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.



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 / Mar. 5, 2018
The Next Five Years: Three Reasons We Must Adapt
by Maya Winkelstein
This article is the final 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 / Feb. 23, 2018
Fast Company
When Nonprofits Have A Financial Emergency, There’s Now A Fund To Bail Them Out
by Ben Paytner
Open Road Alliance knows disaster is just one missed donation away for many nonprofits. Now it’s offering a lifeline.
News / Feb. 23, 2018
Open Road Alliance expands working-capital loan fund for social-sector organizations
by Dennis Price
The fund is designed to help organizations withstand one-time cash crunches
News / Feb. 21, 2018
Open Road Alliance
PRESS RELEASE: Open Road Alliance Launches New Loan Fund, Open Road Ventures
Open Road Alliance, a philanthropic initiative that seeks to preserve impact in the social sector, today announced the launch of Open Road Ventures, a new fund that will disburse at least $50 million in loans to nonprofits and social enterprises over the next five years.
Open Road Ventures will disburse $50 million in loans to nonprofits and social enterprises over the next five years. Open Road Ventures (ORV) is Open Road’s latest instrument to “keep impact on track” in the social sector.
Continue to Open Road's Homepage Learn More About Open Road Ventures