Risk Registry

The Canadian Sport Risk Registry contains a number of common risks and is updated following each Risk Management Workshop. The risks and solutions are presented generically and anonymously, to provide insight for sport leaders to think differently about the risks that are ‘keeping them up at night’.

Lack of financial stability

The risk:

Cash flow difficulties and inadequate resources result in board and staff time being spent managing short-term financial problems, versus working towards long-term solutions and more important objectives.

Solutions:

  • Establish a credit line to bridge short-term financial needs. 
  • Budget conservatively at all times. 
  •  Establish strong internal financial controls. 
  • Institute an audit committee and give it the expertise and authority it requires to oversee finances effectively. 
  • Develop an investment strategy to ensure maximum leveraging of existing assets. 
  • Review staffing structures to ensure optimal use of human resources. 
  • Recruit board members with financial experience. 
  • Pursue alternative funding sources through fundraising, merchandising, marketing, corporate sponsorship, alumni giving, crowdsourcing or IP leveraging. 
  • Look for financial savings through collaborative or cost-shared programs such as insurance. 
  • Explore staff secondment opportunities through corporate partners. 
  • Clearly articulate and communicate member benefits to boost membership. 
  • Look at potential membership areas currently not tapped, and alternative partners (industry, municipalities, schools). 
  • Review strategic plan to determine if it is aligned with current reality – may need to change expectations and performance objectives.
  • Review programs / services and eliminate those that provide little value to members. 
  • Establish an appropriatea small surplus and reserve fund. 
  • Undergo a brand strategy development process to better align with potential partners / funders. 
  • Consider Club Excellence Program participation for access to financial management audit and review 
  • Apply an ethical code of standards to accounting and fundraising practices.

Managing competing priorities

The risk:

Not being able to determine or decide which projects or programs to prioritize, and which to decline or discontinue.

Solutions:

  • Use part-time staff, temporary staff, or contractors when appropriate.
  • Explore partnership opportunities with PTSOs to complete projects.
  • Invest only in programs that further the organization’s mission and vision.
  • Review strategic plan to reconcile which current priorities are

Managing competing priorities

The risk:

Not being able to determine or decide which projects or programs to prioritize, and which to decline or discontinue.

Solutions:

  • Use part-time staff, temporary staff, or contractors when appropriate.
  • Explore partnership opportunities with PTSOs to complete projects.
  • Invest only in programs that further the organization’s mission and vision.
  • Review strategic plan to reconcile which current priorities are

Poor alignment between NSO and PTSO

The risk:

Poor alignment of system resulted in disjointed planning, and confusion as to roles and responsibilities of NSO versus PSO in the sport delivery system.

Solutions:

  • Create customized Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with PTSOs. 
  • Encourage all PTSOs to align strategic plans with pillars of Canadian Sport Policy. 
  • Convene meetings of NSO and PTSOs to better coordinate planning efforts. 
  • Ensure clear terms of reference for all committees. 
  • Examine best practices of other NSOs to determine what works well to improve alignment of planning.
  • Collaborate with PTSOs on items that may or may not affect them.
  • Develop an issue specific communications plan.
  • During times of change, set realistic benchmarks with clearly communicated timelines.
  • For larger changes that affect all members, strike small committees involving PTSOs to ensure buy in and to assist with any transition issues.
  • Have regular scheduled meetings with PTSO EDs.
  • Offer PTSOs a workshop on policy management that encourages alignment with NSO policies.
  • Include PTSOs in NSO strategic plan development as a means to develop a sense of PTSO ownership and involvement.
  • Clearly define the roles of NSO, PTSO and other sport organizations to avoid duplication of efforts and jurisdictional conflicts.

Weak organizational structure

The risk:

Organization is not structured to optimize resource use and stakeholder services.

Solutions:

  • Review and update policies and procedures with regularity.
  • Strike staff or board committee, or sub-committee, to provide guidance and research current structure recommendations.
  • Publish current policies to ensure stakeholders have access.
  • Procure expertise (e.g., legal) to ensure updated policies are aligned.
  • Consider Club Excellence program.
  • Establish a set of corporate values and guidance principles.
  • Examine the actions of the international federation for successes and challenges.
  • Ensure athlete opinions and concerns are considered in decision making and strategic planning.