A form to help grantee partners evaluate and respond to risks
Challenging assumptions around risk
It’s time we reframe the many misconceptions around the word ‘risk’, as they can prevent funders from effectively partnering with frontline groups.
In the world of finance, the word ‘risk’ is commonplace, and its management is assumed to be an unavoidable part of the investment process. We should apply this to our understanding of grantmaking, too. Grants are both relationships and investments, and will always come with an element of risk for both the donor and grantee.
Yes, sometimes things don’t go as planned, and yes, sometimes organisations engage in harmful, corrupt behaviour. But this is true across all industries and organisation types, in every part of the world. With the right measures in place, this is a reasonably rare occurrence – and when you are funding a broad portfolio of organisations, any fraud or misconduct that takes place will ultimately make up a very small portion of your funding.
In conversations about risk, it’s also important to consider the risks that we as funders might pose to grantees — whether that’s financial, reputational or political. Ask yourself: ‘Could this statement or action put a grantee in danger or compromise their efforts?’ This makes the intentional building of trust all the more critical.