1 in 5 projects encounter unexpected obstacles
83% of funders don't budget for contingencies
48% of non-profits are uncomfortable talking to their funders about risk

Risk & Philanthropy

The world is unpredictable. However, the philanthropic financial market is not structured to deal with the unexpected.

No industry standards currently exist for discussing, assessing, or planning for risk in philanthropy. Few grantmakers assess risk during the grant application process, and even fewer have processes in place to respond to anticipatable risks once a project is underway. The problem is not that philanthropists consciously seek to avoid risk; in fact research shows that funders often describe themselves as risk-taking. The problem is that, without the appropriate structures in place, philanthropy’s noble intention to take risks for the common good remains largely a noble intention. Without taking steps to accurately identify, understand, and manage risk, philanthropy’s ability to play the risk-taking role it has set itself is severely limited. By the same token, foundations have a significant opportunity to increase the impact of their grantmaking by taking concrete steps to proactively identify, measure, and mitigate risk.

Through research, collaboration, and advocacy, Open Road Alliance hopes to solve this gap in practice by providing tools, templates, and best practices for risk management in philanthropy.

 

Research

Tools & Templates

Stories of Risk Management in Action

In addition to this work, we provide the necessary, fast, flexible capital to help organizations overcome the unexpected.

OR In The News

News / Jan. 10, 2018
GrantCraft
Bridges & Batons: How Loans Can Keep Impact on Track in the Social Sector
by Caroline Bressan
This article is the third in a four-part series sharing what Open Road Alliance has learned about risk management in philanthropy and how the organization has evolved over the past five years to better address the need for fast, flexible contingency funding in the sector.
News / Jan. 5, 2018
We're Hiring! Open Road is seeking an Investment Officer
We are looking for a mid-level professional to help source, vet, recommend, and manage Open Road’s core investment portfolio.
News / Dec. 15, 2017
GrantCraft
Three Truths After Five Years on the Foundation Side
by Maya Winkelstein
"I’ve been working as a foundation executive for five years and there are some uncomfortable truths that I’ve learned here as well. These are three things that I find myself saying every week, over and over..." Uncomfortable truths and lessons learned from Open Road's Executive Director, Maya Winkelstein.
News / Nov. 16, 2017
GrantCraft
What We’ve Learned After Five Years of Risk Management in Philanthropy
by Laurie Michaels
Laurie Michaels is Founder of Open Road Alliance, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary. This article is the first in a four-part series sharing what Open Road has learned about risk management in philanthropy and how the organization has evolved over the past five years to better address the need for fast, flexible contingency funding in the sector. This series will include findings from Open Road’s research and practical guidance on best practices for managing risk in order to maximize impact in philanthropy.

 

We’re hiring!

Investment Officer

We are looking for a mid-level professional to help manage Open Road’s core investment portfolio. Sound like you or someone you know? We want to hear from you!

Details on the position and how to apply here