A standard tool of strategic planning is the SWOT analysis. S for Strengths, W for Weaknesses, O for Opportunities, and T for Threats. In my experience the T is often the hardest section to complete, and with good reason. Identifying Threats to your ministry is lot like trying to see around a corner.

Assuming you don’t have this super power, there are still some things you can do to protect your ministry from unforeseen risks.
Start by developing a relationship with an insurance agent, preferably one that specializes in nonprofits or churches. They can help you determine areas of risk that are specific to your organization. Here are some areas you should review with them

  • Is your general liability policy up to date?
  • Do you need a separate rider to cover your events?
  • Offering alcoholic beverages at events may require additional coverage
  • Is your D&O policy (Directors & Officers) up to date with the correct names and addresses. If you don’t have a D&O policy, get one. You won’t be able to attract quality board candidates without it.
  • Are donor records protected from cyberattack? This is both an insurance and IT issue. You need the proper technological protection in addition to insurance.
  • Do you have any intellectual property that needs to be protected? Have you written curriculum or created a product that needs to be copyrighted and possibly trademarked?
  • Are you prepared for cultural or political activism? Find an expert to help you craft your statement of faith and hiring policies with regard to gender identity, marriage and similar issues.
  • If you own real property, or provide housing or transportation, you have additional insurance needs. Make sure you’re covered.
  • There may be areas of risk that are unique to your ministry, like children or ex-offenders, etc. Discuss these needs with your professional insurance agent.


It is impossible to protect your ministry 100%. And nobody really wants to expend a lot of energy on these types of issues. But it is good stewardship and good, common sense to take these steps to make sure you are protected from unforeseen circumstances. That is, unless you can see around corners…


Arnold Kimmons, Director of Operations & Finance