Risk is an everyday part of running a charity or good cause. And although risk can never be eliminated completely, being prepared can help protect everything from your people and property, to your reputation and assets.

Which charities or not for profit organisations need risk assessments?

The simple answer is all of them. 

If you’re a smaller charity with a gross income of less than £250,000, you don’t have to report on risk management. But it’s still highly recommended you establish a documented risk assessment so you can demonstrate your accountability – for example to stakeholders, fund providers, those using your services or the general public.

And remember, any organisation that employs people or is responsible for non-domestic premises (like your charity’s office or headquarters), is legally required to carry out fire risk assessments. 

How do risk assessments work?

A risk assessment is an ongoing process that needs to be reviewed regularly and updated as things change. Here’s an overview of the steps involved: 

  1. Identify hazards 
  2. Assess the risks 
  3. Take suitable action to reduce the risks
  4. Record the risk assessment
  5. Continue to use the risk management process you’ve established on a regular basis – monitoring and updating it as you go

All areas of your charity’s workplace, inside and out, should be considered in your risk assessment. This includes any activities you take part in and equipment you use. 

And activities carried out away from your charity’s usual premises should also be risk assessed – like fundraising events, outings or overseas trips. 

Example – overseas trips

Here are some example considerations that would go in to a risk assessment if your employees or volunteers need to work overseas:

The people who are travelling must also be trained and prepared before they leave the UK. 

Your risk assessments should be specific to each individual trip, and consider any health risks associated with visiting certain parts of the world (for example, the need for vaccinations).

Before each trip, it would be important to contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the most up-to-date guidelines, and then discuss your plans with your insurance provider.

Ready to get started?

Here are some handy resources to help you create your own risk assessments:

Charity Commission for England and Wales – Charities and Risk Management 

Sayer Vincent LLP Risk Assessment Guide

We also have many specific risk assessment templates ready for you to use on Risk Services Knowledge Store

Free risk management guidance

While you’ll find lots of tips on how to reduce your risks within the Knowledge Library, you can also contact our specialists:

Risk Helpline – a source of qualified advice that can help with all your risk management needs.

Call 0345 366 6666  

Email: [email protected]m   

Specialist Partner Network

We also have access to a range of products and services – available at discounted prices for Aviva customers – helping to create an environment with reduced risk. From fire to escape of water, security to motor, health and safety to business resilience – all our partners are well established with a pedigree in the risk management sector. https://www.aviva.co.uk/risksolutions/specialistpartners/