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As Hurricane Sandy relief efforts continue, I'm reminded of the significant negative impact that poor weather can have on a fundraising event. In New York City, the ING NYC Marathon was completely cancelled while the city recovered from the after-effects of Sandy.
nonprofits whose primary source of revenue comes from a single
fundraising event, the consequence of a weekend of bad weather could be
closing your doors.
our job as event fundraisers is to plan in advance for the potential
risks that could derail the success of our event and the mission of our
risk planning helps you avoid potential challenges that may face your
event and gives you the opportunity to devise a action plan before a
challenging situation escalates into a crisis.
risks is an exercise of playing "What if…?" The overall objective is
to determine those "what if" scenarios that could actually happen.
Here are some examples of common risks to get you started:
have a list of risks, it's time to think about the likelihood that a
risk would become a reality and also what impact that situation could
have on the overall financial and logistical success of your event.
recommend assigning a numerical value to both likelihood and impact to
help you quantify those risks that you need to prioritize and develop
specific contingency plans.
Examples of Impact:
have identified your risks and assessed a likelihood and impact, you
should focus in on developing documented mitigation and contingency
plans for those risks that have the highest chance of becoming a reality
and have the greatest impact.
have assigned numerical values to these items, then you can easily
surface these priorities to the top of the list by multiplying your
Reality Assessment and your Impact Assessment to create a numeric value
plans should address strategies to avoid the risk becoming a reality.
For example, to avoid having too many people register for your event,
you place a registration cap on your event registration.
plans should address the immediate actions that should be taken once a
risk becomes a reality. They need to be actionable and should have
specific people or roles assigned.
I'm a fan
of using spreadsheets to help with this sort of documentation. Here is
an example of the columns that I have used in the past to help organize
regular time to visit your plan. The likelihood and impact of a risk
will change with time so scheduled check-in points ensure that other
risks are not bubbling up to the top that you had not planned for in
your original contingency plan and that everyone is still comfortable
with your contingency plans.
of issues have you encountered as an event planner? How did you
overcome that challenge? What type of planning had you done ahead of
time to help relieve that situation in the moment?
Original posting by Robyn Mendez, product marketing manager for Blackbaud.