A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action
Last Revised: Feb 26, 2014 - Initial Posting: Feb 25, 2014

The purpose of this tool is to help Community Action Agency staff (1) identify the risks your agency faces; and (2) develop practical strategies for managing risk.


Go to the Community Action Partnership's Risk Management Portal and complete a quick registration process to access an Online Risk Assessment Tool and a tool to develop Customized Risk Policies for your CAA.  These resources have been made available by the Community Action Partnership through its affiliation with the Nonprofit Risk Management Center (NRMC).  You will develop a deeper awareness about the purpose and benefits of risk management as you navigate this online tool.  The system will build a profile of your organization as you answer simple questions about your agency's scope and operations.

After you complete one or more modules, you will be able to generate a report containing specific follow-up recommendations on how to address areas of risk identified through the online tool. The recommendations will reflect the profile that has been created based on your answers to the system questions.

Additionally, users may access the newly added risk policies section of the online tool.  The risk policies section will give users the ability to generate customizable risk policies that can be used in implementing the recommendations created through the risk assessment tool.

Ten Modules

Conduct a Risk Assessment for your Community Action Agency by answering sequential questions in each of these modules:

  1. Introduction to Risk Management
  2. Governance
  3. Financial Management
  4. Contracts and Procurement
  5. Human Resources
  6. Communication Risks
  7. Service Delivery Risks
  8. Protecting Vulnerable Populations
  9. Transportation
  10. Property


Users may use the tool in conjunction with a wide variety of resources found on the Community Action Partnership National Training Center Affiliates Page as well the following resources that can be accessed both through the online tool and the affiliate page:

  • 6 Tips for Making Risk Management Stick
  • Getting and Giving References...Safely
  • SAMPLE Board Minutes
  • Tools for Top-Notch CAAs

Affiliate Benefits

CAAs can take advantage of various affiliate benefits provided through the NRMC and the Community Action Partnership’s National Training Center including:

  • Program Risk Tips of the Month with archives back to February 2012
  • RISK HELP™ - Unlimited Answers to Risk Management Questions
  • Upcoming and archived webinars
  • My Risk Management Plan to assist you in developing a risk management plan for your organization.
  • My Risk Management Policies to help you create custom policies for your nonprofit.
  • Publication discounts
  • And more

Risk assessment is included as one element of the Community Services Block Grant Organizational Standards:

  • Standard 4.5 (Private organization): An organization-wide risk assessment has been completed within the past 2 years and reported to the governing board.
  • Standard 4.5 (Public agency): The Department complies with its local government's risk assessment policies and procedures.

Effective risk management has also been an integral component of the Standards of Excellence: Achieving Excellence in Community Action developed by the Community Action Partnership as cited under the following standards:

  • 6.1 Financial Systems:  The board formally adopts and systematically reviews/updates a Financial Management Policy/Manual on an annual basis.  It is systematically deployed and integrated across all programs and services, and includes provisions for an annual financial and administrative risk assessment, analysis, and report to the board on overall agency integrity…
  • 7.5 Financial Accountability and Health:  The agency’s financial health is sound, resources are growing, and audit/risk assessment reports are exemplary. The agency exceeds all regulatory requirements, is in good standing with current funding sources and required accreditation entities, and demonstrates high integrity in its annual risk assessment report.

Denise Harlow, Senior Director, Training and Technical Assistance - Community Action Partnership

Kay Nakamura, Director of Client Solutions, Nonprofit Risk Management Center