Managing risk

Trustees, staff and charity volunteers handle risk as an everyday part of any charity’s work - it can be as simple as basic contingency planning for a fundraising event like a garden fete.

However, the requirement to include a risk management statement in Trustees' Annual Reports means that charities need to consider risk and its management in a more structured way if a positive statement is to be made in their Annual Report. No matter what size they are, charities should take a systematic approach to the consideration and management of risk.

A particularly important aspect of considering risk is safeguarding the charity and its beneficiaries from harm. As the people who run a charity, trustees are also responsible for:

  • their own conduct; and
  • the conduct of others which they have authorised or ratified; and also
  • conduct which though neither authorised nor ratified takes place in the course of a business which they conduct and where there is a close connection between the conduct and what the wrongdoer was employed to do (this is known as vicarious liability).

This section contains our guidance on managing potential risks to a charity and how charities can protect themselves and vulnerable beneficiaries from harm. It also explains vicarious liability.

  • Charities and Risk Management - our guidance for trustees and staff on the types of risk charities face and how they can put in place a practical framework for identifying, managing and reporting on risk.
  • Protecting charities from harm - our toolkit which explains the legal requirements and helps trustees to protect their charity from potential harm and abuse
  • Safeguarding children - what trustees should do to make sure children benefiting from (or working with) their charity are not harmed in any way through contact with it.
  • Vicarious liability of trustees - explains the circumstances in which the law can hold trustees liable for the misconduct of those whom they control even if not primarily attributable to the charity or its trustees

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