenge the internal risk management environment, working with industry specialists to ensure the strategy is aligned to deliver balance sheet and reputational protection. If a claim occurs, our team manage the process of agreeing and setting the claim. We are aware that a serious claim can have an adverse effect on business and our claims team will dedicate time and effort to work towards a swift and successful outcome.
All of our clients can access Brunel Business Assist, a risk management consultancy including an online document resource. Brunel Business Assist offers Brunel clients information and guidance for specific risks they may be facing, including Covid-19 related articles and documentation.
To discuss your risk management strategy with a member of our team, contact us on 0117 325 2224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.