Calling all funders! Help us test a new risk framework
Our recent studies The possible, not the perfect and Duty to Care? observed that ‘too much caution can narrow the range of people and organisations funded and what that funding can achieve’, and encouraged funders to consider if they ‘are taking enough risk rather than too much.’
Today we launch a Risk Framework (created with a pilot group of five funders) to help funders to think about their appetite for and approaches to risk. As part of our ongoing work on Thinking about … risk, we are now looking for funders to help to test the new framework.
A framework for thinking about risk
The framework aims to help funders achieve clarity about the different aspects of opportunity and risk inherent in their strategies and aspirations. And to ensure that their application, assessment and decision-making practices accurately reflect their appetite for and approaches to risk.
The framework outlines seven attitudes and aspirations – plotted on a spectrum – that tend to influence appetite for risk and associated practices:
- Attitude to innovation
- Certainty and clarity of outcome
- Capacity and capability
- Financial risk
- Public opinion
The framework provides a structure for interrogating the balance to be achieved between ‘the things we care about’ (positive risk) and ‘the things that we worry about’ (risk mitigation). This enables challenges and inconsistencies to be ironed out before going on to the practical question about how risk is to be identified and managed day-to-day.
We need your help
IVAR and the funder pilot group want to widen the conversation and encourage more funders to test the framework and bring a range of opinion to bear on the critical challenge of making the practical connection between intended risk profiles and day-to-day grant-making practice.
Is your organisation taking ‘enough risk’? Would you like support to achieve more clarity about your appetite for risk? Get in touch to join a group of funders collaborating with us to take the process through to its next stage. Participation will involve:
Using the framework (with the support and guidance of IVAR facilitators) to assess the risk profile of a grant programme
Attending a ‘share and build’ workshop with other funders
Consenting to share the findings more widely to help shape the future of thinking about risk in grant-making.