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The best nonprofits always strive to be better. As we have explained in prior posts in this series, there’s always more to learn about nonprofit risk management. Even when you reach the summit of your Lean Risk Management™ journey – when you become AGILE in the face of uncertainty – there’s still room for continuous improvement.


A successful nonprofit leader knows she has reached the summit of her Lean Risk Management™ journey when she sees that her organization is functioning according to the following characteristics:

  • The organization instinctively applies consistent nonprofit risk management because staff members have a risk-aware culture.
  • Team members know and apply the values of the organization as drivers and supporters of the risk process.
  • Team members recognize the value of ethics as a component of risk management and plan for ethical decisions.
  • The organization consistently gathers feedback from customers and stakeholders to identify risks and improve operations.
  • The organization applies lean management principles to generate continuous improvement in its nonprofit management strategies.
  • The organization’s board members actively partner to address the most critical nonprofit challenges the organization. And finally,
  • The organization actively looks for additional benefits of the 5 C’s. They value and foster clarity, context, contribution, confidence, and capturing value.


No, and that’s the exciting point. The journey is the destination, and the goal itself encourages the organization to continue the journey. As the poet Machado writes, “The road is made by walking.”

Nonprofit organizations at the AGILE stage don’t want to leave. They don’t want to tumble back down the mountain. They want to help other nonprofits get to the top.

The characteristics they manifest are the essence of high-performing leadership. They will always continue learning because these characteristics naturally urge them in that direction.


Nonprofits Build Strength Together (BeST)

Risk Alternatives sponsors and curates an online group for nonprofit leaders who want to build resilient organizations.

To stay informed about this group, called Nonprofits Build Strength Together (BeST), click this button.