Open Road Alliance conducts research and collects data in the practice of and attitudes towards risk management in philanthropy. Through surveys, case studies, statistical analysis, and convenings of our peers, we seek to identify gaps in practice as well as solutions for best practices across the grant making spectrum.
For example, through this research we know:
- 1 in 5 projects will encounter an unexpected obstacle during implementation
- Only 13% of funders currently budget for contingencies
- 76% of funders don’t ask about project risks during the RFP process
- Non-profits are less comfortable talking with funders about risks, than funders expect
To learn more about these findings and other, we invite you to browse the below resources.
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.
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