Risk Management, Resilience, and Sustainability: A Podcast Featuring Hilda Polanco

It’s a mistake to think that your annual Audit is a sufficient “Risk Management” strategy.  In this episode of the About Risk podcast by Risk Alternatives CEO Ted Bilich, FMA’s founder and CEO, Hilda Polanco, discusses why an audit is not enough and how a nonprofit’s resilience and long term sustainability are bolstered by a commitment to risk management.  You can find the podcast on itunes or listen to it on this page.

The podcast starts with an overview of FMA and then addresses these questions, with timestamps included, if you want to zero in on particular topics:


  • You have said you like to help nonprofits “build a planning muscle.” What do you mean by that? [14:26]
  • Why would a nonprofit need a strong planning function? [15:40]
  • What concrete signals would one of our listeners look for within her organization to know that it is time for her to build a stronger planning function? In other words, what pain points should the nonprofit be experiencing? [17:17]
  • Why is it hard for a nonprofit to build its planning function totally on its own? [22:05]

Threats and Opportunities

  • Among the nonprofits you work with, what do you think their greatest threats and opportunities are right now? [23:05]

How Does a Business Model “Work Financially”?

  • On your website, you asked the question: “Do you wonder if your business model works financially?” Please unpack that question for us a little bit. What does it mean for a business model to “work financially”? [28:43]
  • What would be two or three significant red flags that should make a nonprofit wonder about the viability of its business model? [31:35]
  • Are there any core financial metrics that you advise nonprofits to follow on a regular basis? [33:45]

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