Effective risk managers are strategic business partners that bring discipline to the organization by providing sophistication, structure, and knowledge of managing risk. Risk management is the process of protecting the tangible and intangible assets of your church or ministry. Tangible assets are physical properties, such as cash, buildings, furnishings, sound systems, computer equipment, etc. Intangible assets are the reputation, public image or “brand” of the ministry. Intangible assets are also the people who attend the church, its staff, and its volunteers. Protecting those assets requires five steps:
Identification is the most important step in the risk management process. You must know the risks or hazards that threaten your ministry so that you can efficiently accomplish the steps that follow. There are several ways to identify your risks:
The next step is to analyze those risks. You need to know the likelihood of an accident as well as the potential impact of such a loss, should it occur. Analysis can show you how much a loss will cost when it occurs as well as future costs such as increased premiums, damaged reputation, etc. Losses do not just affect us today. They can potentially have long-term consequences.
Risk control includes the actions taken to reduce the likelihood and impact of a loss. There are five different techniques for controlling risk: Avoidance, Prevention, Reduction, Separation/Duplication and Transfer (including insurance).
The financing of risk explores different means to pay for the risks that we assume. Insurance helps you pay for losses you incur and is a form of risk financing. Other parts of risk financing are deductible levels, self-insured options, retentions, etc.
Finally, the continuous review of each stage of the progression is the fifth step in the risk management process. This evaluation includes the overall examination of the process and includes implementation and monitoring of all the risk management actions. Administration requires a commitment to the process as well as a willingness to evaluate and, if necessary, make changes to the operation.