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  • Julien Haye

A Guide to Assessing Risk Maturity for Non-Profit Organisations and Charities

A Guide to Assessing Risk Maturity for Non-Profit Organisations and Charities

Non-profit organisations and charities confront several problems in carrying out their purposes, including maintaining compliance and developing a mature risk and governance culture. Effective strategic planning, combined with a thorough grasp of holistic risk, is critical for these organisations' long-term viability and ability to continue providing critical services to the communities they serve. Integrating risk maturity assessments is a necessary step that can considerably improve strategic planning.


This article explores how such risk maturity assessments can be integrated into the strategic planning process of non-profit organisations and charities and explain the benefits of adopting a holistic approach to risk management, taking into consideration the UK Charity Commission's regulations.


Risk Maturity Assessments


Risk maturity assessments measure an organisation's risk and governance management capabilities and practices. They analyse how effectively an organisation detects, assesses, manages, monitors, and oversees its risks. Governance, culture, procedures, systems, and performance measures are common dimensions included in these reviews. At Aevitium LTD, we built a simple and free assessment approach based on the Institute of Risk Management guide to help you to assess your organisation’s maturity.


Integrating Risk Maturity Assessments into Strategic Planning


  1. Initial Assessment and Benchmarking


The integration process begins with a comprehensive risk maturity evaluation, such as the one provided by Aevitium LTD. This initial evaluation serves as a baseline, offering a clear image of the organisation's present risk management situation. Non-profit organisations and charities can evaluate strengths and weaknesses in their strategic planning process and set a target maturity level and prioritise areas for improvement.

Aevitium LTD risk maturity assessment for non-profit organisations and charities


  1. Congruence with Organisational Objectives


The outcomes of the risk maturity assessment must be consistent with the organisation's goals and objectives. This connection ensures that risk management efforts directly complement the organisation's mission and strategic objectives. Similarly, the organisation's activities influence the type of risk and compliance requirements that can be expected. For example, if the evaluation identifies deficiencies in risk management linked to financial sustainability and data protection, two frequent topics in our work with charities, the strategic plan can contain plans to enhance financial controls and diversify funding streams.


  1. Compliance with UK Charity Commission Requirements


Non-profit organisations and charities in the UK must comply with the requirements set forth by the Charity Commission. This includes maintaining accurate records, demonstrating accountability and transparency, and ensuring effective governance. Integrating risk maturity assessments can help these organisations meet these requirements by identifying potential risks related to compliance and governance. For instance, regular assessments can ensure that trustees are aware of their legal obligations and that risk management practices are in line with regulatory expectations.




...charities that are required by law to have their accounts audited must make a risk management statement in their trustees’ annual report confirming that ‘…the charity trustees have given consideration to the major risks to which the charity is exposed and satisfied themselves that systems or procedures are established in order to manage those risks...


  1. Integration into SWOT Analysis


Incorporating risk maturity assessment findings into the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis enhances the depth of strategic planning. The assessment provides a nuanced understanding of internal weaknesses and external threats, which can be addressed through targeted strategies. This integration helps in developing more robust plans that are resilient to potential risks.


  1. Developing Risk-Informed Strategies


Based on the assessment, Non-profit organisations and charities can develop risk-informed strategies that address identified gaps and leverage strengths. These strategies may include improving governance structures, enhancing risk management processes, investing in technology for better risk monitoring, and fostering a risk-aware culture across the organisation. This is crucial to limit the liability risks for trustees.




...The responsibility for the management and control of a charity rests with the trustee body and therefore their involvement in the key aspects of the risk management process is essential, particularly in setting the parameters of the process and reviewing and considering the results...


  1. Continuous Monitoring and Improvement


Risk maturity assessments should not be a one-time exercise. Continuous monitoring and periodic reassessment are vital for ensuring that risk management practices evolve with changing internal and external environments. Integrating these assessments into regular strategic planning cycles enables these organisations to remain agile and responsive to emerging risks. Aevitium LTD offers solution to support you with your ongoing risk and governance needs; if this is relevant for you, please get in touch.


Benefits of a Holistic Approach to Risk Management


  1. Enhanced Decision-Making


A holistic approach to risk management provides a comprehensive view of the organisation’s risk landscape. This broad perspective enables better decision-making by ensuring that all potential risks and their interdependencies are considered. It allows non-profits to make informed choices that balance risk and reward.


  1. Improved Financial and Operational Resilience


By integrating risk management into strategic planning, non-profit organisations and charities can build resilience against uncertainties. A proactive approach to identifying and mitigating risks ensures that the organisation is better prepared to handle crises and disruptions, safeguarding its mission and operations. This will also enable to optimise the risk mitigation strategies of the organisation, such as insurance.


  1. Increased Stakeholder Confidence


Demonstrating a mature risk management framework enhances the confidence of donors, partners, and other stakeholders. It shows that the organisation is committed to transparency, accountability, and sustainability. This confidence can translate into stronger support and increased funding opportunities.


  1. Operational Efficiency


A comprehensive approach to risk management minimises redundancy and streamlines procedures. These businesses can increase the efficacy and efficiency of their operations by integrating risk management into daily operations. In the end, this efficiency leads to greater results and resource utilisation.


  1. Swiftness in Strategy


When benefiting from a well-developed risk management culture, these organisations can quickly adjust to changing conditions. In today's dynamic climate, when non-profit organisations and charities must negotiate changing problems and embrace new opportunities, this strategic agility is essential. A comprehensive strategy guarantees that the organisation maintains flexibility in its initiatives while being committed to its objective.


Strategic planning processes must incorporate risk maturity evaluations if non-profit organisations and charities are to be more sustainable and effective. This enhances decision-making, develop resilience, and win over stakeholders by adopting a comprehensive strategy, adhering to UK Charity Commission regulations, and matching risk management with organisational objectives. In the end, this integration safeguards trustees while helping non-profit organisations and charities handle uncertainty more skilfully and confidently accomplish their mission-driven goals.

Not sure your charity's governance and risk management is mature enough to protect you? Take our free charity risk and governance maturity assessment.

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