February 23 - 24, 2023

2-Part Virtual Workshop Series: ERM in Non-Profit Organizations

February 23, 12-3 PM ET | February 24, 12-2 PM ET

The 4th annual GRF-NC State ERM for Nonprofits Workshop brought together nonprofit executives and board members from across the U.S. to share their experiences and discuss strategies and tactics for strengthening enterprise risk management at tax-exempt organizations.

Melissa Musser, Partner and Director of GRF’s Risk Advisory Services, commented that there is no “right way” to implement ERM in nonprofits and programs look different across organizations. Exchanging ideas and experiences helps us improve our programs and build a community.

Day 1 Highlights:

Current State of ERM Practices

  • Mark Beasley of NC State alerted us to a memory problem. Many organizations have drifted away from some of the beneficial risk management practices they began out of necessity during the early stages of the pandemic, such as more frequent and substantive communication on interconnected risks across functions, strong strategic focus of risk discussions, and greater transparency. He encouraged us bring back practices that worked well.

Management-Level Risk Committees

  • Michael Bryant and Brandon Juhaish of Mecklenburg County (Charlotte), NC shared their journey with enterprise risk management, beginning with identifying six key factors that drive their ability to execute on their mission and using those six drivers as a lens for determining their most critical strategic risks.

Using ERM to Add Value Throughout the Organization

  • Jake Trees of Internews described the approach he is taking to increase engagement with ERM across the organization, especially outside of headquarters.

Maintaining Momentum with ERM Initiatives

  • Shaun Farmer of the Illinois Tollway discussed the importance a strong relationship with the board played in the Tollway’s ERM program recovery after encountering challenges during the pandemic.
  • Tessa Lucey from the University of Vermont described UVM’s approach to identifying and assessing opportunities as well as risks and how that helped revitalize their ERM program.

Results from the Executive Perspectives on Top Risks for 2023 and 2032 Report

  • Ericka Kranitz of NC State presented the results from NC State’s annual survey asking board members and c-suite executives to rate near-term and longer-term risks. The most notable finding was the significant increase in the severity rating of all risks.

Day 2 Highlights:

ERM and ESG: Growing Expectations

  • Mark Beasley of NC State provided an overview of changing guidance and regulations on reporting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.
  • Jana Daugherty of Bon Secours Mercy Health walked the group through her organization’s process developing their first ESG report and how the ERM function supported a cross-functional ESG Steering Committee.

Risk Appetite

  • Sherrhonda Roach of the American Cancer Society (ACS) began the panel discussion by describing ACS’s process for developing a risk appetite statement.
  • Elizabeth Folsom from Population Services International shared some tools PSI uses to operationalize risk appetite.
  • Carolyn McDonald of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) explained how CFF’s risk appetite is linked directly to their strategic goals.

Blind Spots

  • Ericka Kranitz of NC State elaborated on the concept of blind spots, hidden biases that impact judgement and decision making.

Featured Speakers

Melissa Musser, CPA, CIA, CITP, CISA

Partner and Director, Risk & Advisory Services

Read Bio

Additional Speakers

Mark Beasley | Enterprise Risk Management Initiative Director | NC State University 

Mark Beasley is a Professor of Enterprise Risk Management and the Director of the Enterprise Risk Management Initiative in the Poole College of Management.  The Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Initiative provides thought leadership about ERM practices and their integration with strategy and corporate governance. As founding director, Dr. Beasley leads the ERM Initiative’s efforts to help pioneer the development of this emergent discipline through outreach to business professionals, with its ongoing ERM Roundtable Series and ERM Executive Education for boards and senior executives; research, advancing knowledge and understanding of ERM issues; and undergraduate and graduate business education for the next generation of business executives (visit the ERM Initiative website at  He frequently works with boards of directors and senior management teams to assist them in strengthening their risk oversight processes.