Warren Buffett is said to have noted that it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to lose it. For nonprofits, reputation is everything. With a good reputation, the money flows in. Lose your reputation, and the money dries up. As a result, this week’s post in this series asks the popular AI program ChatGPT to help nonprofit leaders identify risks relating to reputation.
The Nonprofit Risk Management Prompt
We seeded ChatGPT with the following prompt about nonprofit risk management:
Acting as a journalist, describe common risks that nonprofits face relating to reputation.
As a language model AI, I don’t have personal experiences, but here’s a list of common repuational risks that nonprofits face based on my training data:
- Negative publicity: Nonprofits can face negative publicity due to controversies, scandals, or other issues that can damage their reputation and harm their ability to achieve their mission.
- Miscommunication and misinformation: Nonprofits may struggle with communicating effectively with stakeholders, which can result in the spread of misinformation and harm to the organization’s reputation.
- Lack of transparency and accountability: A lack of transparency and accountability in the organization’s operations and finances can result in a loss of trust from stakeholders and harm to the organization’s reputation.
- Conflict of interest: Conflicts of interest among board members, staff, or volunteers can result in negative publicity and harm to the organization’s reputation.
- Scandal or unethical behavior: Scandals or unethical behavior by board members, staff, or volunteers can result in negative publicity and harm to the organization’s reputation.
- Lack of engagement with stakeholders: Nonprofits may struggle with engaging stakeholders, which can result in a lack of support and harm to the organization’s reputation.
- Inadequate response to crisis: Nonprofits must be prepared to respond effectively to crisis situations, such as natural disasters or accusations of wrongdoing. Inadequate crisis response can result in negative publicity and harm to the organization’s reputation.
Notes and Questions Based on This Answer
How many of these reputational issues affect your nonprofit? When we work with organizations to begin implementing nonprofit risk management, reputational concerns always end up highly prioritized in their risk registers.
What other reputational risks should be on your radar? In my book, Managing Your Nonprofit for Resilience, I provide 16 additional issues you can ask about your reputation management function as part of your nonprofit risk management work.
If you are thinking about how to incorporate AI into your risk management planning to help address some of these risks, reach out to me here at Risk Alternatives for suggestions, including resources for getting better results when using AI. Alternatively, you can create a ChatGPT account for yourself to begin exploring how AI could impact your organization.
(As previously noted, all of the art for this series on common nonprofit risks was generated by Midjourney, another AI program. I asked that program to generate images about talent management risks in the style of Vincent Van Gogh.)