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 / Jan. 18, 2019
Alliance Magazine
The world is unpredictable, funder-grantee relationships don’t have to be
by Maya Winkelstein
The top three causes of funder-created roadblocks — and some suggestions on how to avoid them.
News / Jan. 17, 2019
We're Hiring!: Investment Officer
Candidate Profile We are looking for a mid-level professional to help source, vet, recommend, and manage Open Road’s core investment portfolio. The ideal candidate will have minimum 5 years experience managing a loan portfolio or other finance experience and a proven interest in the philanthropic/impact investing space. While our portfolio... Read more »
News / Dec. 17, 2018
We're Hiring!: Communications Intern
We're hiring a communications intern for 2019!
News / Dec. 10, 2018
The Center for Effective Philanthropy
A Failure to Communicate
by Maya Winkelstein
If good communication is a bridge where funders and grantees have to meet halfway, it’s actually up to the foundations to take the first step.