Can your credit union directors stop the train?

Risk management can be tough.

I serve on the leadership team (basically, the board) of my church, and I wish I’d had the foresight to stop (or divert) the train of risk that was heading toward a recent fundraiser.

My inability to focus on the speeding train once it was rolling, or to get traction on suggesting a shift, was part of why we nearly suffered a loss on the event.

What happened, exactly? We hired a local barbecue restaurant to cook at our terrific location–alongside a major U.S. highway through the beautiful upstate New York countryside in September. But to get them on site, we had to guarantee 250 dinners. While we figured that would be pretty easy at such a high traffic location, our team still discussed the risk–if we guaranteed the 250 and it rained, we might owe for some dinners we couldn’t sell.

Four days before the event I had to confirm our number with the barbecue restaurant. With rain in the forecast, I could have asked the leadership team to think about another available option we hadn’t even really considered: Buy a lesser number of dinners and pick them up to sell at the event. This would limit our profit potential if the weather turned out to be fine, but also cut our potential for losses if it poured.

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