Fundraising Risks

By Margo Bailey, PhD

One of my favorite nonprofit resources is the Nonprofit Risk Management Center. The work of risk management is often left to financial professionals but there are inherent risks in every aspect of nonprofit management.

This is especially true for fundraising. In the competition to have fundraising events stand out from other organizations, nonprofit leaders and their staff can make fundraising decisions that jeopardize organizational reputation.

In the Summer 2012 issue of Risk Management Essentials – The Fundraising Issue, the Nonprofit Risk Management Center identified the top 10 fundraising risks for nonprofit organizations.

10. Ignoring donor wishes

9. Failing to comply with charitable registration laws

8. Crossing the urgent/desperate line in the sand

7. Mistaken identity

6. Lack of clarity

5. Unintentional donor disrespect

4. Lack of transparency

3. Sweeping mistakes under the rug

2. Isolating fundraising responsibility (Keeping colleagues in the dark)

1. Missing the mark

Number 2, “Isolating fundraising responsibility” resonates for me.  Not engaging and informing colleagues about fundraising rationales, goals, and responsibilities makes accountability difficult.

I encourage you to read the complete article and to share your thoughts on fundraising risks.

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