Don’t Be a Scaredy Cat

Scared you?! Oh...not really? Well, it's hard through a newsletter!

I bet you will find this scary, though: Walking the talk of taking meaningful risks in the name of social change. Our field is great at talking about "being bold" and understanding the importance of risk and risk management (after all, isn't this something we are set up to embrace more than government and business?). But, there is little discourse about strategic practice of risk-taking — how to intentionally anticipate, identify, manage, and mitigate risk — by foundations. If you need a last-minute, frightening Halloween costume, RISK just might be it.

Luckily, as we learn year after year on October 31 when we work up the courage to go on a haunted hayride, or when a headless man knocks at the door, things that appear scary usually aren't as scary as we think. Our sister site here at Foundation Center — IssueLab — recently launched a Risk and Philanthropy special collection to share what we collectively know (read more below). And just as women wearing pants, tomatoes, and Y2K are now scary things of the past, so too will be risk in a few years if we can get comfortable not just talking about it, but walking the talk.​

IssueLab, a service of Foundation Center, has recently launched a special collection of resources about risk and philanthropy. The collection contains 70 reports, case studies, thought pieces, and more that speak to how philanthropic organizations talk — and don't talk — about the risks inherent to their work. Support for the special collection was generously provided by Open Road Alliance. 

This letter originally appeared in today's GrantCraft newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter and special alerts, register for free

About the author(s)

Director of Stakeholder Engagement