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Risk Management

By Kevin Russell | 7 April 2015

For many charity trustees, risk management is something that they are vaguely aware of as something that they ‘should’ be doing. But it not exactly the most pressing thing to do and for most, it doesn’t exactly spark instant energy and inspiration in a “YES! Let’s do it” sort of way!


For others, risk assessment is purely about child protection or insurance. Maybe, trustees have experienced something of ‘risk management’ in their daily work activities. But these experiences may bear little or no resemblance to the kind of process that is needed in the church, or community based charity, or even a larger charity context.


So how does one get over the initial inertia and set in motion, and embed, a risk management approach to running one’s charity and allow the process to maybe even give direction to the charity’s vision and activities?


Some fresh resources – Institute of Risk Management

Effective risk management has many benefits but, in short, it means that the charity’s purposes are more likely to be achieved successfully. Risk can be positive, identifying opportunities, as well as being a negative. Risk management protects the charity’s income, assets and reputation.


The Institute of Risk Management has produced a two page summary on how charities should approach risk management. This can be downloaded from:


The two page ‘Getting  Started’ Guide is supplemented by a very useful 12 page Supplementary Guide that goes into more detail.


Risks checklist, assessment and recording system – from Stewardship

Neither of the above guides will help you identify the specific risks that your charity faces but will help you immensely in designing your risk management processes and assessment of those risks.


Mindful of the need for a specific tool for churches to identify the sometimes unique risks that they face, Stewardship has produced a comprehensive Risk Management Toolkit, providing church trustees with a series of checklists for them to identify, assess and record risks and manage them going forward.


Covering over 50 main areas of risk and many, many more besides, the Tool kit provides trustees with the confidence to conduct a thorough review. Includes a free telephone consultation.


The tool is presented in a familiar spreadsheet format and is available, price £40 (or £20 for Consultancy Helpline subscribers) from Stewardship’s online shop at


Charity Commission

The Charity Commission also provides helpful guidance in CC26: Charities and Risk Management, available at:

Posted by Kevin Russell

Our Legal Eagle guru and Stewardship's Technical Director, Kevin constantly has his finger on the pulse of all things tax and charity law-related. His briefing papers for charities, churches and individuals are an invaluable resource on everything from VAT to Gift Aid. 


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