Survey Shows Many Organizations Still Aren’t Prepared for Sandy-Like Storms

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It’s been well over a year since Hurricane Sandy unleashed its wrath on the New England area, causing many organizations to halt operations for months, and in some cases, to shut down completely. While one would think the effects of Sandy would cause those in leadership to amp up their disaster recovery plans, the results of a recent survey prove otherwise.

A New York-based agency polled business owners and managers in New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut whose organizations were affected by Sandy last year. An astonishing 52 percent answered that their organization was not “financially prepared for another disaster,” which experts feel is a strong indicator that other organizations within the area are also not prepared to handle an event of that magnitude, either due to lack of appropriate finances and/or the means to deal with such a disaster.

Only 3 percent of those polled answered that they had taken the steps necessary to protect their organization by accessing more financing. Fifteen percent had taken steps to invest in and protect their organization’s technology, and 10 percent said they invested in infrastructure.

With natural disasters seeming to occur more often and more intensely, the time to prepare is now. Those in leadership should review business insurance policies regularly to ensure that the organization’s property and assets are covered, as well as make sure the organization is adequately covered by business interruption insurance. It’s also advisable that organizations back up their data so that critical information isn’t lost, should the organization’s building be destroyed.

No matter where your organization is located, Lamb Financial Group can help you find the right insurance policies to help keep your organization afloat, should a natural disaster drastically affect your property or operations. Visit our website today to learn more about our insurance options, or contact us to schedule an appointment with a representative by calling 1-866-481-5262.

 

Board of Directors and CFOs Turning Focus to Risk Management

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Research conducted earlier this year by two different organizations has revealed that both chief financial officers (CFOs) and board directors are paying more attention to risk management than ever before.

In a poll conducted by the Institute of Internal Auditors, 35 percent of respondents, about one-third of those polled, noted they would like to focus more of their attention on risk management and risk management effectiveness. Risk management came in second only to information technology and compliance and regulatory issues.

Research jointly conducted by American Express and Co. and CFO Research revealed CFOs will “likely have a greater role in risk management in 2014,” attributing this prediction in part to the “enhanced role” CFOs play in business operations. The report also shared that taking on a role in risk management strategies can help foster a CFO’s conflict resolution abilities and develop skills that cater to the unique goals of the organization.

Both board directors and CFOs can play a very important role in an organization’s risk management strategies. They can offer valuable insight other leaders in an organization might overlook or may not even acknowledge. Of course it also helps to have the assistance of a professional who can provide an objective opinion and provide a comprehensive risk management package that helps reduce risks and exposures. This is where Lamb Financial Group comes in.

In addition to various insurance programs for nonprofits and social services organizations, we also offer risk management services ranging from background and motor vehicle records checks and claims consulting to site safety evaluations and more. Those who take a part in their organization’s risk management plans are invited to visit our website for more information on our risk management services, or you can contact us at 1-866-481-5262.

 

What’s a Whistleblower Policy? Does My Nonprofit Need One?

Although it is not required by law for nonprofits to have written whistleblower policies, it is highly recommended to practice sound governance and diligent risk management. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) was instituted to mandate protection for employees that reveal concerns within publicly traded companies. Using many of the guidelines from the Act, The Panel on the Nonprofit Sector was formed and developed a set of recommendations for nonprofits to follow in order to promote transparency and accountability within their organizations.

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In a research study conducted, 82 percent of nonprofit employees felt their organizations were above-board and honest in their dealings, compared to 60 percent at for-profit entities and only 30 percent in the public sector. However, 69 percent of all people who have reported illegal or corrupt activities in all sectors have been forced into retirement or have lost their jobs.

Developing a risk management strategy that includes a whistleblower policy will help strengthen your organization and minimize the chances of a serious issue going public before management and board members have the opportunity to handle the situation. It will also encourage employees to come forward if they do notice a problem and mitigate losses or litigation costs due to corrupt or illegal activities if they know there will not be any retribution.

A sound whistleblower policy should include a statement letting employees know there will be no retribution for reporting an issue, who they should report the issue to and the steps that will be taken once an issue is reported. With a clear set of procedures and practices in place, employees will know how to address their concerns and understand your organization’s integrity is tantamount.

For possible sponsors and government programs, a whistleblower policy outlines your nonprofit’s moral compass and provides a measure of security due to accountability and transparency.

Does your nonprofit currently have a whistleblower policy as part of your nonprofit risk management services? Please share with us in the comments section below.